2008-04-18 / Top Stories

US Treasurer Coming To Council District

Escobedo-Cabral To Address Foreclosure Crisis
By Howard Schwach

US Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral. US Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral. Ann Escobedo Cabral, the Treasurer of the United States, will address Councilman James Sanders and his constituents at the "Rescue Your Home" seminar hosted by the Councilman. The seminar, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at PS 156, 229-02 137 Avenue in Laurelton on April 19, will focus on a discussion of the initiatives the federal government has developed to address the foreclosure crisis in the 31st Council District, which includes Far Rockaway.

"Our district is 'ground zero' for foreclosures," Sanders told The Wave this week. "We have been preyed upon by predatory lenders and our folk are at risk for losing their homes."

Sanders said that he saw the problem coming, and that he sponsored "the toughest predatory lending bill in the nation."

That bill, however, was fought by the banks and other commercial interests and was overturned by the court.

"That bill would have saved the homes of thousands of people," Sanders said. "Thousands still sit on the edge of losing their homes, because they purchased something they couldn't sustain, when convinced by those lenders that there was no problem."

He added that there are a number of streets in Far Rockaway and Bayswater that each have several homes for sale or in foreclosure.

"The Treasury Department is the agency entrusted to get us out of this mess," Sanders said. "It is also he agency that allowed it to happen, and it was not as diligent as it should have been. We need to know how this district is going to benefit from the new federal programs."

"This is not academic, not a term paper assignment," the Councilman added. "This is people being ravaged. We need the Treasurer to look into our eyes and tell us that she is doing all that can be done. They can bail out Bear-Stearns, why not our neighborhoods? It can't be socialism for the commercial world and capitalism for the people."

The seminar hosted by Sanders on April 19 is the first in a series designed to deal with the foreclosure and subprime problem in Rockaway and mainland neighborhoods in his district.

"The residents of my communities have been struggling to sustain the dream of owning a home," he said. "These workshops will provide them with the tools, knowledge and expertise they need to make sure they do not fall victim to this crisis."

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