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Fight back against foreclosures in Irvington, New Jersey

By staff

Irvington, NJ – On Oct. 29, a March and Rally against Foreclosures will be held in Irvington. “We want the banks to give the overpricing money back. No principal reduction, no recovery. It’s that simple. Join us! Come to the Irvington Bus Terminal at noon for the rally,” say the organizers.

The protest is being organized by the Coalition to Save Our Homes, which includes People’s Organization for Progress; NAACP, Irvington Branch; Newark Teachers’ Association (NJEA); and Residents for a Better Community of Irvington.

According to the Coalition to Save Our Homes (C2SOH), “the financial system created the mortgage mess and it has to take the weight. The mortgage market was rigged and that happens to be illegal. If a buyer was misled into paying $300,000 for a house that was worth only $180,000, the mortgage must be reduced by $120,000. Sorry, bank, you just got no right to that dough. They have to give the difference back. We are heartily sure Adam Smith would agree. We want NJ Attorney General Paula Dow to agree also and take action to compel a fair market write down of mortgage principals.”

New Jersey is one of the states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis in the country. Irvington is as hard hit as any municipality in the state.

The collapse of the housing bubble began in 2005. First to go was the subprime mortgage market. It led up to the great financial crisis of 2008.

After that home prices dropped drastically. Now more than 10 million mortgages are much higher than current prices, i.e., ‘underwater.’ That’s because the houses were never really worth what they were sold for.

There is also another side of predatory lending: banks abusively concentrated subprime mortgages on minorities. After all, they have always redlined against lending in African American and Latino neighborhoods.

Irvington is dead center on all counts. It is a 95% black African American/Haitian/Latino community. Two years ago 9% of all its homes had been foreclosed since 2005. That is more than four times the rate in mostly white census tracts.

Banks got bailed out because they are too politically connected to fail. They didn’t get all that money because anybody loves them and it didn’t lead to recovery. By the same token home buyers must gain economic justice by their own efforts, i.e., by people power. There will be no recovery until home buyers gain economic justice.

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