Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NAACP urges President Obama to ensure that funds to help financial institutions preserve accountability of those who discriminated in lending

On January 12, 2009 then-President Bush, at the request of incoming President Obama, asked Congress to release the second half of the $700 billion appropriated in October to help the ailing financial services industry. Congress, which had 15 days to reject the request, has agreed to it and the second $350 billion appears poised to go to the Department of Treasury on January 27, 2009. The legislation to provide the remaining $350 billion is known as T.A.R.P., the Troubled Asset Recovery Program.

Due to years of discriminatory and unscrupulous lenders targeting their predatory loans to racial and ethnic minority Americans, and disproportionately African Americans, our Nation's foreclosure crisis has disparately affected America's communities of color. For this reason, the NAACP is especially concerned that 

  1. at no point are financial institutions allowed immunity for their past discriminatory activities; 
  2. the taxpayer money being spent to help financial institutions stay afloat directly benefits homeowners facing foreclosure; and 
  3. the financial institutions be obliged to ensure that credit, which is currently difficult to obtain for many small businesses, especially women-owned businesses and those owned by minorities, be made available. 
As such, we are urging President Obama and his administration to resist any calls from financial institutions that would result in their not being held accountable for their past discriminatory actions which led in a major way to this financial crisis, especially when those actions disproportionately targeted and harmed racial and ethnic minorities and other vulnerable populations. We are also urging the Obama administration to use a large portion of the $350 billion about to be released to require that financial institutions assist homeowners facing foreclosure enter into loan modifications that result in enabling them to stay in their homes while still paying sustainable, market-rate mortgages. Finally, we are calling for the Administration to ensure that a significant portion of the $350 billion is provided to smaller financial institutions that service small women-and minority-owned businesses.

Please CLICK HERE for the action we need you to take...

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