New legislation to require banks to share burden of foreclosure costs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Khanh T. Weinberg, Communications Director
(408) 678-3364 | khanh.weinberg@seiu521.org

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dozens of bank customers will try to deposit Bank of America checks due taxpayers

SAN JOSE – A new coalition of community organizations and State Assembly Member Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) will announce legislation creating a bold plan to reduce home foreclosures and provide monetary relief for communities rocked by foreclosures.

Today, San Jose homeowners and their supporters will hold a press conference at 12 noon in front of the Bank of America Branch at 777 North 1st St., San Jose, to announce plans to organize homeowners across the state in support of foreclosure reforms. Coalition rallies will be held in eight cities across the state on the same day.

“The recession has ended for the board of directors of Bank of America. Where is our recovery?” asked Wren Bradley, a Social Worker for the County of Santa Clara. “We face a massive budget deficit that just keeps growing and growing while services that help working families keep shrinking and shrinking.”

Bradley will join dozens of others to line up inside the Bank of America branch to try to deposit checks due to taxpayers.

Since 2008, Santa Clara County has seen 51,867 foreclosures. What this translates to in economic terms:
• Value decline of foreclosed homes: $8.6 billion
• Value decline of impacted homes: $17.7 billion
• Property taxes lost: $160 million
• Cost to local government: $411 million

The coalition seeks to have three key pieces of legislation pass: the Homeowner Protection Act (SB 729), which would require lenders to finish attempting a loan modification with each borrower before continuing with the foreclosure process; the Title Transparency bill (AB 1321), which would require that all deeds and transfers of mortgage loans be recorded with the county; and the Foreclosure Fee bill (AB 935), which would add a $20,000 fee to every foreclosure, allowing communities to recoup some of the fiscal costs caused by home foreclosures.

The coalition is led by the Home Defenders League (a project of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), PICO CA (People Improving Communities through Organizing), CRC (California Reinvestment Coalition) and SEIU Locals 1000, 721, 521 and 1021.

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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. For more information, visit www.seiu521.org

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