Success in Helping Homeowners in Distress

Over the last two months the National Asian American Coalition (NAAC) has opened two new offices in California to serve both homeowners- and consumers-in-distress. Prior to our October 18th Annual Economic Development and Empowerment Conference, we plan to open one additional homeowner-in-distress and consumer protection office in the hard-hit Sacramento area.

San Joaquin Valley Oce: On May 31st, the NAAC proudly opened its first office in Fresno in order to directly serve the vast majority of San Joaquin Valley’s homeowners in distress. This is the poorest area in California, and one of the hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. We met with seven major banks just before the opening to address the region’s problems and opportunities

Solano and Contra Costa Oce: On June 1st, the NAAC held the grand opening for its Hercules office, which serves the hardest hit areas of Solano, Contra Costa and Alameda counties, as well as counties to the east of Sacramento. This even, where many bank representatives spoke (including from Bank of America, US Bank and JP Morgan Chase), was attended by over 325 homeowners-in-distress.

Wells Fargo Homeowner Event in San Diego

In addition to our new office openings, the NAAC has held 18 events in the last three months benefiting homeowners throughout the State of California. A striking example of this was the joint effort by Wells Fargo and the NAAC at the San Diego Concourse on Saturday, July 13th, to hold an exclusive workshop for Wells Fargo homeowners-in-distress. In addition, we are organizing a follow up Virtual Event on August 3rd at our San Diego office. All of Wells Fargo’s key personnel necessary to ensure a loan modification or a graceful exit were present on site to ensure direct homeowner contact.

“The recent foreclosure prevention workshop we organized with the NAAC on July 13th is one of several ways Wells Fargo responsibly reaches out to help homeowners facing financial hardships,” said Joe Ohayon, director of community outreach with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

“I’m 80 years old. After two years, my loan is finally being modified thanks to Wells Fargo and the NAAC.” – Apolonia Radovan

“I went with very low expectations to the NAAC and Wells Fargo event but my wife and I were very pleased that we received a reduction to our loan payments, especially since I am recently retired.” – Jose Tamayo

Special Congratulations

Congratulations to California Governor Jerry Brown on achieving a balanced budget. The NAAC also applauds the Governor’s success in ensuring greater assistance to poorer school districts. (The Asian American future is in quality education for our children.)

Also, a special congratulations to Wells Fargo and its CEO John Stumpf for leading the nation in corporate philanthropy to the underserved ($317 million in 2012). This is far more than larger banks, such as JP Morgan Chase awarded, and far more than Apple, Google, Exxon and Chevron, awarded.

Developing a Bipartisan California

Given the increasingly partisan politics on a national level and in order to prevent the same in California, the NAAC and its many allies in the Black and Latino community, including Orange County-based Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies and Cornerstone Church of San Diego, have reached out to the top three state Republican leaders (Jim Brulte, Chairman of the California Republican Party; Assemblywoman Connie Conway, leader of the California Assembly; and Senator Bob Huff, Minority Leader of the California Republican Senate). As a result, Black, Hispanic and Asian advocates have met with the Republican leadership on three occasions since May, including: (a) the Orange County Ecumenical Center breakfast with 50 minority pastors; (b) addressing the largest Black church congregation in Orange County, Christ Our Redeemer AME Church; and (c) addressing the congregation at the largest Hispanic Evangelical church in San Diego, Cornerstone Church of San Diego.

Similar minority invitations have been made to Governor Brown and the Democratic leadership. It is our expectation that over the next decade this will lead to effective bipartisan approaches to most of the key social and economic problems confronting our state’s 25 million minorities, including six million Asian Americans.

Washington, D.C. Advocacy Efforts

The NAAC was a leading participant at the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) July 15th panel discussing innovative methods for protecting immigrant families from a broad range of fraud.

A copy of our testimony is available at http://naacoalition.org/july-newsletter-attachments/

The NAAC was a leading participant at the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) July 22nd roundtable to promote greater competition and public interest among telecommunication and cable television companies. The NAAC, a long-time advocate of rewarding corporations that make public interest commitments to underserved communities, urged the FCC to follow the advice of its soon-to-be new chairman, Tom Wheeler. Specifically, that the FCC and other regulators should use the bully pulpit to encourage public interest commitments as an alternative to imposing densely worded regulatory requirements.

