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Co-Chairs Grijalva, Ellison Call for Justice for Underwater Mortgage Holders

Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison, the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), today joined advocates in New York, Washington, D.C., and Southern California in calling on Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,to write down mortgage principal amounts for struggling homeowners.

“Twelve million Americans owe more money than their home is worth,” Grijalva and Ellison said. “The American people have been duped, lied to, and kicked out of their homes, and now it’s time for Mr. DeMarco to stand up and do right by them.”

Combined, Freddie Mac and Fannie Maeown or guarantee more than half of allmortgages in the country. DeMarco has faced calls for his resignation for refusing principal reduction, sometimes called “debt forgiveness,” for Freddie and Fannie mortgage holders.  

“Underwater homeowners need justice,” Grijalva and Ellison said. “Write downs are about keeping families in their homesand saving taxpayers money by preventing foreclosures. Simple, straightforward principal reductions are a good way to prevent the foreclosure crisis anchor from dragging down the U.S. recovery.”

This call echoes that of a coalition of progressive organizations and families struggling to keep their homes. The coalition includes Bowie, Md., homeowner Bertina Jones, U.S. Marine Arturo de los Santos in Southern California, and advocates for Mr. de los Santos in New York. Along with their allies, they participated in protests yesterday at regional Freddie Mac offices demanding fair negotiations for themselves and other Americans who have been evicted from their homes.