Governor Cuomo shouldn’t give relief money intended for struggling homeowners back to Wall Street criminals

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After fighting Wall Street criminals for years, it takes a lot to shock me. So congratulations to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for proposing an action so brazen, so breathtaking, so outrageous, it actually shocked me.

Here’s the deal. As you well know, last year JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13bn settlement for their criminal actions that helped create the Great Recession and enabled them to steal thousands of homes from struggling homeowners. $600 million of that goes to New York State and it’s supposed to be used for direct relief for homeowners.

But not if Gov. Cuomo has his way. You see his budget calls for stealing that money away from homeowners and using it to pay for the elimination of corporate taxes, including something called The Bank Tax. That’s right. Gov. Cuomo wants to steal the settlement money from struggling homeowners and give it back to Wall Street criminals.

Tell Gov. Cuomo: Don’t steal the relief money from struggling homeowners and give it back to Wall Street criminals. Ensure it get to the programs that will provide direct assistance to the homeowners hurt by Wall Street bankers.

The foreclosure and underwater crisis is still devastating our communities and the families and communities hardest hit are exactly the ones from which Gov. Cuomo proposes stealing. Recently, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was able to use $136 million from a previous settlement to help thousands of families stave off foreclosure. We need the $600 million to alleviate continuing pain.

This pain, which has affected almost every neighborhood, hasn’t, however, been spread around evenly. Communities of color lost the most when Chase and other Wall Street bankers pushed us into the Great Recession – the median black household lost almost 84% of its household wealth in the recession. Latinos lost 66%, while white households lost some 34%. Now Gov. Cuomo wants to keep it that way.

Tell Gov. Cuomo: Don’t steal the Chase settlement money from struggling New York families and give it back to Wall Street criminals.

I know by now that nothing related to Wall Street and elected officials should shock me. But the pure callousness behind this proposal caught me off guard. And if we let Gov. Cuomo get away with this, then Governors across the United States will think they can use this money for their pet projects or to pay of Wall Street criminals too. We can’t let that happen.

Tell Gov. Cuomo: Don’t steal the Chase settlement money from struggling New York families and give it back to Wall Street criminals.

In solidarity,

Nathan, Jeff, Shab, Kevin, and the entire Home Defenders League team

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