News & Media

Mike and Mary Ellen Fox Divest from B of A, Invite other Philanthropists to Move their Money

People Acting in Community Together (PACT San Jose)

November 3, 2011



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             

Nov. 3, 2011
San Jose, CA      


Mike and Mary Ellen Fox Divest from B of A, Invite other Philanthropists to Move their Money


At PACT Leadership Luncheon, long-time business and community leaders announce they will stand with struggling homeowners pressuring big banks to reduce principals on underwater mortgages

WHO: Mike and Mary Ellen Fox, of M.E. Fox & Company, and PACT faith and community leaders.
WHAT:  The closing of accounts of Silicon Valley multimillionaire philanthropists.
WHEN:    Friday, November 4, 2011, 11:00am
WHERE:  ME Fox and Company, 128 Component Drive, San José, CA 95131
WHY:   Fours years into the recession, the home foreclosure wave continues unabated.  This holds the economy down, as the housing market continues to languish, and is devastating millions of families across the country.  Bank Of America continues to be the largest holder of subprime loans in the country and has the worst record of modifying loans to keep families in their homes.  As a result of this ongoing unethical behavior, PACT, and its sister organizations around the country through PICO, along with a growing number of allied organizations, have launched a major campaign to hold the big banks accountable and, through divestment, to pressure them to change their corporate practices. 

Here are a few reasons why the Foxes and many others are divesting from Bank Of America:

1) Small-business lending: Bank of America went from being one of the top SBA lenders in 2006, making $415 million in loans to small businesses, to extending just $46 million in loans in 2010, an 89 percent drop.  Small businesses continue to report that access to capital is a growing problem (http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/big-banks-shrinking-as-s-b-a-lenders/)

2) Loan Modifications: After participating in the HAMP program for two-and-a-half years, Bank of America has made permanent loan modifications to just 136,000 families. Meanwhile, they've denied or canceled modification for 683,000 families. This means homeowners have a 1 out of 6 chance of getting a permanent HAMP modification with Bank of America.  In August 2011, the bank granted HAMP trial modifications to just 1% of eligible borrowers. (September HAMP numbers from Treasury)

3) BofA is not reducing homeowner debt: In 2010, nearly 95 percent of active, permanent loan modifications resulted in homeowners actually owing more debt on their homes than before the modification, according to a Congressional Oversight Panel report.  BofA needs to reduce the debt facing families, not tack on more! 

In San José, over 43,000 foreclosures are expected between 2008-2012. 3,535 of those foreclosures will have happened where the movement began, in Most Holy Trinity's zip code of 95122.

PACT and PICO congregations across the country are part of the New Bottom Line campaign, a national Bank Accountability campaign to stop preventable foreclosures and keep families in their homes. See the campaign in action: www.NewBottomLine.com

PACT: People Acting in Community Together is a multi-ethnic, interfaith organization that empowers people to create a more just community.  PACT represents 21 congregations and 50,000 people in Santa Clara County, and is part of the PICO National Network.  www.pactsj.org

PICO National Network has 52 affiliated federations working in 150 cities and 17 states and is more than one million families and one thousand congregations from 40 different denominations and faiths. www.piconetwork.org