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Working America Urges Associate Att’y General Thomas Perrelli, President Obama to Hold Banks Accountable For Foreclosure Crisis

January 19, 2012

Tens of Thousands Support Investigation, Homeowner Restitution and Accountability

Working America, community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, continues its campaign to urge Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the Obama Administration and the state attorneys general to fight for restitution for millions of homeowners who have either lost or will lose their homes to foreclosure because of the massive mortgage fraud that led to the current financial crisis. Perrelli is the Justice Department official currently running settlement talks on behalf of the federal government.

The current settlement proposal being discussed would cost the banks a paltry $25 billion which would only give 1 in 20 homeowners any type of relief for underwater mortgages. In most cases even those homeowners would get only partial relief. The proposal has been called “meaningless” and would let those banks being investigated for predatory schemes— Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial—off the hook.

About 7.5 million homes are currently in the foreclosure process. An additional 11 million are at risk – threatening many of Working America’s 3 million members with the loss of their homes.

Tens of thousands of people have joined the campaign, writing letters to their state attorney general and to the White House to urge accountability for the banks and restitution for homeowners. More letters are flooding in.  

Here is one, from Kevin in Michigan:

“I lost my job in 2009 and, like many of the banks, found myself in a very tight financial situation. Unlike me, these huge banks received governmental relief and support. Now [my bank]… is threatening me with foreclosure…Before I lost my job, I never was late on a mortgage payment. Now, I'm fighting to keep my family from becoming homeless.”

Another, from Stephanie, a foreclosure prevention counselor from New York:

 “There is clear evidence of misconduct, fraud and out-and-out crime perpetrated against the American people and no one is doing anything about it. If I ever attempted to commit any of the acts the big banks perpetrated before, during and after the mortgage crisis, I would be in jail for a very long time. Why do corporations and banks get away with things no one else can?”

Working America calls on the Obama Administration to enforce a fair settlement that includes investigation of banks and their executives, full criminal accountability, full and fair restitution to homeowners who have already lost, or stand to lose their homes.

 Now is a moment that President Obama can show Americans he truly stands with the 99 percent.