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Press Release: Meeting With Administration On How To Turn Around the Economy Before the Holidays

November 11, 2010


Solutions would bring immediate relief to families and put economy on track for a rebound

Washington, DC – On Monday November 15, Secretary Hilda Solis, Elizabeth Warren and officials from the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Congress will hear common sense solutions to returning millions of dollars in wage theft back to employees, halting foreclosures and the decline in home values, and preserving a safety net for the unemployed and low income people. Homeowners, clergy and community leaders from National People’s Action local affiliates will demand immediate action before families are literally left out in the cold this holiday season.

On the eve of the lame duck session of Congress, community leaders will discuss solutions that will hold big banks accountable for injecting desperately needed small business and home lending into the economy and large employers accountable for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in wages from employees who are afraid of joining the ranks of the unemployed.

At the top of the list of solutions that National People’s Action and community leaders will present to Special Assistant to the President Elizabeth Warren are stopping Bank of America and Wells Fargo’s financing of the wealth-stripping payday lending industry, holding banks accountable for keeping families in their homes and reversing the decline in home values, cracking down on mortgage fraud that has arisen due to the lack of credit by the big banks, and an end to high credit fees for low and moderate income borrowers who want to buy homes or open new businesses.

“Our economy is still a mess. And until federal regulators stop big banks and other corporations from stripping wealth away from American families, we’ll be swimming up stream.” said Rev. Eugene Barnes, Board President of National People’s Action. “When the economy is bad, the predators come out, and we need the federal government to protect us from banks who fraudulently foreclosure, payday lenders who steal from families, and employers who steal wages from working families,” he added.

Community leaders will discuss the only viable solution to the economic drag of millions of foreclosures and the resulting foreclosure-gate and robo-signing scandal with the Federal Reserve Board and FDIC. The solution is for these regulators to use their current authority to pressure the big banks to institute principal reduction programs to bring mortgages down to their real market value and provide long-term forbearance programs for families struggling with unemployment. Keeping families in their homes and preventing foreclosures are solutions that actually make the banks more money in the long run, and stabilize the tax base in cities and states.

Finally, some employers are taking advantage of high unemployment to steal wages from workers who are afraid of joining the unemployment lines, costing the average victim of wage theft $2,634 yearly. This adds up to hundreds of million dollars a year, but community leaders are concerned that not enough of these wages are being returned to workers. National People’s Action affiliates held a series of public hearings across the country this fall with the U.S. Department of Labor to hear from workers about their experiences trying to recover their stolen wages. Secretary Solis will meet with a dozen workers on Monday to discuss solutions that will return wages to workers and inject this money back into the economy.

MEDIA CONTACT: Monica Trevino (National People’s Action)
Cell: (312) 286-4430


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