While some headlines claim that the housing market is recovering, we know that too many homeowners have not.
The Chicago region experienced more than 66,000 new foreclosures in 2012 and more than a quarter of Illinois homeowners are underwater on their mortgages—particularly those in communities of color.
We know that the best way to prevent more foreclosures is through principal reduction, or writing down mortgages to their current fair-market value.
Unfortunately, the current regulator (Ed DeMarco) for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government-supported entities or GSEs that guarantee mortgage loans) is refusing to put homeowners and taxpayers first by preventing Fannie and Freddie from writing down mortgages for struggling borrowers.
We need a new leader for Fannie and Freddie who will put preventing foreclosures at the top of the agenda. President Obama has nominated Mel Watt, a Congressman from North Carolina, to be the new regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For years, Mel Watt has been an outspoken defender of working- and middle-class homeowners. He is well known for trying to stamp out predatory lending and for championing access to home loans for moderate-income borrowers and his nomination has bipartisan support.
As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk has an opportunity to do what’s right for the economy, for homeowners, and for taxpayers. We need him to confirm Mel Watt.
Here’s what you can do: Call Senator Kirk’s office at (202) 224-2854. Leave our Senator a brief, polite message urging him to vote “yes” on confirming Mel Watt to regulate Fannie and Freddie. It will take 2 minutes and it is crucial that Senator Kirk hears from his constituents on this.
Stay tuned: This week there will be more opportunities to let Senator Kirk know that we are watching his vote and that we expect him to put people first!
Take action now!
1. Call Senator Kirk’s office at (202) 224-2854.
2. Leave him a brief message either with his staff or on his voicemail.
a. Hi, my name is ___________ and I live in ___________.
b. I’m calling to urge Senator Kirk to vote in favor of confirming Mel Watt as the head of the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency).
3. Let us know how your call went!