|Chicago Tribune staff reporter
Rev. Jesse Jackson joined with Chicago legislators and aldermen Tuesday to highlight what he described as an “economic tsunami” of foreclosures that are expected to affect homeowners unable to meet higher mortgage payments when their subprime loans jump to higher rates this year.
Jackson said 2 million U.S. homeowners faced foreclosure at the end of last year and the rates on another 2 million subprime loans are expected to change, or reset, this year, leaving families vulnerable to eviction and driving down property values, especially in African-American and Latino neighborhoods.
“We need to declare a moratorium on the resets and choose massive restructuring on the loans rather than massive repossessing,” Jackson said.
“Whole communities are sinking.”
Jackson and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) said they plan to invite major mortgage lenders such as National City Bank, Countrywide Financial Corp. and Washington Mutual to a Jan. 25 meeting and urge them to help families at risk of foreclosure by restructuring subprime loans.
“It will be a full-fledged discussion looking for solutions,” Davis said. In addition, Davis urged families to seek help from community organizations and housing assistance groups if they are facing foreclosures.