Rally to Reduce Bank Foreclosure Listing in Chicago

by Peter Vernon on cities

Residents of Chicago, Illinois get proactive in their fight to curb the number of properties put on the bank forclosure listing. Over 200 community resident leaders from schools, area faith institutions and organizations staged a rally in front of a branch of the Bank of America to demand bank accountability.

Concerned over the growing number of homeowners in their communities who are in a danger of losing their properties to foreclosure, resident and community leaders who belong to the Southwest Organizing Project group, urged the Bank of America to coordinate and work with them to find ways that will effectively address the foreclosure problem in their neighborhoods.

A representative of community and residents leaders met with the manager of the bank branch and worked out an agreement that in less than 2 weeks, the Bank of America will schedule a date for the group to meet with bank officials Bank of America Charitable Foundations Global Community Impact Executive and President Andrew D. Plepler and Senior Vice President Robert Grossinger.

The group plans to discuss with bank officials the best way to help families remain in their properties and avoid foreclosure. They also plan to tackle issues such as the Bank of America’s unaffordable mortgages in the community and its vacant buildings.

In March 2009, Bank of America’s Mortgage, Home Equity and Insurance Services President Barbara J. Desoer said that if all the concerned groups and institutions work together, they can build a stable homeownership on the basis of responsible, sustainable lending practices that could help people make an informed decision.

According to data released by the Southwest Organizing Project, over 3,000 homes in the area went into foreclosures since January of last year. And out of this total, 240 houses were foreclosed by the Bank of America and Countrywide, its subsidiary.

And it is expected that the Bank of America will double its numbers this year having already placed 117 houses on bank forclosure listing in the first quarter alone.

Housing counseling agencies that are HUD-certified have more than doubled its counseling capacity in the area since 2008. However, it still takes almost a month before a distressed homeowner can get an appointment with his bank.

Data from Woodstock Institute showed that 98 percent of houses on bank forclosure listing in 2008 remained unsold, returning to banks.