New Jersey marchers brave blizzard to stop foreclosures
Irvington, NJ – In spite of a winter storm, the Coalition to Save Our Homes marched and rallied here, Oct. 29, against home foreclosures. The group maintains the wave of foreclosures is due to overpricing of the home market by mortgage lenders. They want mortgage principals reduced to amounts that homeowners can pay.
“The citizens didn’t cause the foreclosure crisis, the banks did,” said Sharon Hands of the People’s Organization for Progress. “Greed and corruption did it. People living in their homes didn’t say, ‘Oh, I want to live in a box’ or ‘I want to be homeless.’” She said that the Irvington administration should do more to keep residents in their homes. Members of the Newark Teachers’ Association and Residents for a Better Community of Irvington also participated.
The Coalition is gathering signatures on a petition to New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow demanding that she take action against lenders for overpricing the market. They want the penalty to be reduction of principal to a true market value.
Irvington police escorted the marchers through heavy snow and traffic on Clinton Avenue. The group also chanted demands for better health care and jobs for all. In spite of difficult driving conditions drivers waved and honked their horns to show approval.
Kathleen Witcher of the Irvington NAACP spoke at a closing rally. She cited big increases in property taxes as an additional burden on homeowners and said action must be taken to keep Irvington from turning into a ghost town. The event ended with the call on the banks to “give the money back” that they had overpriced.