Meet your representative to protect the world’s poorest countries

VFLogosmall_01 During the August recess, meet your representative in the home district on behalf of our sisters and brothers who live in the world's poorest countries.

Congressional committee leaders have indicated that they are interested in moving forward with the Stop VULTURE Funds Act (HR 2932) as early as September if we can increase support for the bill. This is an important step in the effort to ensure that the positive gains of debt cancellation do not get siphoned off by Vulture Funds.

Take Action! During the month of August, Congress is on recess and your representative will be in his/her home district, so this is a great time to set up a meeting to ask him/her to cosponsor the bill.

Setting up a district meeting is easy:

If you are unable to set up a district meeting at this time, check out a script and call your
representative and ask him/her to cosponsor the bill. Find the phone number via the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

What are Vulture Funds?
Vulture Funds buy the defaulted debt of poor countries from the original lender, often for pennies on the dollar. After buying a poor country's debt, vulture funds take their time, waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

When a country receives debt cancellation from governments or international financial institutions, vulture funds rarely participate in the deal. Instead they take the opportunity to sue in U.S. or European courts to seize the newly available resources – usually many times what they originally paid to purchase the debt. After Zambia received debt cancellation for example, Vulture Fund Donegal International seized $15 million that was budgeted to be used for AIDS treatment and rural healthcare. Currently the government of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo is racking up fines of $20,000 a week in a case brought by a New York based vulture fund over a debt incurred from Tito's Yugoslavia in the 1980s.

What does the Stop VULTURE Funds Act do?
The Stop VULTURE Funds Act would prevent Vulture Funds from using U.S. courts to collect more than 6% interest above the amount they paid to purchase the debt. It also would require Vulture Funds to operate in a more transparent and fair manner.

Please set up a meeting or call your U.S. Representative today and ask her/him to cosponsor
the bill!

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