50 community members, holding red roses in solidarity, rallied in support of Rose McGee as she faced off against Fannie Mae in settlement court alleging wrongful foreclosure. When Fannie Mae still refused to offer a fair deal, the judge ordered for them to return for further court mediation May 14.
"The outcome of the court process today was very disappointing," said Rose McGee. "The offer that Fannie has made is unreasonable. If they made a reasonable offer, I would gladly accept it. I think now that I’m being used as a scapegoat because they’re faced with so many cases like mine that they don’t want to set a precedent of losing this one."
Rose, who has been fighting her foreclosure for over a year, fell victim last May to a process called "dual tracking": as CitiMortgage told her they were modifying her loan, they sold the home to Fannie Mae at a sheriff sale. In January, Rose met with Fannie Mae executives in D.C. who promised they were working on a loan modification--but she was dual tracked again when they continued pushing forward with the eviction at the same time.
This legislative session, Rose became the primary spokesperson for a Minnesota Homeowner Bill of Rights that would ban many of the foreclosure abuses she’s experienced. Although that bill died in committee, federal limits on dual tracking will go into effect in January 2014.
Today's rally came as part of New Bottom Line's national Dump DeMarco campaign, calling on the Obama administration to fire Ed DeMarco, the federal administrator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and replace him with a permanent director who will implement national principal reduction--resetting mortgages to fair market value.
"We need to be finding ways to keep people in their homes, not kicking them out," said Rep. Keith Ellison, who spoke at the rally. "Ed DeMarco has consistently refused to write down these loans to make them affordable. Other members of Congress and I have taken the extreme but reasonable step of calling for him to be fired. Big banks need to change the way they’re doing business in our communities. Enough is enough."
President Obama has come under fire recently for his reluctance to fire DeMarco, as well as his administration's "too big to fail/jail" policy toward the Wall Street banks. Before Rose's court appearance, her supporters delivered 330,000 MoveOn and CREDO petition signatures demanding President Obama prosecute the bankers whose criminal actions crashed the economy to the US Attorney's office, where a federal representative accepted them. Over a dozen other cities around the country organized similar petition deliveries as part of a national day of action with Home Defenders League and Campaign for a Fair Settlement.