In August 2011, New York's own A.G., Eric Schneiderman walked away from multi-state settlement talks -- Nevada and California soon followed suit -- A.G. Schneiderman is on the side of working people, let's make sure that he knows we have his back as the pressure for a settlement mounts. Check out Schneiderman recently on Rachel Maddow: http://www.ericschneiderman.com/news/latest?id=0250
Dear Attorney General Schneiderman,
Change is in the air! All around the state, the people of New York are "occupying" public spaces, marching in the streets, engaging in meaningful dialogue and refusing to do business with predatory banks. We support your decision to stand in solidarity with us by standing up to the Big Banks.
Your decision in August to withdraw from the multi-state settlement talks provided clear evidence that you understood the extent of the banks' crimes. New Yorkers can hold their heads high knowing that your brave and bold move inspired the A.G.'s of Nevada and California to follow suit. We know that you will not agree to the increased pressure facing you to re-join the talks and accept another sadly insufficient settlement offer. It is a travesty that Americans have been jailed for civil disobedience and not one banker has done any prison time for their role in the mortgage crisis.
We therefore call on you to reject any settlement without:
1. Widespread and fairly applied principal reduction to keep millions of New Yorkers who are underwater on their mortgages in their homes, particularly in New York’s hardest-hit communities.
2. A narrow release of liability, including no release of claims regarding origination, process, securitization or chain of title fraud and abuse.
3. An overhaul and reform of industry servicing practices including:
i. Banning banks from continuing to foreclose on families while they are pursuing a modification;
ii. Requiring mandatory modifications in cases where it would be good for homeowners and investors;
iii. And requiring banks to give homeowners a single point of contact.
4. Strict, independent, and robust enforcement mechanisms covering all parts of the settlement, including penalties for banks who fail to hold up their end of the agreement.
5. Assurance that homeowners who were kicked out of their homes without due process, many of whom lost their lifetime savings, will receive fair, ample restitution and an opportunity to rebuild their lives and communities.
Lastly, we also call on you to continue publicly and forcefully advocating for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and therefore Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to also abide by the terms listed above.
Any agreement that does not meet these conditions will fail to provide a foundation for robust economic recovery or provide justice for the millions of New Yorkers whose lives and savings have been destroyed by the foreclosure crisis and the millions more who’s lives hang in the balance.
We look forward to your prompt reply.