New Bottom Line and Rebuild the Dream Launch ‘America Underwater’ Website with Interactive Map, Photos & Stories of Underwater Homeowners, and Petition Calling on the President to Fire DeMarco
Washington, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—March 7, 2012. Underwater homeowners called on President Obama today to fire Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco. They said he is standing in the way of large-scale principal reduction as the overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee 60 percent of residential loans in the U.S.
Standing with the homeowners, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus urged DeMarco himself to reverse course and implement principal reductions for Fannie and Freddie loans. After a Capitol Hill press conference, underwater homeowners and New Bottom Line members delivered 85,000 petition signatures on pink paper calling for DeMarco’s firing – pink slips – at FHFA headquarters.
“Ed DeMarco is hurting me and millions of honest, hardworking Americans. If President Obama is serious about ‘doing everything in his power to help struggling homeowners,’ he must fire Ed DeMarco and find a FHFA Director who is a champion for broad principal reduction,” said Vera Johnson from Seattle, WA, who is a member of The New Bottom Line and an underwater homeowner fighting for principal reduction from Bank of America and Fannie Mae.
“President Obama must remove DeMarco because he is the number one obstacle to large-scale principal reduction, resetting the housing market, and helping the economy recover,” said Ilyse Hogue of Rebuild the Dream.
Taxpayers bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but DeMarco has refused to assist underwater homeowners by reducing mortgage principal. Homeowners and advocates stated that President Obama’s investigation into the big banks’ mortgage fraud cannot succeed while DeMarco remains in his job.
DeMarco deceived lawmakers by suggesting it would cost $100 billion to write down mortgage principal while his own agency’s estimates show that taxpayers would probably save more than $20 billion. DeMarco is a career bureaucrat and Bush Administration holdover who has not followed the President’s or the experts’ opinions that significant principal reduction will save families from foreclosure, fix the housing market, and drive an economic recovery.
Also today, The New Bottom Line and Rebuild the Dream announced the launch of the America Underwater website (www.AmericaUnderwater.org) with a map that calculates the influx of money to each state if FHFA and the banks did large-scale principal reduction, a petition calling on President Obama to fire DeMarco, and the America Underwater Tumblr blog where underwater homeowners are posting pictures of themselves and their homes with signs showing their amount of negative equity and stories of how they got there.
The members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who stood with the underwater homeowners today included CPC co-chair Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), CPC co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Luis Gutierrz (D-Ill), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA).
The New Bottom Line is a growing movement fueled by a coalition of community organizations, congregations, and individuals working together to challenge established big bank interests on behalf of struggling and middle-class communities. Together, we are working to restructure Wall Street to help American families build wealth, close the country’s growing income gap and advance a vision for how our economy can better serve the many rather than the few. Coalition members include PICO National Network, National People’s Action (NPA), Alliance for a Just Society, and dozens of state and local organizations from around the country.
Rebuild the Dream is a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy. Using 21st-century digital technology, we advance highly inventive solutions that are designed to protect and expand the middle class, while creating pathways to prosperity for those who are locked out of it. Our goal is to put America back to work—and pull America back together.