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Irene in Los AngelesIrene in Los Angeles

UPDATE:  Thanks for sending letters! MomsRising members sent in over 36,000 letters yesterday to the top 4 biggest banks who haven't signed on to Obama's "Making Homes Affordable Program" yesterday---and 1 of the 4 banks just announced they're signing on! Public pressure works!  Let’s keep the letters coming and get the last 3 banks on board too!

Also... for those of you who participated in our Twitter petition yesterday, We just learned that Goldman Sachs isn’t the official sponsor of the GS_News Twitter account, and are thus stopping petition.  We are printing and delivering all petition signatures that came in through that effort so all voices can be heard by Goldman Sachs that we want them to sign on with Obama’s Making Homes Affordable program.


On Friday, we heard a story that we felt we had to share with you.  It's about Daniel's 84 year-old mom, Irene.  Her bank is selling the house she has lived in for 34 years.

Daniel explains:  "The unbelievable part of it is that OneWest — her bank — doesn’t even have to talk with my mom before selling her house right out from under her.  That’s because OneWest is among four big mortgage service companies that haven’t signed sign on to President Obama’s program to help stop foreclosures.  It’s the ‘Making Home Affordable’ plan, and even though OneWest is the recipient of federal bailout money, they are still taking my mom’s home away."

Will you send a letter to the CEO of OneWest urging them to get on board with the ‘Making Home Affordable’ plan?

It’s time for banks like OneWest to stop sucking up government money while running over taxpayers like Daniel’s mom, Irene.

There are too many people in this same boat.  In fact, Irene isn't the only mom who is facing foreclosure:  One out of fifty children are now homeless and these numbers are only expected to worsen as 2.4 million families are projected to lose their homes this year. Women, and particularly, women of color, are disproportionately affected by the sub-prime and housing crisis. The Consumer Federation of America found that women were 32 percent more likely to receive sub-prime loans than men, even though they had roughly the same credit scores. And this disparity rose with income level. Among high income earners, African American women were as much as five times more likely to receive sub-prime mortgages than white men.

Today, right now in fact, members of our partner organization, ACORN, are sitting-in at the offices of OneWest and the other three banks whose mortgage servicing companies won’t sign on to Obama’s Making Home Affordable plan (The other three are: Litton of Goldman Sachs, HomEq of Barclays, and American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc.).  They are doing this to put a spotlight on this issue because Daniel's mom isn’t the only one who needs help right now.  In fact, these four mortgage companies are responsible for the mortgages of 2 million American families.

Don’t forget to make sure these companies get the point by emailing their CEOs today.

It might be surprising that a woman who has lived in her home for 34 years would be at risk of foreclosure -- but Irene explains a situation that anyone could have encountered here:

“My husband was receiving dialysis three  times a week and suffering from chronic, congestive heart failure. He was vulnerable and realized he was on the verge of passing. He was worried that he’d leave me with $30,000 to $40,000 in credit card debt. With those concerns, we sought advice.

IndyMac advised us we would qualify for a loan based on our credit scores and the loan would “solve our problems.” They definitely preyed upon our vulnerability.

He died a month after we received the loan. Our fixed income was $2388.81 per month. With his passing, the income dropped to $1600.00 per month.  I continued to make payments, but they kept going up and up.  They went up so much that even if my husband was still alive, we would not have made them.”

We know that many of the people at risk of foreclosure are those bad situations because they were advised to take on loans that weren't all they appeared to be.  The Making Home Affordable program will help to right this wrong -- so thousands of people can stay in their homes. All the plan requires is that banks talk to homeowners to find a mutually agreeable solution -- one that allows homeowners to keep their homes and make their monthly payments, and ensures that investors' bottom lines are protected.

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