I believe in rewarding good behavior. This is an example of the NAACP actually doing something useful to members that is also relevant on a national scale. Had the U.S. government acted to protect minorities from exploitation via sub-prime mortgages in the first place, perhaps the economic situation wouldn’t be so bad. Now it’s time for the gubment to step up. Kudos to Ben Jealous and co. for identifying an important step in the right direction.  Dig (from the email alert):

Friday, the NAACP filed lawsuits against two of the country’s largest lenders, Wells Fargo and HSBC, to address the systematic, racially discriminatory practices in sub-prime home mortgage lending. The mortgage crisis has hit the African American community especially hard because minorities have, for decades, been targets of predatory, unethical sub-prime lenders.

While we tackle the mortgage crisis in the courts, we’re also working to put pressure on Washington legislators to help homeowners nationwide.

You can help families stay in their homes by urging your senators to pass the Save Homes bill. This bill could help 1.8 million families save their homes at no additional cost to taxpayers or investors.

This bill, which was already passed by the House of Representatives March 5, would allow bankruptcy judges to restructure mortgages and get homeowners into long-term sustainable loans for the true market value of their homes — and prevent foreclosures.

The background: In 2006 and 2007, at least half of all the home loans sold to African Americans and at least 40% of all the home loans that Latinos received were sub-prime. Lenders pushed sub-prime loans to people of color even when they had good credit! In fact, communities of color will lose an estimated $213 billion of wealth as the result of foreclosures that are due to abusive, racially discriminatory sub-prime lending. That’s why predatory lending and home foreclosures are a major civil rights issue in America today!

In addition to this bill, the NAACP is pushing for legislation to:

  • Protect Americans from predatory lending;
  • Establish at least a 9-month moratorium on foreclosures;
  • Provide protections for renters who are affected by foreclosures;
  • Ensure the availability of more low and moderately priced good quality housing; and
  • Ensure that lenders enter into more loan modification negotiations, and do not automatically foreclose on a family’s home.

Please, click here to e-mail your U.S. senators and ask them to support the Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009.

Help if you can.

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