Friday, August 29, 2014

Bank Of America: Settle With America!

Last week the Justice Department reached another record-breaking settlement with Bank of America-- this one worth $16.65 billion, with close to half of it being used for relief to homeowners and hard-hit communities. Unfortunately, as we've seen from past settlements, the money doesn't always get to the people that deserve it the most.

A few weeks ago, over 10,000 people signed a petition telling Bank of America to "settle with America." Today Occupy Our Homes Atlanta and American Friends Service Committee joined dozens of other groups around the country as we delivered those petitions to a Bank of America branch in an effort to make our voices heard.

Our message was simple:
With a new settlement with the Department of Justice under negotiation - possibly worth $17 billion - we demand you meet directly with families affected by your peddling of toxic mortgages and destruction of our economy. Only when you understand what your actions have caused will you be able to create a settlement that helps fix what you broke.

Once we entered the bank branch we took a seat in the waiting area and made it clear we were there to simply deliver a petition signed by thousands of American who have lost their homes and their wealth as a result of Bank of America's practices, we also made it clear that we planned to leave the branch once the petition was delivered.

Instead of being conscious of the fact that our petition represented millions of lost homes, broken dreams, and broken promises, instead of simply accepting the petition and politely seeing us on our way Bank of America called the police and threatened to have us arrested despite the fact that we were being lead by a Bank of America victim who despite never missing a payment lost every bit of wealth he built over 15 years of home ownership as a result of Bank Of America.

It's this type of disregard, even disdain, for everyday hardworking Americans that drives the concern around who will actually receive any of this relief money. To date the victims of the Wall Street created housing crash have seen very little relief from the billions upon billions of national settlements.

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