Greenlining calls for foreclosure moratorium
Attorney General asked to act
BERKELEY, Calif.—The Greenlining Institute Wednesday called for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures in California and asked Attorney General Jerry Brown to join the push to halt foreclosures until it can be confirmed that California consumer protection laws are being followed.
In a letter to major California banks, Greenlining wrote, “It has become clear in the last two weeks that California’s homeowners, who have already suffered an unprecedented foreclosure crisis in recent years, may be the victims of potentially fraudulent practices by those foreclosing on them . . . We strongly urge you to immediately institute an initial 90-day statewide foreclosure moratorium in California, until more facts can come out.”
In simultaneous letter to Brown, Greenlining said, “Since California is generally a non-judicial foreclosure state, we lack an additional level of scrutiny provided by the courts that would protect homeowners from any fraudulent foreclosure practices. Your office is best poised to act as this safeguard and to actively intervene to make sure the law is being followed.”
The letters also pointed out that nearly one-quarter of both the Latino and African American communities nationally are at imminent risk of foreclosure.
The call for a moratorium comes in the wake of reports that in other states that require court approval prior to foreclosing institutions like Ally Financial and JP Morgan/Chase are allowing people to sign documents without making sure they read and understand them.
“There is no reason to believe that Ally Financial and JP Morgan/Chase are unique. More likely they’re the tip of the iceberg–an iceberg that threatens disaster for thousands of homeowners.
Let’s not forget that Bank of America, which recently suspended foreclosures in 23 other states, had said only a week earlier that they had no involvement in this crisis,” said Greenlining executive director Orson Aguilar.
Officials in Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan and North Carolina, which like California do not require judicial approval of foreclosures, have already called for a broad foreclosure moratorium.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters was the keynote speaker at a recent forum designed to help Black and other non-White businesses, as well as those run by women, gain greater access to major banks and brokers to help sustain and establish their corporations.
“Since the recession really took hold in December 2007,” the congresswoman explained, “about 2.3 million homes have been repossessed by banks. Currently, about one in 10 American households, with a mortgage, is at risk of foreclosure.”
Kudos to state Attorney General Kamala Harris. She was a real champion for California homeowners this time around. She hung tough, played her cards well and walked off with the biggest slice of the monetary pie for Californians in the recently completed foreclosure mortgage deal struck between the Obama administration and the banking industry. She took the path less traveled, held out for a quantifiable, enforceable deal until the end—and got it.
The downtown area got a dose of 1960s activism last Thursday, when a coalition of protesters including members of the Alliance of Californians of Community Empowerment (ACCE), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), along with Occupy LA, descended upon a branch of Chase Bank.
In the wake of another swell in the number of foreclosures in California (as conveyed by RealtyTrac, the online foreclosure listing), a recent report declared that the plight of home-buyer defaults has cost the state in excess of $130 billion, with an estimated $78 billion lost in homeowner equity just in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Compton was ranked as the nation's eighth most dangerous city, but three in Orange County—Mission Viejo, Lake Forest and Irvine—ranked in the top 10 safest cities, according to a report released today.
The latest edition of City Crime Rankings is one of five annual reference works published by CQ Press that analyze and rank states and cities in various categories.