Foreclosure Prevention Press Conference Outside U.S. Treasury on November 18, 2009,
at 10:00 a.m.
HUD-approved Foreclosure Counselors and Homeowners Issue “Wake Up Call” to the Secretary of the Treasury, Submit Magna Carta Bill of Rights for Homeowners to Prevent Twelve Million Foreclosures
Washington, DC—On November 18 at 10:00 a.m., more than 50 housing counselors and homeowners facing foreclosure will announce a Main Street “Wake Up Call” to Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner. The “Wake Up Call,” which will be accompanied by a Magna Carta Bill of Rights for Homeowners, will take place outside the Treasury’s main entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue. A peaceful walk to the White House will follow to meet with Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council.
Up to twelve million Americans are facing foreclosure. The Secretary of the Treasury’s efforts to secure voluntary loan modifications has been minimal and FDIC Chair Sheila Bair’s mandatory proposals have been ignored. And today, the Administration must do more to minimize foreclosures through foreclosure moratoriums, mandatory principal reductions and heightened support for HUD-approved nonprofit organizations who can provide options and long-term solutions for America’s homeowners.
On November 17, preliminary to the “Wake Up Call” at the Treasury, 25 major nonprofit housing counseling groups from across the nation will meet with major financial institutions to discuss new Main Street foreclosure solutions. These HUD-approved nonprofits who have served over 30,000 homeowners are seeking to meet with the Secretary of the Treasury and with President Obama’s Chief Economic Advisor, Larry Summers, to convey the concerns that will be expressed at the November 18 “Wake Up Call” event. Counselors feel that too little has been done to stabilize this foreclosure crisis and too many homeowners are still left hanging.
The Magna Carta Bill of Rights for Homeowners to be discussed at the “Wake-Up Call” includes:
• A one year foreclosure moratorium for unemployed and underemployed homeowners and those who display evidence of predatory lending issues.
• Substantial mandatory principle reductions where home prices in an area have substantially decreased.
• Enactment of Senator Durbin's bankruptcy reform provisions to create an equal playing field for homeowners.
• Servicers required to halt the foreclosure process after submission of modification packages from homeowners or HUD-approved nonprofits.
• The ability of homeowners facing foreclosure to remain in their homes as tenants for up to five years at fair market rents with nonprofit organizations positioned as property owners and credit restoration agents for these homeowners.
• Allocation of only 1 percent of the $137 billion in unused TARP funds ($1.4 billion) to HUD-approved counseling intermediaries and their affiliates who are on the ground fighting foreclosures, accelerating permanent modifications, limiting the work of servicers and providing LONG-TERM solutions, behavior modification strategies and financial structure to homeowners overcome by our impeding foreclosure crisis.
Marcia Griffin, the President and Founder of HomeFree-USA said: “Too many of our foreclosure prevention programs are not working. It is time for us to look to Main Street and not Wall Street for advice. HUD-approved nonprofit organizations play a critical role on behalf of the homeowners and our relationships with lenders must be strengthened.”
Faith Bautista, CEO of Mabuhay Alliance added: “Our Magna Carta Bill of Rights for Homeowners is consistent with the President’s campaign promises to protect Main Street not Wall Street.”
Established in 1995, HomeFree-USA is a minority-founded, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit homeownership counseling and foreclosure prevention organization specializing in homeownership counseling and foreclosure prevention. HomeFree-USA is one of just 15 HUD-approved organizations currently receiving congressional funds to act as an intermediary between homeowners and lenders to prevent foreclosure. Based in the Washington Metro area with regional offices in Atlanta, Kansas City and West Palm Beach, FL, HomeFree-USA provides services across the country through its network of 91 faith- and community-based nonprofit partners. The HomeFree-USA network represents over 4 million homeowners and homebuyers and enjoys a 0% foreclosure rate among families that have participated in its pre- and post-purchase counseling activities. To learn more, visit www.homefreeusa.org.
Mabuhay Alliance is California’s largest Asian American nonprofit involved in preventing foreclosures and developing financial literacy and small business development seminars. United by this vision and communicating as one voice, Mabuhay Alliance is a powerhouse of influence, providing its members the connections they need to increase their economic base to continue their organization’s mission. Mabuhay Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency and an IRS approved VITA site. To learn more, visit www.mabuhayalliance.org.