Target: JPMorgan Chase
Goal: Demand resumption of negotiations and halt eviction resulting from an unlawful foreclosure
JPMorgan Chase informed the Ceballos family, living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that they were being considered for a loan modification. Almost immediately afterwards, the Ceballos were told that the bank had filed for foreclosure. Victims of an unlawful practice known as dual tracking, the Ceballos are currently engaged in a struggle to save their home. On July 24, 75 community members partnered with Occupy Homes Minnesota, one branch of a national advocacy movement, to stem off a horde of 30 sheriffs attempting to force an eviction. Victorious for a moment, the family realizes another eviction attempt may occur at any time.
Dual tracking occurs when a bank is both negotiating with a homeowner and pursuing foreclosure simultaneously. The practice was restricted following the National Mortgage Settlement, but not made entirely illegal. Homeowners and consumer-rights groups continue to file complaints regularly. The Ceballos family contest eviction on the basis that bank refused to negotiate.
Since the start of the mortgage crisis in 2007, 10 million people have been evicted from over 4 million homes. Foreclosures have disproportionately affected African Americans and other minorities, in part because banks aggressively marketed subprime loans in these communities. Evictions leave houses neglected and deserted for years, as the neighborhood crumbles apart around them.
Sergio Ceballos has been living with his family in their Minneapolis home for 12 years. Aware that the value of his property had drastically fallen, he applied for loan modification. Rather than adjust his rate based on real market value, Chase sold the Ceballos’ home for half the price he’d originally paid. As a result of dual tracking, the foreclosure on his home is illegitimate and his eviction unjustified. Demand JPMorgan Chase resume negotiations with Ceballos and stop their fraudulent eviction of a family from their home.
Dear JPMorgan Chase,
Despite your agreement to improve servicing practices following the National Mortgage Settlement, your company has flown in the face of restrictions placed on you and continued the duplicitous practice of dual tracking. Sergio Ceballos, just one of many victims, now faces losing his home after being promised loan readjustments by your bank.
One day you tell Ceballos you will help him; the next you send police to force an eviction. The foreclosure on Ceballos’ home is fraudulent and absurd. After preying on vulnerable communities with subprime loans, ultimately crippling the economy at large, you should be ashamed as a company for beginning a whole new set of hurtful practices.
Unwarranted foreclosures across America are tearing communities apart and pushing families into even greater hardships. I insist that you readjust Ceballos’ loan to a rate based on the real value of his home. The livelihood of your customers should be of first concern, not the profitability of foreclosure. I demand that you resume negotiations with Mr. Ceballos and desist from sending the police to force his eviction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fibonacciblue via Flickr