Virginia Organizing Protests Bank of America for Funding Predatory Lenders
CHARLOTTESVILLE– On Saturday, February 25 at 11:00 am, Virginia Organizingsupporters and community members will be meeting at the Bank of America at the Barracks Road shopping center to move their money and call on others to do the same.
The action is part of an ongoing divestment campaign Virginia Organizing kicked off at the Wells Fargo on the downtown mall on October 14, 2011. The “Move Our Money” divestment campaign is part of a nationwide effort from the New Bottom Line, a national coalition of organizations whose goal is to take $1 billion of our money out of the big banks—Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo and put it into small banks and credit unions.
Saturday’s action comes after the Virginia General Assembly failed to pass any legislation this session to curb predatory lending in Virginia. One of the many reasons that Virginians are upset with the big banks is that they fund predatory lenders. Predatory lenders charge 300%APR and purposefully locate their shops in low-income minority communities and perpetuate a viscous cycle of debt for hard-working Virginians.
“Unfortunately, the Virginia General Assembly did nothing to curb predatory lending this session,” said Sandra Cook, Chairperson of Virginia Organizing. “Now we will turn to Bank of America and ask them to stop funding the predatory lenders that prey on our communities. Right now, big banks like Bank of America borrow money from the Federal Reserve at less than 1% interest, lend it out to predatory lenders at 3%, who turn around and lend it to our communities at 300% interest or more. We’re going to move our money until the big banks invest in our communities, instead of taking advantage of them.”
What:Predatory Lending Bank of America Action
When: Saturday, February 25 from 11 a.m.-12:00 noon
Where:Bank of America, Corner of Barracks Rd. and Emmett St. Barracks Road Shopping Center
Why Are We Moving Our Money from Bank of America?
We’re Moving our Money because…
1. Bank of America is foreclosing on American families and funding predatory lenders.
As of June 2010, BofA had $88 billion worth of foreclosed homes in its portfolio—more than any other mortgage servicer in the country. They are at the center of the foreclosure fraud scandal, have a terrible record of providing modifications to struggling homeowners. They also lend money to predatory lenders who then provide loans to Americans at interest rates as high as 400 percent!
2. Bank of America is putting a chokehold on lending to keep Americans out of work
Rather than investing in our communities to restart the economy, BofA is not lending to small businessesthat create jobs. In the two years after the bailout, BofA had a 97% drop in Small Business Administration loans!
3. Bank of America is not paying their fair share
BofA has $2.2 trillion in assets yet paid $0 in income taxes in 2009 and 2010, and has over 143 tax-sheltered overseas subsidiaries to get out of paying federal taxes.
4. Bank of America is stealing our democracy
BofA’s big dollars are getting our elected officials to rig the system and the rules. Since 2003 BofA has spent close to $20 million in lobbying against common sense reforms.
Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.