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Rainbow PUSH Coalition Rallies at Bank of America to Save Homes & Churches

February 22, 2010

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s One Thousand Churches Connected and North Carolina Power will rally tonight, tomorrow and attend a meeting of Bank of America shareholders to make the following points:

1. Principal reductions are needed to save homes and stabilize the economy

2. Bank of America must dramatically improve the number and rate of permanent loan modifications

The overhang of toxic debt is stymieing economic recovery and consigning millions of American families to the economic sidelines. We cannot afford to continue in this direction. So far, we have relied upon the goodwill of banks to offer permanent loan modifications on reasonable terms. It is time for banks and the Congress to act to implement systematic, comprehensive solutions to the crisis. Another 2-3 millions families will face foreclosure this year if we do not act now.

None of the banks are offering principal reductions, despite the fact that residential properties have taken a 25-50% hit in value. Unlike commercial property and automobile loans, homeowners cannot modify their loans as a matter of right. This must change. Argument against “paying what the property is worth” have bullied and confused members of Congress.

Rev. Jackson, North Carolina United Power, and a coalition of local, national and regional clergy, unions, homeowners and political leaders are calling on Bank of America and other lenders to urgently expand and improve its programs to provide permanent loan modifications for distressed homeowners and churches. We also call on lenders to stop the avalanche of lobbying that has paralyzed the Congress

“We’ve got to find comprehensive solutions to keep people in their homes and places of worship,” said Rev. Jackson. “Banks must do more than do trial loan modifications that reduce interest rates and monthly payments. They must reduce the principal on mortgages and support legislation empowering judges to modify home loans in bankruptcy proceedings. Banks have been bailed out, but homeowners have been left out.”

On January 2, the New York Times reported that less than1% of almost four million homeowners facing foreclosure received permanent modifications. As many as 15 million homeowners may face foreclosure as the housing and foreclosure tsunami continues unabated.

Other events taking place Monday and Tuesday:

Monday, February 22

On-Site Loan Modification

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

St. Paul Baptist Church

1401 N. Allen Street

Charlotte, N.C. 28205

**Participants should bring proof of income, a written letter of hardship and a copy of a family/household budge

Clergy Meeting and Rally

5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

St. Paul Baptist Church

1401 N. Allen Street

Charlotte, N.C. 28205

**Rev. Jesse Jackson and a delegation of religious and community leaders will meet with Bank of America officials on housing and lending issues Monday afternoon.

Tuesday, February 23

9:00 a.m.

100 North Tryon Street

Charlotte, NC 28202

**Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, North Carolina United Power and a host of religious, community and housing organizations will convene in the plaza at Bank of America headquarters.

Special Shareholders meeting with Bank of America

10:00 a.m.

International Trade Center

200 North College Street

Charlotte, N.C. 28202

**Reverend Jackson will lead a delegation and will address the shareholders with remarks on the home foreclosure crisis and the corporate social responsibility of Bank of America.

**Press availability following the shareholder meeting.

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366.