The following was written by Mike Reed of the South Suburban MoveOn Council.
Citizens who are concerned about the huge increases in home foreclosures in Illinois are meeting at the Bank of America, 4800 Southwick Drive (Rt. 30 and Cicero Ave.) Matteson, at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday to speak against the often illegal practices of mortgagers—and in support of Illinois House Bill 5665, which they hope will pass through the legislature and help put an end to the problem.
Although February figures reflected a slight slowdown in the number of such actions across a multi-county area, the most recent statistics for March show a significant increase.
And leading the way nationwide is Bank of America, which has attracted considerable negative publicity for engaging in highly-questionable dealings.
Specifically, in the counties of McHenry, Dupage, Will, Kendall, Cook, Kane, and Lake, percentages of foreclosures rose an average of 15.2 percent. McHenry County had the least rise at 5.8 percent, but the combined averages for Cook, Kane, and Lake have gone up to well over 20 percent. While actual figures vary based on populations, the number of homeowners recently affected has hit the thousands.
On hand at Wednesday's rally will be David Lowery, president of the Chicago Far-South Suburban branch of the NAACP, who has studied the illegality of many of these foreclosures. He will speak at length on the subject and on legal responses, after which citizens who have been hurt by these actions will have an opportunity to share their personal stories.
For far too long, BOA and other mega-banks have abused their power over economically-stressed homeowners, despite their having been bailed out by taxpayers and receiving substantial tax exemptions that amount to billions of dollars. The rally’s organizers urge all foreclosure victims to show up and make their voices heard in protest. The consequence for not getting actively involved in this cause will be ever-worsening misery for too many.