This morning a small delegation delivered a letter from Rose McGee to Fannie Mae headquarters in Washington, D.C., demanding a fair deal with principal reduction.
The delegation was led by Caylin Crawford, a St. Paul homeowner who recently won an unprecedented settlement with Freddie Mac over her own foreclosure. Fannie and Freddie are both administered by FHFA, a federal housing agency led by Ed DeMarco, who has consistently stood in the way of principal reduction--reducing mortgages to their market value. Occupy Homes MN has partnered with New Bottom Line and Right to the City's campaign to Dump DeMarco. Caylin was in D.C. for a court hearing over her recent arrest after interrupting DeMarco's testimony in front of Congress.
The text of Rose's letter is below.
Dear Mr. Mayopoulos:
My name is Rose McGee and my home is located at 7200 Duluth Street in Golden Valley, Minnesota. In April 1994 – almost 20 years ago – my husband William McGee (former Chief Public Defender for Hennepin County) and I moved into this home and resided there together until his death in November 2000.
In 2011 I lost my job at a nonprofit. Immediately I contacted CitiMortgage to let them know. But even as they told me they were working with me for a modification, they sold my home without even notifying me. I have since learned this is called dual tracking.
With help from the Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition, Jewish Community Action and Occupy Homes Minnesota, I began fighting back for my home. I visited with executives from Fannie Mae, which now owns my home, in D.C. in January. I was assured that they were working on a solution that would be to my satisfaction.
My attorney and I believed that Fannie Mae was acting in good faith when they told us that because of the ongoing modification process, they would cancel the upcoming eviction court date in February. But at the very last minute, we received a call telling us the court date was back on. It was clear they had no intention of working with me, and were proceeding with the eviction after all. I had been dual tracked again.
I filed my own lawsuit for wrongful foreclosure. A Hennepin County judge agreed April 2 that I had not been given proper notice and ordered mediation. Fannie Mae’s attorney says they have repeatedly offered me modifications and that I am being unreasonable. But the modifications they have offered are insulting. I have already been in the home 20 years. Why then would I want a new 40-year-mortgage without any consideration for the reduction in the value of my home?
I understand that Edward DeMarco, the federal administrator of FHFA, refuses to enact any kind of principal reduction. I find it outrageous that the federal government would stand so obstinately in the way of homeowners like me who simply want to stay in, and continue paying for, their homes. I have joined with a national campaign to Dump DeMarco and will continue fighting until someone is in charge who is willing to make me a reasonable offer.
I am asking CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to let me have my home back. I have been employed since January 2012 and am willing to pay. Why then would CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae choose to take my home and have it sit empty, further reducing property value of the neighborhood? I am standing with hundreds of friends, neighbors, and a national coalition, and we are waiting for CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to offer me a fair deal. On May 14, 2013 I will return to court for another hearing. By then, I expect to receive a reasonable offer from Fannie Mae that includes principal reduction.
I look forward to your response.
Rose McGee, Resident, Community Member, Tax Paying Citizen