January 24, 2013
Contact: Paul Karr

Elected, Faith, Community & Labor Leaders March on Bank of America

DELEGATION TO DEMAND PRINCIPAL WRITE-DOWNS TO SAVE FAMILIES FROM FORECLOSURE & ANNOUNCE OFFICIAL HEARINGS ON FORECLOSURE PRACTICES

Jersey City, NJ – Grace Alexander, a 57-year-old New Jersey grandmother and member of 1199 SEIU, has enlisted the support of influential elected leaders and community advocates in her fight to save her home from foreclosure. Newark Councilman Ron Rice, who represents Newark’s West Ward residents like Grace will be joined by Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Jersey City Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop and District 33 Assemblyman Sean Connors. Also joining the delegation are Grace’s neighbors, co-workers, fellow union members from 1199 SEIU and anti-foreclosure activists from New Jersey Communities United (NJCU).

WHAT: PICKET & DELEGATION AT BANK OF AMERICA
WHERE: BANK OF AMERICA, Harborside Financial Center HBLR Platform, Jersey City, NJ 07305
WHEN: JANUARY 24TH, 2013, 11AM

“I am joining Grace to let Bank of America know that I am calling for hearings at the Newark City Council to investigate the impact of bank foreclosures on the city of Newark.  Financial institutions, like Bank of America need to resolve Grace’s case and thousands of homeowners like her by instituting principle write downs,” said Councilman Rice. “The federal government has helped banks clear their books, but they haven’t done anything to keep families in their homes. Governor Christie has sat on a pile of money meant to help homeowners like Grace, and he has used part of that money to offset tax breaks for New Jersey’s wealthiest residents. It’s time for local governments across New Jersey to do what’s right for our constituents and demand accountability from banks and our Governor.”

Supporters will hold an informational picket at Bank of America in Jersey City to draw attention to Grace’s story and the 100,000 other New Jersey families currently in the foreclosure pipeline. A delegation of leaders will march into Bank of America to demand a principal write-down on her mortgage in an effort to keep the nursing assistant in the house she’s called home for more than 12 years.

“They’ve been giving me the run around for two years now,” said Grace, a Newark resident. “I have a job. I can pay a mortgage. But they don’t want my money, they want my house. I’ve tried every which way to save my home, but Bank of America would rather kick me onto the streets than to work with me.”

“The banks are incentivized to foreclose on homes, “said Trina Scordo, executive director of New Jersey Communities United, an affiliate of the Home Defenders League, a national network of activists fighting against foreclosures and for a just resolution to the mortgage crisis.  “Taxpayer money is being used to take homes away from families and not for principal write-downs which would keep families in their homes. We have the second highest rate of foreclosure in the country and more than 100,000 families who share Grace’s experience. It’s time for the banks to be held accountable.”

"1199 stands strong with Grace Alexander as she fights to stay in her home and continue to be a vital member of the Newark community," said Milly Silva, 1199 SEIU Executive Vice President. "Unfortunately, Grace is a prime example of the people forgotten in Chris Christie's New Jersey.  We will continue to fight to ensure Grace and the thousands like her have their voices heard."

Visuals: Dozens of community supporters leafleting busy Jersey City plaza, smaller delegation of elected leaders marching into Bank of America alongside Grace to demand a principal write down on her mortgage and announce Newark City Council hearings on the matter.

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