Civil Rights Groups Call On Congress To Assist Homeowners In Its Economic Recovery Package

Ensuring that homeowners can modify their loans is essential to stabilizing the economy

August 30, 2008

Washington, DC – Today, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) joined with national civil rights organizations from the Asian Pacific American and African American communities in a letter to leadership in the United States House of Representatives and Senate. The letter calls upon Congress to assist homeowners during the current economic crisis. (See Attached).

The initial failure to pass urgently needed relief provides an essential opportunity to add provisions that will ensure Americans of the safety and protection of their homes.

"Wall Street's weakness is felt by all Americans, including Latinos. The bail out must not lock out Latinos from their homes or from the economic protections afforded Wall Street,” said John Trasviña, President and General Counsel of MALDEF.

“Like all Americans, Latino families stand to benefit from a well-functioning Wall Street. However, no rescue package is complete without addressing the needs of millions of homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR.

To best address the needs of homeowners, the letter demands that a final recovery package include a systematic approach to enable families to modify loans purchased by the federal government; improvements to our nation’s bankruptcy laws to allow for courts to modify loans; and a moratorium on foreclosures while we wait for a rescue plan to take place.

“We call on Congress to pass a bill that will protect homeowners and American families, strengthen our financial system, and re-regulate the industry to ensure that the financial recklessness and predatory practices that led to this crisis will never be repeated,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales.

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