Hempstead, in Protest, Is Severing Ties With Chase


The village of Hempstead on Long Island is pulling its money from JPMorgan Chase and severing its ties with the bank to protest the bank’s lending and foreclosure policies, according to local officials there.

“Chase has been identified as one of the banks that have a high rate of predatory lending and also for not helping to modify loans,” the village’s mayor, Wayne Hall, said Tuesday.

The city’s treasurer, Ray Calame, said the village would soon begin to slowly withdraw the $12.5 million in operating funds and investments it had in Chase, ultimately ending Hempstead’s more than 20-year relationship with the bank.

The move is part of a two-month-old campaign led by New York Communities for Change, the community organization formerly known as Acorn, to urge elected officials, unions and religious leaders to divest their Chase assets. Hempstead was the first known municipality to severe its ties with the bank as part of the protest, a group spokesman said. They contend that while Chase serviced a large numbers of mortgages in Hempstead, it has refused to modify a disproportionately large number of troubled mortgages.

Hempstead has one of the highest foreclosure rates in Nassau County. Citing the real estate data source, CoreLogic, a spokesman for New York Communities for Change said that nearly 4 percent of the village’s homes are in foreclosure, compared with just over 1 percent in Nassau County and 0.31 percent in New York State.

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