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Puerto Rican diaspora groups to Florida gov.: Stop investing in company foreclosing on families

By on October 29, 2018

SAN JUAN – Several Puerto Rican diaspora group leaders in Florida, led by Vamos4PR, the Center for Popular Democracy and Hedge Clippers, wrote to Florida Gov. Rick Scott asking that the state halt new investments in TPG Capital, a private equity and venture capital firm involved in the mortgage foreclosure wave on the island.
The Florida State Board Administration (SBA), the state’s pension fund, the groups said, has invested “at least $400 million in TPG since 2012.”
The letter warns that in May this year, after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the extension of its moratorium on foreclosures in Puerto Rico through Aug. 16, 2018, TPG “began ramping up” foreclosures on the island.
“Despite repeated requests from Puerto Rican community and allied advocacy groups, TPG has refused to move cases from federal court to local courts,” the letter states.
It is not the first time that advocates request the state of Florida to divest from TPG regarding Puerto Rico. In March, members of the Hedge Clippers, a group that investigates hedge funds, testified before the SBA during a meeting in Tallahassee that included testimony from a Puerto Rican homeowner member of Vamos4PR who now lives in Orlando.
Hedge Clippers identified TPG Capital as one of the companies “aggressively foreclosing” on families in Puerto Rico in Report No. 53: Private Equity and Puerto Rico released in December last year. The report’s release coincided with protests organized by Hedge Clippers, Vamos4PR and others in several cities, including one outside TPG Capital headquarters in New York, denouncing “outrageous business practices, as residents of the island struggle to hold onto their homes after Hurricane Maria.”
Armando Santiago Pintado, Vamos4PR
Stephanie Porta, Organize Florida
Otoniel Figueroa Durán, Alianza Por Puerto Rico
Melissa Mark Viverito, Power4PR
Julio López Varona, Center for Popular Democracy / Hedge Clippers
Mairym Ramos, Service Employees International Union
Luis Ponce, Boricuas Unidos en la Diaspora

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