Almost everyone who knows me is well acquainted with my stance on the banks and Wall Street. My friends, colleagues, family and even those who can’t stand me realize that I don’t need any prompting to jump all over what I feel is injustice of any shape, way or form. Because of the above I get a zillion emails asking me to sign petitions. I sign quite a few but I have never been compelled to do more than Tweet the link or post it on my FB page. This latest one sent to me from a colleague really hit me hard. It deserves a post.
I remember the 1960’s and ‘70’s vividly. I was in college for the Kent State incident and when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down. My memories are too vivid. Cases like the one sited below, involving Chase Bank and a 78 year old black woman, a former civil rights activist, slated to be evicted from her home move me from vivid memories to livid present. The story below is courtesy of Change.org
WHILE Chase misappropriates the memory and image of Martin Luther King this Black History Month, the bank is still going forward with its plans to foreclose on Helen Bailey on Feb. 15.
Helen Bailey is a 78-year-old grandmother who participated in the civil rights movement, worked as a childcare provider for autistic children, and was a community volunteer. She has paid her mortgage since 1999, but now she can’t keep up the payments. All she wants is to stay in her home until she dies, in the neighborhood where she feels safe and has lived for nearly quarter of a century. She could have refinanced with a company willing to let her live in the house for free until her death, but Chase Bank would not reduce her principal by $9,000. She’s been paying 7% interest, well above most rates, so Chase could have decided they had made enough. Instead, they have started foreclosure and Ms. Bailey could end on the street.
Since then, Ms. Bailey’s lawyer has found an alternate buyer for her home. This sale would provide Ms. Bailey with an exit from her current mortgage and allow her to pursue other options for housing. We request that Chase:
· accept the offer of $85,000
· write off any deficiency between the loan balance and the offer
· waive all interest, legal fees and penalties accrued since the initial refinance offer
· cancel any foreclosure auction scheduled
It has been estimated that at foreclosure, Chase may lose over $30,000 compared to this settlement offer. Therefore this option makes the most sense financially for Chase and given Ms. Bailey’s specific circumstances, there is little moral hazard in this solution.
Tell Chase that in Nashville, in America, we don’t throw elderly ladies out on the street.
In Nashville, in America, we fight for what’s right. Helen Bailey marched for civil rights. It’s our turn to march for Helen Bailey.
To mark Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month, Chase gave us all a new website
saying that the company gives back to communities.
On the website, Chase says, “The values exhibited by Dr. King and embodied in his lifelong struggle for social change align with those that shape JPMorgan Chase’s approach to giving in the communities in which it operates.”
But King’s legacy is not for Chase to use to cover up their own special brand of callousness.
While Chase tries to tie itself to the incredible legacy of Martin Luther King, who really did believe in communities, Chase tries to throw a grandmother who marched for civil rights out onto the street.