New York Homeowners and Activists Call on Gary Ackerman to Sever Ties with Big Banks and Start Representing Constituents

*Tele-Conference Tuesday, June 22nd, 12:30pm; Call In: (218) 339-3600, Code: 472 392*

[New York, NY]--As the conference committee proceeds in the final stages of writing the financial regulatory reform bill, a group of advocates and New York homeowners facing foreclosure are calling on Congressman Gary Ackerman to cut the ties to corporate and Wall Street lobbyists, and support a bill that puts New York consumers first.

Homeowner Jean Sassine lost his job and his family's health insurance at the start of the financial crisis.  Shortly afterwards he found out that his wife required surgery.  He made the choice to save his wife but fell behind on his mortgage payments because of it and has not been able to catch up since.  For more than two years, Sassine has been trying to get Chase to modify his mortgage, but all he gets are requests to turn in his paperwork over and over and over again.

Deregulation was a fundamental cause of the financial crisis that has cost more than 8 million jobs, along with trillions of dollars in lost wealth. The reckless and irresponsible behavior of the big Wall Street banks has done overwhelming harm.

Instead of standing up for the thousands of New York families who are struggling to stay in their homes, Congressman Ackerman is working to weaken financial reform.


Tuesday, June 22nd, 12:30pm


Tele-press conference call-in number: (218) 339-3600; Code 472 392


Homeowners facing foreclosure, NYPIRG, NYCC, Demos, NEDAP, Working Families Organization, Citizen Action and others.


Activists ask Congressman Ackerman and the entire New York delegation to use their influence in Congress to support consumers, not Wall Street banks, and ask him to fight to ensure that the following protections are included in the final legislation.

--Protect Consumers.  Congress must create an effective Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with enough tools to really get the job done.  Auto dealers want a special exemption from oversight; payday lenders want a special say in how the rules are written.  Congress should reject both of these unfair provisions.  And, Congress should make sure the CFBP is led by a single director and has a guaranteed source of adequate funding.

--End the Casino Economy.  Derivatives are a $600 trillion unregulated ticking time bomb at the center of our economy.  We need to fix them, or we’ll face another meltdown.  The fix is to bring them into the light with clearing and exchange trading, and separate them from regular banking with Senate Section 716.

--Shine Light on ALL the Players.  This includes the $600 trillion “derivatives” market (see above), private equity, hedge funds, credit ratings agencies, and the Federal Reserve Board.  All these pieces of the puzzle must be brought into the light and reformed to serve the real economy.

--Safeguard the System.  A strong “Volcker Rule” with the Merkley Levin language will protect regular Americans from Wall Street’s mistakes; Congress must include it in the final bill.  Congress should limit interconnectedness and make sure that banks and speculators—not taxpayers—pay the costs when financial institutions fail.

--Protect Investors.  Right now, your financial advisor isn’t bound by law to put your interests first when advising you.  The House bill would make this common sense change and Congress must include this provision.


Tim Rusch,, 212-389-1407
Ann Sullivan 347-410-6919 x. 266