The leaders of SUN’s Financial Justice committee, Richard Breland and Kanessa Keene, outside the state capitol in Albany, N.Y.: getting ready to deliver the Homowner’s Bottom Line to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The nation’s big banks have engaged in a free-for-all of speculation, creative accounting and fraud. The result? Up to a million people may lose their homes to foreclosure. Our nation’s finances are in ruins, most states are facing multi-million dollar budget shortfalls resulting in layoffs of thousands of teachers, firefighters and cops. What can we do? The 50 state Attorneys General are currently negotiating with the big banks–a potential lawsuit may result in a settlement that requires fundamental reforms of the mortgage and financial markets.
National People’s Action is part of a coalition that is working to ensure that the Homeowner’s Bottom Line is included in any settlement:
1) Bankers shouldn’t decide who gets loan modification and who is left out. All responsible homeowners deserve fair, affordable, permanent loan modifications.
2) Restore fairness to the housing market by charging homeowners what their house is really worth, not the inflated figures bankers invented to make record profits.
3) No seizing homes without investigating all other options, including loan modification and opportunities to appeal any loan denial.
4) Homeowners that have been forced from their home due to fraudulent and criminal behavior by greedy bankers must receive financial restitution for the full market value of their home or the return of their home if not already sold.
5) Attorneys General must require the big banks, and not state governments, to pay for any enforcement needs and capacities laid out in the settlement.
6) Attorneys General must seek criminal penalties as they discover bankers and servicers who broke the law. Banks and bank executives are not above the law and should not escape the consequences for their illegal actions.