This one is important. I’d like to spread the word on this particular issue as widely and as quickly as possible. Reblogs are hugely appreciated. This is something where we can change something with a bit of advocacy.
The Short Version
As a U.S. citizen you are now a majority shareholder of Freddie Mac. Congratulations. Freddie Mac is one of a number of entities that bears substantial blame for both the recession and the foreclosure crisis. This crisis has caused a lot of blighted, empty houses in some extremely vulnerable neighborhoods. In many cases, the only person who wants to live in that house is the former owner. Because the house isn’t worth a whole lot, people with modest income can afford to buy back the house, provided somebody is willing to provide financing.
This is the situation with the DeCaro family, who live in their post-foreclosure home after Bank of America retracted its loan modification offer because it kept losing documents and started rejecting their mortgage payments. They recieved financing through a great non-profit called Boston Community Capital to purchase the home for more than its current value. Freddie Mac, by policy, won’t sell. So Boston Community Capital says, “Sell us the home instead.” Freddie Mac says, “No. We will only sell you the property on the condition that you agree to evict the DeCaro family.” Freddie Mac has agreed to a price—but is refusing to sell except on the condition that BCC evict the DeCaros.
In other words, Freddie Mac wants you, the tax payer, to take a financial loss so it can make the DeCaro family suffer. The DeCaro family isn’t the only victim of this state-sponsored sadism. This is Freddie Mac’s policy. Considering that Freddie Mac is in recievership after accepting a massive government bailout, Freddie Mac is in no position to lecture anybody about moral hazard on debt. Even Fannie Mae and the megabanks have rejected this policy.
What you can do
Please call Freddie Mac’s PR director Brad German at (703)903-2437. You will likely have to leave a message.
Say something like this:
My name is ___. As a U.S. taxpayer I am a majority shareholder of Freddie Mac.
I am calling to ask Freddie Mac to reconsider its sadistic “must evict” policy. Freddie Mac has taken the position that it will not sell the residence of John and Linda DeCaro at 152 Lucerne Rd in Springfield, MA to Boston Community Capital, if BCC agrees to evict the family, is a ridiculous position.
I am calling to demand that you accept BCC’s offer without conditions and institute a new policy permitting families who can afford it to buy back their homes at market value after foreclosure. This will protect both my financial interest as a tax payer and ensure that my tax dollars are not supporting such abhorrent policies.
Second, it might help to contact your U.S. Senator or Representatative to let them know that you are extremely concerned about Freddie Mac’s cavalier attitude toward blighted neighborhoods, suffering families, and tax payer interests.
Third, help spread the word on this one. This is a ridiculous and harmful policy—and if people know what Freddie is doing with taxpayer money, the policy will change. I know the Tumblr community can do wonders with this sort of thing. Getting policies like this removed can create the sort of tangible and systemic change that turns around lives and communities.
Earlier today I asked a few thousand of my closest friends on the Internet to help me ask Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Finance Agency to change an abhorrent policy requiring that non-profits assisting families to buy their homes back after foreclosure evict the family.. A lot of you stepped to the plate—and I would love to keep the ball rolling on this one until the policy is well-and-truly gone. I feel a bit awkward pleading for reblogs and so on—but if you ever truly loved me, you will help me raise a ruckus here. (If it would help, I can offer to donate money to a charity that helps abandoned puppies find children who love them.)
Previously, Freddie Mac returned my phone call. Freddie suggested that I contact the FHFA. While it’s probably not fair of Freddie to blame FHFA for this policy, Freddie is right that FHFA might be more receptive to public pressure and could make them change the policy. So I called FHFA (and asked a few thousand of my closest friends to call FHFA and ask all their closest friends to do the same thing.) The Freddie Mac rep seemed to know the situation pretty well and wondered whether there had been some additional bad press. That can probably be arranged. (Or avoided—if they just change their policy.)
So FHFA just returned my call. They suggest that I write out my concerns and send them to ConsumerHelp@fhfa.gov. If you’re willing to do the same thing so they know I’m not the only crazy person who cares about this, I have a sample of what you might write here.). I will put a slightly-redacted version of the (more exhaustive) version I’m sending. Because why not. You’re helping me out with this. And I might as well offer a peek with what I deal with on a daily basis.1
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