Yvette D Clarke

Fighting for Underwater Homeowners - March 7, 2012

Yvette D Clarke
March 07, 2012— Washington, D.C.
Press conference
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Let me thank Keith Ellison and Raúl Grijalva for being such diligent fighters on behalf of our nation's homeowners.

Good afternoon, everyone, and to all of the activists here present, and to those who have come to awaken the consciousness of our nation about the grave injustice, and I believe one of the most important social justice issues of our times, which is the widening gap, the insensitivity and the power trip of the wealthy on the backs of those who have continued to build this nation, our homeowners.

I join the rest of my colleagues and a coalition of supporters and their families here today affected by these underwater mortgages in calling for the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Edward DeMarco, to direct FreddieMac and FannyMae to write down mortgage principal amounts. If he can't see fit to do what is right by the people of the United States of America, then we don't see it fit for him to remain in that post. His behavior is not indicative of what we know this administration stands for. The Obama administration has stood on the side of those who are struggling in our communities, who have been triumphant in bringing forth health care reform. It is now time for housing reform.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's 2011 research, families in my congressional district are facing foreclosure rates of 16% to 20% of outstanding mortgages; 16% to 20%. These stats also show that 90+ day delinquent rates continue to rise among families not in foreclosure, suggesting that foreclosure rates may continue to rise in 2012.

It would not be good for taxpayers or local governments or communities or families if our families, who have worked hard to secure a modification in spite of the Great Recession, had to face foreclosure. Enough is enough.

All Americans, my constituents included, across this nation have been the unfortunate victims of the greatest rip-off in a generation, the 2008 housing crisis, and are still struggling to make their way out of it. It is time for FannyMae and FreddieMac to take the leadership role to address the circumstances of the American people. Writing down these mortgages is the best tangible step forward to help homeowners immediately. The best way to combat the rise of foreclosures is for FannyMae and FreddieMac, now the largest holder of sub-prime mortgages, to be directed to provide straightforward principal reduction. We can no longer afford to have this nation's economic growth stifled by a stagnant housing market.

Edward DeMarco—you know the facts, you know the challenges. If you can't see it within your heart to do what is right by the American people then we can't see any reason for you to remain in the position in which you sit. President Obama, it is time for us to act. Every day that goes by, the American people are compounded in their suffering. This power trip of Edward DeMarco must end, and it must end now.

I want to thank everyone for being here today, and let's get this done. Edward DeMarco, get it done or get out of the way.

Speech from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlvqxpUG9WM.*