NYC unions and Comptroller John Liu pressure banks over foreclosures

NYHTC — July 26, 2010

As reported in the New York Times and The Nation, the New York Hotel Trades Council is joining New York City Comptroller John Liu and several other major unions in pressuring large banks to do more to help homeowners threatened with foreclosure.

With 13 percent of all mortgages in New York State past due or already in foreclosure, this action by "the most powerful local union presidents and the city's chief financial officer" is a significant step and an indication that even stronger steps may be taken in the future.

The unions and Liu are jointly sending a letter to the heads of a number of large banks, including Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America, demanding answers about what these banks are doing both to avert foreclosures and to help homeowners whose homes are already being foreclosed on. They call for the banks to appoint high-level officials to aid homeowners trying to modify their mortgages and avoid going into foreclosure. The letter criticizes the banks' responses to these homeowners in distress, citing "unanswered phone calls, delays [ ... ] and multiple requests for homeowners to resend paperwork [that they have] already submitted."

Other unions supporting this action include 1199 SEIU, DC 37, TWU Local 100, UFT, and Local 32BJ SEIU. As city comptroller, John Liu oversees the city's finances, including its pension fund. Together, the city government and these large unions have billions of pension fund dollars in these major banks.

Greenhouse, Steven. New York Presses Banks on Foreclosures. New York Times. July 13, 2010.