Fil-Am group pushes Gov. Brown to return $331M to struggling homeowners

DALY CITY, Calif. – A court has ruled that California must pay back $331 million it took from a fund intended to help troubled home loan borrowers. But the Filipino-led National Asian American Coalition or NAAC said their fight for justice is not over.

“Governor Brown and the legislators have to figure out a way to return that money back. Money that was borrowed should be returned, ” said Faith Bautista, president and CEO of NAAC.

NAAC said Governor Jerry Brown may actually delay the return of the money for years.

Bob Gnaizda, general counsel of NAAC said, “The governor is being advised by his legal counsel to avoid responsibility for the court order specifically they’re telling the governor to wait it out two more years by appealing and maybe it will last three plus years and he won’t even be governor then.”

Part of the $25 billion settlement from major banks intended to help distressed homeowners was used to balance the state’s budget.

These advocates said the money needs to be returned right away so more homeowners could be helped with principal reduction, reinstatement of their loans, relocation assistance and credit restoration.

Bautista explained, “There are still 800,000 homeowners in California that need help in loan modification, short sale. They’re still in distress. But Governor Brown refused to give back the money, so we filed a lawsuit.”

Freddie Castaneda, who has been helped in the past by NAAC, said California should come to the aid of struggling homeowners right away. “It’s very urgent because people need the help. $331 million will help so many people,” said Castaneda.

Ten-year-old Jasper Kung said someday, his parents would like to buy a home, and money coming from California would certainly help. His personal message to Governor Brown: “Can you please give back the money to us, to help my family, to help poor people get their house?”

Fourteen Republican state legislators have signed a petition urging Governor Brown to return the money right away. Advocates are also asking support from Democratic leaders and are encouraging kababayans to write their representatives and senators. They said this would put pressure on Governor Brown to finally do the right thing.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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