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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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News Archives » mortgage crisis

Northern Virginia Community Organization Develops $30 Million Redevelopment Fund October 1st, 2013

fd81abd254d7751c4d3d0b1efc49d95fVOICE, the northern Virginia community organization that has been addressing housing blight in the region, was highlighted in a Washington Post article recently. The organization has put together the $30 million “Prince William, VA Restoration Fund” from mortgage lenders responsible for a major foreclosure crisis in the area. The fund is designed to address neighborhood blight caused by the foreclosure & predatory loan crisis in town home communities like Georgetown South in Manassas, VA.  The Oblates have actively supported VOICE’s efforts to develop this community redevelopment fund through our activist shareholder connections.

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Religious Leaders Press JP Morgan Chase to Reinvest in Virginia County Hit Hard by Foreclosures June 20th, 2013

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI calls for justice from JP Morgan Chase

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI calls for investment in mortgage-devastated communities from JP Morgan Chase

Northern Virginia Religious leaders marched this morning to JP Morgan’s DC offices after the Bank refused to invest adequately in Prince William County, VA. The county was hard hit in the mortgage crisis, and the investment is needed to re-build the blighted communities.

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI and the Oblates, as investors in the major banks, have been supportive of the community effort to deal with the mortgage crisis, through VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement). Fr. Finn spoke at the rally, calling on the JP Morgan Chase to make a meaningful investment in the community. Watch a video of the speech on YouTube.

VOICE leaders plan to meet with Federal Regulators in the next month to ask them to sanction the bank for predatory lending practices, and to investigate credit card robo-signings in Northern Virginia.

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Fleeting Responsibility Abounds in 2013 January 30th, 2013

We were greeted in early January with yet another announcement about a settlement between regulators at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve with 10 major U.S. banks concerning charges of abusive and faulty practices in the home foreclosure process. This time the amount was $8.5 billion. It included relief of varying amounts of money for those who were victimized in the process.

Read more on Huffington Post…

VOICE Wins Significant Housing Agreement with Bank of America October 12th, 2012

On the evening of Monday October 1st, VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) had a remarkably successful action to push forward mortgage relief for affected homeowners in Prince William County, VA. Following all-day, intense negotiations, last minute accommodations, and a lot of fluid politics, 800+ VOICE leaders packed St Paul United Methodist Church in Woodbridge, VA and emerged with some impressive agreements.

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Angry Homeowners, Community Groups Protested at Wells Fargo AGM April 29th, 2012

Thousands of angry homeowners, immigrants, union members, Occupiers and community groups converged on the annual shareholders meeting of Wells Fargo Bank. In a carefully choreographed protest, simultaneous marches left Justin Herman Plaza on the city’s waterfront, site of the Occupy San Francisco encampment last fall. Demonstrators walked up parallel streets into the financial district, where they encircled the block in which the meeting was set to take place, in the Julia Morgan ballroom of the Merchant’s Exchange Building.

 A group of religious, union and community representatives had purchased shares of stock in the bank beforehand, supposedly allowing them to attend the shareholders meeting. Some even held proxies, allowing them to vote the stock belonging to others. As the rally swirled outside, and speeches and songs filled the streets now vacant of their normal traffic, the police closed off the building and refused to let the shareholders inside:

Wells Fargo blocked over a hundred legitimate shareholders from entering the meeting, saying that the room had reached maximum capacity. About 20 shareholders inside took turns interrupting the CEO while he tried to give his speech. They were escorted out of the meeting. The meeting ended in 37 minutes (compared to 2.5 hours in previous years), with not a single question, largely due to the turmoil both outside and inside the meeting and the fact that Wells packed the room with their own employees.

While the media coverage portrayed the events as part of the Occupy movement, PICO groups in the Bay Area, SEIU, NPA, ACCE, AJS, NBL and other organizing groups provided the core leadership for the event.



Faith Based Community Organizers host Public Gathering on Foreclosure Crisis in Virginia October 6th, 2011

On October 30th VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) member institutions will hold a public gathering with more than 1,000 people to celebrate progress on their recent campaigns, especially their work to address the foreclosure crisis in Prince William County, Manassas, & Manassas Park. The Oblates have supported VOICE’s work on foreclosures by having given the organization access to company meetings and  connecting them with other faith-based shareholder activists.

The upcoming action will be an opportunity to celebrate successes (in Prince William County and across Northern Virginia) and to announce next steps to address local reinvestment needs.

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and senior bank executives will be in attendance.

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