Detroiters mobilize to resist:
- Mon. June 11, 8 AM—City Council and Mayor meet to discuss threat; be there early
- Wed. June 13, 8 AM–Busloads leave to attend lawsuit hearing in Mason
Analysis–by Diane Bukowski
June 10, 2012
DETROIT – Detroit is not in danger of going broke or otherwise facing disaster if Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon maintains her lawsuit, which asks to void the treacherous Public Act 4 consent agreement between city and state officials.
State Treasurer Andy Dillon, Deputy Treasurer Thomas Saxton, and/or U.S. Bank are threatening to withhold $80 million from the city if the lawsuit not withdrawn.On Monday, June 11 at 8 a.m, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council will meet in public session to discuss the threat.
Today, the Detroit Free Press called the lawsuit “suicidal defiance.” It told the city to “swallow its pride.”
This is a declaration that Detroiters HAVE NO RIGHT TO RESIST the fascist control of the state and banks like U.S. Bank.
Judges across the country have found U.S. Bank guilty of foreclosure fraud. The national Fair Housing Alliance filed a federal complaint April 12 claiming it discriminates against “communities of color” by letting foreclosed properties there go to rack and ruin while maintaining those in white neighborhoods.
What’s next—public whippings and lynchings of those who have defied the slavemasters to stand up for the constitutional and human rights of Detroiters?
“This is unconscionable,” former Charter Commissioner and long-time attorney Rosemary Robinson said. “I urge Attorney Crittendon to advance her defense of the people of Detroit by standing firm and allowing no coercion by the state. She is doing the right thing for the people she represents. The Council effectively destroyed representative government in this city and gave away the city’s assets. We are organized and being awakened. WE DO NOT CONSENT!”
Robinson is a member of “Free Detroit-No Consent,” which plans to take busloads to Mason, Michigan Wed. June 13 for the first hearing on the lawsuit before Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette. The buses will leave from Bethany Baptist Church at 15122 W. Chicago, east of Greenfield, at 8 a.m.
The consent agreement, whose actual language the corporate media has deliberately chosen to ignore, says the following regarding the threatened funds, which are part of a state loan, not a gift, to the city.
“The anticipated aggregate size of the refinancing is approximately $137 million, of which approximately $33 million will be used to refinance existing debt, and approximately $104 million will be placed in an escrow account and used to pay for costs of the Reform Program and for City operating expenses.”
The costs of the “Reform Program” are those imposed by the consent agreement. They include the salaries of a chief financial officer, program manager, nine-member Financial Advisory Board and their staff, as well as staff hired to carry out the down-sizing and eventual obliteration of Detroit.
Chief Financial Officer Jack Martin, appointed under the consent agreement with the joint approval of Mayor Dave Bing and Governor Rick Snyder, makes $220,000. It was Martin who declared the city will run out of money by the end of this week, but somehow will still make payroll.
He’s clearly concerned that HE will not get paid.
If the “escrow account” is intended to finance Detroit’s “operating expenses,” why does the city’s 2012-13 budget slash $250 million from city services? That includes the lay-offs of 2566 city workers, most of them residents and taxpayers in Detroit, and the dismantling of departments primarily funded by the federal government.
“We’re in a fight against violent people, because you are bringing death to our community,” Free Detroit member Tyrone Travis told the City Council June 5 during a session packed with angry residents, where a letter in support of Crittendon’s lawsuit was presented to Council.
The private sector is drooling at the mouth, waiting to snatch up hundreds of millions in grants for health care, job placement, prevention of foreclosures, evictions, and utilities shut-offs, day care, emergency food and clothing, home weatherization, and education under the Head Start program.
It is certain that those funds, under private control, will disappear down the same rathole where $23.7 trillion in taxpayer bail-outs of the banks went.
U.S. Bank is a subsidiary of US Bancorp, which has $341 billion in assets, making it one of the country’s top five banks. U.S. Bank has had control of Detroit’s purse strings since at least 2009. It makes a tidy profit in fees by acting as trustee over all city income from state revenue-sharing funds and casino taxes, to ensure that the city pays off its $12.6 billion debt to the banks on a regular basis.
US Bancorp also profited handsomely from the 2008 taxpayer bail-out of the banks. On the brink of failure, it got $6.6 billion in funds from the TARP program, along with unknown amounts given secretly to the banks under other programs. It re-paid the $6.6 billion in 2009, but raked in $334.2 million in profits off the deal. Revived by the bail-out, it has since continued to announce record profits.
Those profits have come at a hefty cost to poor communities nationwide.
On April 17. 2012, the National Fair Housing Alliance NFHA) announced that it had filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) against US Bancorp.
“Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and four of its member organizations announced a federal housing discrimination complaint against U.S. Bancorp and U.S. Bank National Bank Association,” NFHA said in a press release. “This complaint. . .is the result of an undercover investigation of U.S. Bank’s properties that found that its foreclosed properties in White areas are much better maintained and marketed than its properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods.”
Shanna Smith, NFHA President and CEO, said in the release, “Our findings underscore the obvious: properties that are poorly maintained not only lose value but have a higher likelihood of selling to an investor, rather than to a family. U.S. Bank is making it harder for the market to come back in communities of color.”
Gail Williams, Executive Director of Metro Fair Housing Services, Inc. in Atlanta, GA said, “Without routine maintenance, these properties have become an eyesore for Atlanta’s neighborhoods and should be an embarrassment for U.S. Bank. Atlanta’s neighborhoods are being victimized over and over again by the Big Banks; first with predatory loans, then denying loan modifications, through the foreclosure crisis, and now with poorly maintained REO [real-estate owned] properties.”
Judges have also found US Bancorp guilty of foreclosure fraud in several high-profile cases. In a 2011 ruling on the Ibanez case, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts held that U.S. Bank had not proven it had the right to foreclose on a homeowner , since it didn’t have title to the property.
An article in FireDogLake, (link below), summarized the ruling.
“In a major ruling in the Massachusetts Supreme Court today, US Bank and Wells Fargo lost the “Ibanez case,” meaning that they don’t have standing to foreclose due to improper mortgage assignment. The ruling is likely to send shock waves through the entire judicial system, and seriously raise the stakes on foreclosure fraud. Bank stocks are plummeting at this hour.”
Earlier, in 2011, a Florida case, U.S. Bank v Ernest Harpster, a judge ruled that “fraud” was involved in another U.S. Bank foreclosure case.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog said, “U.S. Bank v Ernest Harpster was dismissed last month by Judge Lynn Tepper of Pasco County after she found that an “assignment of mortgage” filed in the case, which was meant to show how U.S. Bank obtained ownership of the mortgage, was false. . . .Thus the bank couldn’t show it owned the property before the foreclosure suit was filed, the judge found. The Law Offices of David J. Stern, which represented the bank, prepared the document. The document was ‘fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead,’ Judge Tepper ruled.”
The Wall Street Journal article and others related to these cases and others indicates that such mortgage foreclosure fraud remains rampant throughout the U.S., even after the 2008 taxpayer bail-out of the banks.
U.S. Bank (US Bancorp) and its minions in state government are now threatening foreclosure of the entire city of Detroit. Detroiters must rise up to put a stop to these criminal practices and demand lengthy terms in prison for the guilty parties.
Buses to hearing in Mason, MI to leave from Bethany Baptist Church at 15122 W. Chicago (e. of Greenfield), Wed. April 13, 2012 at 8 a.m. Be there 7:30 am. Call Free Detroit at 313-444-0061 to register.