Slavery was legal in New York until 1827.On March 14, 1794, two young slave girls were hanged in Albany, N.Y. One was named Dinah, aged 14. The other was named Bett, just 12. A month later, a 16-year-old male slave named Pompey was hanged as well.Yes, ten years after the so-called “American Revolution,” New York was a slave state. According to the first U.S. census in 1790, Albany had a population of about 3,500, of which 572 were slaves and 26 were “free persons of color.” (“History of the 1793 Fire in Albany,” hvmag.com, Feb. 14) All the wealthy families in Albany had slaves.The slave owners were afraid, and for good reason. In 1741, there was a slave rebellion and fire in New York City. And in 1791, there was the start of the great slave revolution in the French plantation colony of Haiti. There the slaves fought off three European armies and won independence, one of the greatest events in human history.So when a fire broke out on Nov. 17, 1793, that burned down a large part of downtown Albany, including offices, stores and 26 homes, causing the huge sum of $250,000 worth of damage, the slave-owning city leaders quickly concluded that it had been set by slaves.All the slaves in the town were subjected to a rigid curfew, rounded up and interrogated. After a few days, the child Bett signed a “confession” that also implicated Dinah and Pompey in setting the fire. They were put on trial on Jan. 6, 1794.The girls both confessed, throwing themselves on the “mercy” of the court. But of course there was no mercy from the cruel slavers. Pompey pled innocent, but was quickly convicted by the all-white jury. They were all sentenced to death.Of course, Bett’s statement must be treated with great skepticism. There is much speculation that she was both threatened as well as promised freedom if she would confess. But even that statement explains the motive for the fire was to win freedom for themselves.Testimony shows Bett stated that Pompey had been approached by two white men. One had a grudge against wealthy Leonard Gansevoort. He promised a valuable pocket watch if he would set fire to Gansevoort’s home.Bett said that she and Dinah set Gansevoort’s stable on fire rather than his house, so that the family could escape. With that, they showed far more humanity than the slavers. And despite the large amount of damage when the fire went out of control, nobody was killed or injured.At the time, the one way that a slave could win her or his freedom was to “buy” herself from her “master.” If Bett’s statement was true, then clearly that was their intent — to sell the pocket watch and use the money to free themselves.After the trial, the girls both announced that Pompey was not involved. Then Pompey “confessed,” saying the young girls were innocent. But it was all for naught. And the white men involved were never even arrested.Bett and Pompey were both hanged from “Hanging Elm Tree” in downtown Albany. But for Dinah, whom the slavers considered the most “rebellious,” it was different. A gallows was built on Pinkster Hill, which is now the location of the New York State Capitol. That is where she was killed.Why there? Since the early 1600s, enslaved and free Black people in Albany took off work together and held a week-long “religious” festival on Pinkster Hill. There they ate and drank, sang, held parades and performed African dances.So the Albany slavers consciously decided to execute Dinah on Pinkster to send a message of fear and intimidation to the Black community of Albany.They failed. The African community continued the Pinkster festival right through 1811, when the city finally banned it for 200 years.The Black community never forgot the young people who were lynched. In 1803, nine years after the executions, Absalom Aimwell (probably a pseudonym) wrote a satirical, abolitionist poem titled “The Pinkster Ode.” In it is a stanza dedicated to young Dinah and indeed to every Black woman. Benezet and Ley, two prominent Quaker anti-slavery activists who lived in the mid-1700s, are also mentioned.“Enough, says I, to Dinah’s shade,Thou too, wilt drudge no more,with spade,Nor hoe, nor pot, nor washing tub,Nor clean away — nor sweep,nor scrub.Sleep on good wench, or only doze,I’ll not disturb thy blest repose.“Thy honest soul has wing’dits flight,Beyond the reach of tyrant’s sway;In realms of everlasting light —To meet good Benezet and Ley.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
About Author: Ed Delgado The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Print This Post The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Ed Delgado is President and CEO of the Five Star Institute, a leading mortgage banking association providing education and strategic services to the U.S. residential mortgage market. During his 25-year career, Delgado has held executive positions at Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac. While at Wells Fargo, Delgado played an integral role as a key representative to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, supporting the Bush and Obama administrations’ efforts to develop mortgage solutions designed to prevent residential foreclosures in the U.S. Delgado was elected Chairman of the Office of the Comptroller of Currency Advisory Council, an independent working group, and is a current Board Member at Operation Homefront, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to provide valued programs and aid to U.S. military veterans. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Subscribe Home / Commentary / Reimagining Asset Disposition in Chapter 7 Bankruptcies Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago It is perhaps the most stressful moment that a borrower can experience: the realization that they are no longer able to pay their outstanding debts and must file for bankruptcy protection. Since 2013, more than 4 million non-business bankruptcies have been filed in the United States. The circumstances of approximately, two-thirds of those cases required that the estate be administered by the trustee under the rules governed by Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which calls for (among other things) liquidation of the person’s non-exempt assets. Under the rules, once the Debtor (in other contexts referred to as the borrower) files for bankruptcy all collection activities (including foreclosure of mortgaged properties) must cease. The ProblemUnsurprisingly, approximately 25 percent of Chapter 7 bankruptcy estates include mortgaged real estate assets that are severely delinquent (more than 120 days) on their home mortgage payments at the time of filing. Despite their delinquency, many times the disposition of these properties does not