There is a significant need for programs that prevent foreclosure for underwater homeowners in the Chicago area. More than one in five homeowners in the Chicago region is underwater, and negative equity is disproportionately concentrated in communities of color.
Congressman Melvin Watt was confirmed as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) by the United States Senate in a 57-41 vote yesterday. The FHFA is a powerful federal government agency responsible for regulating government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which invest in more than three-fourths of the nation’s new mortgages.
Senator Dick Durbin voted in favor of Watt's nomination, while Senator Mark Kirk was unable to vote due to an emergency surgery.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted today to filibuster a vote on President Obama’s nomination of Congressman Mel Watt as the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The motion to allow Congressman Watt’s confirmation vote failed on a vote of 56-42 (60 votes are necessary to proceed). The FHFA is a powerful agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which invests in more than three-fourths of the nation’s new mortgages. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) voted against the filibuster.
Senator Mark Kirk voted today against the nomination of Congressman Mel Watt of North Carolina as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Despite Senator Kirk’s opposition, the nomination passed out of the Senate Banking Committee on a 12-10 party line vote and will proceed to the full Senate for a vote.
A replacement for Ed DeMarco, the current acting director of the FHFA, is long overdue. DeMarco has obstructed necessary policy changes that would have lessened the negative impact of the foreclosure crisis on families and communities alike. Specifically, he has barred Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from allowing lenders to reduce principal on underwater loans, even in situations where it would prevent foreclosure.