Open letter to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and the Democratic Leadership concerning the lack of leadership addressing bank fraud legislation
By Alfred Lambremont Webre
WATCH STATEMENT BY DANIEL L. FIEVEZ ON YOU TUBE
SEATTLE, WA. – On behalf of the organization Bank Reform, Seattle resident Daniel L. Fievez released a February 7, 2016 Open Letter Open letter to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and the Democratic Leadership concerning the lack of leadership addressing bank fraud legislation.
Text of the Open Letter
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE AND THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP CONCERNING THE LACK OF LEADERSHIP IN ADDRESSING BANK FRAUD LEGISLATION
I come to you with impeccable Democratic credentials. While too young to vote for Kennedy in 1960 I was on the streets supporting him. I have been involved in a democratic campaign almost every year since 1968. As a PCO in the 32nd, 37th, and 34th district I have helped elect Democrats to the house and Senate. As a board member and former vice president of Seattle’s Metropolitan Democratic club I have furthered the issues of the progressive ideas of the Democratic Party. Now I come to you with the most serious issue facing our state and nation, and I ask for your action.
As we are all aware, the largest fraud committed in the history of the United States started with the repeal of the Glass/Steagall Act in 1998 under President Clinton. This fraud was exacerbated in 2001 when the major banks joined together to securitized loans without the borrowers permission, or giving the borrower’s legal and rightful commission. The fraud was exposed to the country in 2007 and 2008 when bank failures produced the greatest recession since the Great Depression of 1929, also caused by the banks, some of them the same ones, in particular J.P. Morgan Chase. This bank fraud came home to me on September 25, 2008, when Washington Mutual failed and my loan was purchased by J.P. Morgan Chase for six cents on the dollar. (About $30,000). Since then the Washington state legislature has not passed one piece of constructive legislation to deal with the problem. The Foreclosure (Un) Fairness Act is a total farce. Every attorney one talks to states that the FFA is just a speed bump to foreclosure. The Deed of Trust Act allows banks to foreclose without proof of ownership. I, and countless others have come to the legislature over the last six years to try to get the laws changed to recognize some legal fairness. We have all sat quietly in front of the hearings while lobbyist for the banks have persuaded the legislative committees of how fair and honest they are. Just last month I attended a House hearing where only three of the legislators were present. For my effort spending nearly a day coming down from Seattle I received two minutes time. The lobbyist received a private meeting. I next attended the Senate hearing, where no private citizen was allowed to speak, only the lobbyist for the banks and the people from the Department of Commerce told how wonderful that the FFA legislation was in producing results. Any casual observation shows the total disaster this legislation. As a person who has participated twice in mediation I can testify personally to the incompetence of the department and the corruption of the mediators. On January 28, several of us traveled to Olympia to speak before the House Judiciary Committee. When the bill came up for consideration, it had been changed from its original wording, and after the lobbyist for the bank spoke, the meeting was canceled. With some small measure of apology, we were notified that we might have an opportunity to speak on a conference call for two minutes each on February 2nd. On February 2 I again returned with many others to hold a rally on homelessness between the Senate and House buildings. A woman, Karen Pooley and I went to see if we could talk to State Representative Lauri Jinkins, though we were only asking questions, a house guard was called, and we were escorted into the hall for causing a “disturbance”. We then went to State Representative Orwall’s office. When Karen mentioned to her aid, that Representative Orwall had told the aide last summer that “ she was sick and tired of the DTA”, the same house guard accompanied by an armed Washington state patrolman again escorted us into the hallway. Neither of us created the “disturbance” of which we were accused, but we both agreed that we were also “sick and tired of the DTA as written. Later, we all gathered at the plaque between the buildings to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the progress of legislation. The group numbered well under 50, and was composed of well-dressed people over 50 years old, some with their walkers and one in a wheelchair. Within minutes five armed Washington State Patrol surrounded the meeting. When I asked one of the patrolmen why they were there, he pointed to the House of Representatives building, and stated that a legislator had said there was a disturbance. When I asked him if he could see a disturbance, he declined comment. This outrageous behavior by our Democratic State Legislators is unacceptable. That afternoon we were allowed to call in. To start with Representative Jinkins admonished us for the “disturbance” that did not happen. We were allowed to speak out two minutes, but with only Representatives Jinkins and Orwall on the phone. I doubt that the other 11 Representatives listened to our points of view.
This behavior is totally unacceptable by our elected officials, particularly Democrats. In all my years of political activism I have never been treated with such distain!
There are now four Washington State Supreme Court decisions clearly outlining the severe deficiencies in the laws concerning the banking industry and the foreclosure process. Countless lawsuits, at great expense, and personal suffering have also concluded the deficiencies in the present law. It is the responsibility of our legislature, and our governor to correct this egregious failures this year. More micromanaging the legislation in favor of the banks is totally unacceptable, particularly for Democrats who purport to be the People’s party.
Therefore I am asking the following:
1) Gov. Inslee, placed an executive order stopping all foreclosures until proper and decent legislation is passed.
2) Gov. Inslee, if the legislature will not act during their normal course of session, call a special session, and make them deal with the problem.
3) House Speaker Frank Chopp, majority leader Gael Tarelton, Senate Minority leader Sharon Nelson, introduce legislation that will correct the deficiencies.
4) If need be, change the leadership of the House Judiciary Committee.
I suggest the following:
1) Eliminate FFA all together.
2) Change the DTA from a “Non-Judicial Foreclosure State” to a “Judicial Foreclosure State”
3) Insist that before any proceeding starts by a bank that they prove the actual note holder.
4) Insist that any money that the bank has received outside of the borrowers obligation to pay be deducted from the amount owing, as they have already received payment. This must include monies received from securitization, insurance payments and any other monies received, legal or illegal. (In my case this would include the tremendous discount that J.P. Morgan received for taking over my loan).
In conclusion, it is years past time that the Democratic House and Senate represent the citizens of the State of Washington, not the banks, their lawyers, and their lobbyists. Being surrounded by armed state troopers reminded me of the civil rights movement of the 1960s where that each time people stood up for the rights of the Blacks they were surrounded by public officials and often beaten and killed. How many lives must be destroyed here in the State of Washington before our elected officials will stand up and do the right thing?
Thank you for your consideration.
Daniel L. Fievez
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