take place within the administration of the bankruptcy estate because the property qualifies for the homestead exemption under the rules and the debtor/borrower has a desire to attempt to stay in the home. A borrower that makes a qualified claim of the homestead exemption removes the mortgage form the bankruptcy estate, leaving the property exposed to the continued risk of foreclosure. Unfortunately, despite the borrower’s best intentions, their income level is often insufficient to sustain the required mortgage payments on the home and the result is simply a delay of the inevitable. Further, if a foreclosure has been initiated prior to the filing of the bankruptcy, many mortgagees are able to successfully petition the bankruptcy court to remove the property from the estate. One of the primary motivations in removing the mortgage is the reality that the disposition of the property within the confines of the bankruptcy requires the trustee to bring value to the estate and by requiring secured creditors to pay funds to the estate at closing of the sale. The assumption is that this process can be seen as a cumbersome task and/or more expensive as compared to proceeding with foreclosure. However, that is not the case.In either situation the result is simply that the inevitable is delayed and the home is foreclosed upon, eventually continuing through conventional REO disposition channels. The delay of bankruptcy costs money and may have a detrimental effect on the value of the property, exposing the borrower to the potential for a deficiency judgment post-foreclosure and/or a scarred credit history. There is a better way.The SolutionThe current system needs a new option in which mortgagees work hand-in-hand with bankruptcy trustees to find a solution in furtherance of their common interests, allowing them to agree on the disposition of properties while still within the confines of the bankruptcy estate. A potential solution for avoiding the delays could be a disposition strategy similar to FHA insured properties that closely aligns with HUD’s revamped and successful Claims Without Conveyance Title (CWCOT) program.Although in existence since 1987, the CWCOT program has experienced increased emphasis in recent years because it allows servicers to avoid the time-consuming and expensive process of conveying the property to HUD. Under the program, an “As-is” Federal Housing Administration (FHA) appraisal is utilized to determine the Commissioner’s Adjusted Fair Market Value (CAFMV) for the property. The mortgage servicer must then bid at least as much as the CAFMV during the foreclosure auction, accepting a trade-off which requires them to make financial concessions on the sale of the property in exchange for lowers costs and preserved property value that results from an expedited sale when compared with REO dispositions. Currently, trustees may dispose of properties in bankruptcy in a manner that is very similar to the CWCOT process. Under the new system, the disposition of the property would take place via auction (online or otherwise) or a direct sale with a broker, where a reserve price is set at the CAFMV as determined via an appraisal of the property in accordance with HUD policy. An agreed upon criteria such as the CAFMV would allow mortgagees and trustees to better define the parameters of a “pre-approved” deal which can be utilized in any property disposition, leading to fewer objections from the Mortgagee and decreasing the likelihood that a foreclosure will occur. Properties that are able to be sold through this option would have their disposition status resolved eight to ten months sooner than they would be entering into a conventional foreclosure.Currently, HUD has about a 13 percent market share of originations in the U.S. which means the potential exposure to loans in bankruptcy could be as high as 26,000 loans per year. The cost savings achieved by bringing bankruptcy properties under a CWCOT-like program would not only benefit the mortgagee and borrower, but also HUD and the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI Fund). According to recent data taken from the FHA Single Family Loan Performance Trends Credit Risk Report, as of July 2018, HUD was losing $55,083 on each home sold through REO. In contrast, the report’s data highlighted that in 2018 CWCOT proved to be much more cost-effective than REO, saving FHA approximately $4,800 per disposition that otherwise would have been processed through REO. FHA has also acknowledged that the disposition of property through CWCOT places HUD in a more favorable position. Applying the savings projections to the quarter of chapter 7 bankruptcy estates with average savings applied could potentially save the MMI Fund hundreds of millions of dollars per year, strengthening the financial positioning of the fund and allowing borrowers to share in the savings.Making this option available to trustees and borrowers would go a long way toward alleviating the current shortcomings of a property disposition process in Chapter 7 Bankruptcies. From a servicer’s perspective, every property sold through the proposed system would reduce the complexity of asset management, compliance risk, and liability. For trustees, agreeing to this option would mean that they would be fulfilling their fiduciary duty to bring value to the estate they manage. In the end, it’s the borrower who wins, allowing them to proceed more quickly through the process of rebuilding their financial health. 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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will be allowed to buy Iranian government bonds after the country’s finance ministry lifted a previous ban on the back of an international nuclear agreement with Iran in January.The NOK6.9trn (€723bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) had been barred from investing in Iranian government bonds since January 2014.North Korea and Syria remain on the blacklist.The decision, taken in consultation with the state department, was announced by the Norwegian ministry of finance yesterday. It referenced the easing of sanctions after Iran met its initial obligations under the January agreement, and noted that remaining sanctions and restrictive measures against Iran were no longer considered to be extensive enough to maintain the exclusion.The foreign ministry said the GPFG was “not a foreign policy instrument” and that it precluded investment in government bonds only in exceptional cases, where there were particularly extensive sanctions or other international initiatives Norway had joined. The GPFG has never held Iranian bonds, according to a spokesperson at NBIM, which manages the oil fund.