Call for banks to end foreclosure crisis

To The Editor:

What costs New York City almost $2 billion and is stiffing our economy out of 15,000 new jobs? The big banks and their refusal to end the foreclosure crisis– but our next mayor has the power to change it.

Today, NYCC released a new study that shows that by lowering property values and forcing the city to allocate additional resources in communities with a large number of foreclosed homes, the foreclosure crisis costs the city $1.8 billion over a five-year period. That’s money that could be used to fund our schools, fire stations and senior centers.

Principal reductions are proven to prevent foreclosures and put money back into the pockets of homeowners. Modifications with principal reductions for New York’s 80,000 underwater homeowners would create an economic stimulus and put 15,000 New Yorkers back to work.

This is a win/ win situation and the only thing standing in the way is the greed of the big banks.

New York City’s $70 billion budget can be used as leverage to pressure the big banks to do the right thing for struggling homeowners and all New Yorkers by writing down mortgages to their current values.

That’s why we’re demanding the 2013 Mayoral candidates pledge to help struggling homeowners, grow our economy and put New Yorkers back to work by refusing to keep the city’s to do business with banks that don’t offer principal reductions.

If we want the next mayor to make principal reduction a priority, now is the time to start putting on the pressure.

Over and over again the big banks have proven that they don’t care about doing the right thing. So we’ve got to hit them where it hurts- their bottom line. Local governments across New York like Buffalo and Hempstead have already closed accounts in protest of their foreclosure policies. It’s time the city does the same.

The banking commission, the body that decides where our tax dollars and other city money is kept, is primarily made up by people appointed by the mayor. That’s why we need to start now, by demanding the candidates take a stand on cost of foreclosures in New York and keep the pressure on until the big banks have provided relief for every underwater homeowner in NYC.

Best,

Olivia Leirer

Communications and Social Media Director

New York Communities for Change

More from Around NYC