A copy of our testimony is available at http://naacoalition.org/july-newsletter-attachments/

Our Chief Deputy in charge of the Washington, D.C. regulatory and congressional liaison office, Mia Martinez, was reappointed to the FCC Consumer Advisory Council and selected to be the co-chair of its Broadband Working Group.

The NAAC met with Ed Demarco, acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), to discuss a major plan to revitalize hard-hit neighborhoods with a focus on returning veterans. The plan included giving special priority for HUD-approved nonprofit home counseling organizations, instead of investors, to acquire foreclosed properties (REOs) in order to revitalize neighborhoods.

In support of the program discussed with the FHFA, the NAAC met with the leadership of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to discuss the possibility of nonprofits purchasing non-performing notes to avoid foreclosure and to help revitalize neighborhoods.

The NAAC’s Neighborhood Revitalization Plan includes efforts to upgrade the landscaping and local government services in hard-hit neighborhoods in order to increase not just the value of an individual home, but also the value of all homes in the entire neighborhood. This plan, if instituted nationwide, could assist half of the estimated 10 million underwater homeowners, as it could raise their home values by up to 20 percent.

Federal Filings Against Cigarette Industry and Hedge Funds Before the Food & Drug Administration and the Securities & Exchange Commission

On July 1st the NAAC filed comments with the Food & Drug Administration urging that vulnerable youth be protected from what will soon be a $50 billion a year e-cigarette industry.

A copy of our filing is available at http://naacoalition.org/july-newsletter-attachments/

On July 3rd the NAAC filed an action opposing the Security & Exchange Commission’s decision to allow hedge funds to advertise and promote their high-risk investment products to vulnerable Asian American and minority audiences. The filing was made in the context of hedge fund investments having an annualized return lower than that of readily available and far safer alternative investment products, such as mutual funds or indexed stock and/or bond funds.

A copy of our filing is available at http://naacoalition.org/july-newsletter-attachments/

Update on October 18th Annual Economic Development and Empowerment Conference and Special Town Hall Meeting

Keynote speaker James Doty, the Chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the federal entity that regulates all auditing), will also hold a special private lunch hosted by the NAAC with the leaders of the 25 largest CPA firms.

These CPA firms perform audits for all of our sponsors and all Fortune 500 corporations. The focus will be on financial education, greater minority participation at the highest levels of the profession, and truly independent audits that have the confidence of all of our banking and utility regulators.

Keynote speakers Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Raskin, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance Mary Miller, and Comptroller of the Currency Tom Curry have all agreed to a unique (we believe it to be the first ever in California) Town Hall meeting at our October conference. Participants will include community leaders, the banking industry and other financial institutions.

Empowering Communities: Nonprofit Summit in San Diego

With the assistance of major Black and Latino church leaders and diverse nonprofits, the NAAC recently held four community organizing summits in San Diego, attended by over a hundred nonprofit organizations. The impetus for these summits was the growing concern shared among nonprofits that San Diego receives an inadequate percentage of state and federal resources and far less than its fair share of corporate philanthropy.

As a result of these summits, the NAAC will coordinate and organize with the nonprofit attendees a series of bipartisan Town Hall meetings with all of San Diego’s congresspersons and state legislators. In addition, the nonprofits will seek meetings with the CEOs of the largest corporations headquartered in, or doing business in, the County of San Diego (San Diego’s 3.2 million residents are greater than the populations of 20 states, including Iowa and Nevada).

Nonprofit groups from the San Joaquin Valley (population of four million) have asked for a similar nonprofit summit early next year given the recent opening of our Fresno office.

A Post-Nuclear Environment and Energy Conservation

The NAAC has intervened in four cases currently before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) relating to safe nuclear energy and the need for greater energy conservation. In the context of the permanent closings of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station owned by Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric and the temporary closing of PG&E’s nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon, California must rely increasingly on energy conservation. Meetings have already been held with the CEO of PG&E, Anthony Earley, and the President of Southern California Edison, Ron Litzinger. Our October 18th conference keynote speaker CPUC Commissioner Carla Peterman, an energy expert, will address this issue at a special community forum on the day of our conference. It is expected that a major utility consumer energy conservation plan will be completed soon thereafter.

 

National Asian American Coalition Oces

San Diego | Daly City | Milpitas | Fresno | Hercules and Washington D.C.

 

Daly City Headquarters:

15 Southgate Avenue, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92126

Phone (650) 952-0522 | Fax (650) 952-0530

info@naacoalition.org | www.naacoalition.org