Resident works to try to save people’s homes with Foreclosure Moratorium Bill

IRVINGTON, NJ — Ed Kaiser is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Irvington NAACP and the People’s Organization for Progress, in addition to Fredricka Bey’s Home Savers group, which is fighting to find ways to help struggling homeowners throughout the area stave off home mortgage foreclosure.

Recently Kaiser, Bey and others, including Orange at large Councilwoman Donna K. Williams, boarded a bus to Trenton chartered by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to testify before the state Assembly regarding a bill proposed by Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker that seeks a three-year moratorium on all home mortgage foreclosures in New Jersey.

Current Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver supported the bill prior to her election, as do many other state officials whose local home districts are struggling with disproportionately high foreclosure rates; Tucker and Assemblyman Ralph Caputo represent the 28th District, which includes Irvington and Newark.

Kaiser said he supports the moratorium bill and hopes it is passed into law, and he joined Bey, Williams and others for the bus trip to Trenton.

“We had a great hearing,” said Kaiser on Tuesday, March 6. “It was very, very positive and we’re waiting for the bill to come out of committee. This is to save as many families and homes as soon as possible.”

Kaiser credited Bey with leading the drive to support Tucker’s moratorium bill, and for organizing the Home Savers efforts in Newark and neighboring towns such as East Orange, where they worked with Mayor Ted Green and the city council there to help former Mayor Tom Cooke keep his house when it was in danger of foreclosure.

“She’s with the Home Savers, but there are also other groups that she works with,” Kaiser said. “More and more different groups are getting involved. Home Savers is Ms. Bey’s. All these other groups are coming aboard and endorsing what we’re doing. It’s a whole movement.”

According to Kaiser, “Anybody that’s supporting this Bill for a moratorium” can be a member of the Home Savers, “including Larry Hamm and P.O.P.”

“There’s even more coming,” Kaiser said. “The coalition is the loose term for everybody involved. I got involved with this because they were taking veterans houses. A lot of guys in the NAACP are veterans. Clifford Beckley, Pastor William Rutherford; they were really messing with the vets, so that’s how I got involved.”

Kaiser said Tucker is also a friend to veterans such as himself, Beckley and Rutherford.

“Cleopatra Tucker is on the Veterans Affairs Committee,” Kaiser said. “Four years ago, we got started with this, that wound up and led to these meetings that we now have in East Orange. Now when they campaigned, they realized that foreclosures was a big issue, since we’ve been out there a long time and we work with other groups beside ourselves.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, the Home Savers assembled at former East Orange Mayor Tom Cooke’s home on Hawthorne Avenue, in an effort to help that city’s second black mayor stay in his house. Cooke, an East Orange homeowner and Navy veteran, had fallen on hard times since leaving office in the mid-1980s and was facing foreclosure.

“I’m appalled at what’s going on here this morning,” said Beckley on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. “I find it interesting that a person that was in the service and risked his life for his country, right now, his country won’t risk anything for him. Other countries take care of a person that was in the military for the rest of his life. It is sad that a person that was in the military is standing out here, talking about finding a way to save his home.”

Tucker said her pending legislation is the result of her ties to her constituents and her understanding of their struggles.

“I’m here because I’m here to support Tom Cooke and all the citizens of the state of New Jersey,” said Tucker on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. “It’s very important that we get this bill passed, because it’s for all the citizens of the state of New Jersey, because New Jersey is the most foreclosed state in the United States.”