AlterNet reports that the mayor and board of trustees of the village of Hempstead, N.Y., together with New York Communities for Change, sent a message to JPMorgan Chase this week: If you ignore our citizens, we won't do business with you.
The village voted to pull all $12.5 million of its funds from JPMorgan Chase — which has the worst track record in New York when it comes to modifying loans — and has refused to do business with the bank until it improves its modification procedures.
Hempstead is the largest incorporated village in the United States, and the largest community of color on Long Island, making the bank's conduct especially significant there: Research from the Furman Center shows that African-American and Latino homeowners in New York are far less likely to receive loan modifications than white homeowners.
Wayne Hall, Hempstead's mayor, says that he's seen his community ravaged by the foreclosure crisis. "It's important that Chase and all the big corporate banks start to heed the minority communities," Hall said. "There's a lot of power in the minority communities. If we all stick together and start withdrawing our money out of these big banks and start putting it into more favorable banks, Chase will review its procedures for modifications."
Next week, New York will release an online tool that will allow residents to email their local elected officials to support similar resolutions. We hope they follow Hempstead's example and use it.
Read more at AlterNet.