Freeport breaks with Chase Bank over mortgage practices

FREEPORT - The Village of Freeport has decided to close its Chase accounts, saying that the bank is not helping struggling Long Islanders to avoid foreclosures.

According to New York Communities for Change, Chase Bank only modifies 6 percent of loans for local homeowners. In an effort to protest Chase Bank and its practices, Freeport is pulling its money out of the bank.

"The paperwork has been done," says Freeport Village Mayor Andre Hardwick. "We're just waiting for the new financial institution that has been chosen to come up to speed with their checks so we can continue business."

A spokesperson for Chase Bank says everything is being done to help borrowers avoid foreclosures. In New York alone, Chase says it has offered 50,000 modifications to struggling borrowers.

Still, others are following in Freeport's footsteps.

Charlene Obernaur, of LI Jobs with Justice, says it is sending a clear message by also closing its Chase account.

"The message we want to send to Chase is, 'If you are going to get bailed out by the federal government, you need to bail out the people too,'" she says.

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