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New Jersey groups launch drive for criminal prosecution of banks

By David Hungerford

Newark, NJ – In the face of ineffective, and even harmful, government measures to assist distressed homeowners, an effort has been launched by the People’s Organization for Progress (POP) and the Coalition to Save Our Homes (C2SOH) to demand criminal investigations of bank wrongdoing during the mortgage bubble. At its Oct. 4 meeting the following motion was passed unanimously:

“POP demands that criminal investigations of bank misconduct in the mortgage bubble be undertaken and federal and state levels. The first priority must be to find out what happened to the supposedly ‘missing’ mortgage notes. The investigations must also look into the actions of the banks in the overpricing of homes, selling them for much more than they were worth. Finding of both civil and criminal wrongdoing must be prosecuted.”

POP and C2SOH scheduled a Nov. 1 protest rally in Trenton, the New Jersey state capital, to demand an investigation. Other demands are that Governor Chris Christie release $300 million in federal funds for distressed homeowners that has been held up, and that mortgage principals be reduced to reflect the true market value of overpriced homes.

“Every government program to supposedly help distressed homeowners has turned out to be a bank bailout in disguise,” said a spokesperson for the campaign. The Home Affordable Mortgage Program as a case in point. Millions of homeowners have been strung along for months by banks, having to file extensive applications time after time only to be denied and then saddled with charges and fines by the banks for the delay!

Bank criminality in abusive loans that were designed to fail and the Three-card Monte games they played with mortgage notes were criminal violations. There has not been a single criminal prosecution for any of it.

POP and C2SOH are reaching out to other organizations and people in a petition addressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Already it has met with an eager response. Work is under way for a coordinated effort. Everyone wants this to happen.

#NewarkNJ #HousingStruggles #PeoplesOrganizationForProgress #AttorneyGeneralEricHolder #CoalitionToSaveOurHomes #HomeForeclosures