News Release

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Still Backing Predatory Lending?

Today, President George W. Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

Last week, thousands of people lined up in Washington, D.C. to have the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America help them restructure their mortgages in the group’s “Save the Dream” event. The group, which has long criticized practices by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, now charges that they are continuing “predatory lending practices including the purchase of interest only … and other problematic loan products.”

BRUCE MARKS
Marks is CEO of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. He said today: “The Act will provide virtually no benefit to at-risk homeowners, due to the restrictive underwriting and delayed implementation, resulting in millions of homeowners losing their homes based on false promises. The beneficiaries of the Act will be the GSE’s [Government Sponsored Entities, i.e., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] whose implicit taxpayer guarantee of $10 billion will become unlimited and may cost the taxpayer $800 billion and more. It rewards the GSE’s for their past failures and supports them in continuing these practices. Congress and the administration never asked two fundamental questions: 1) When would HUD be able to implement the new ‘Hope for Homeowners’ program, and 2) Are the GSE’s continuing the lending practices that were instrumental in causing the mortgage crisis.” Marks was named “Bostonian of the Year” by the Boston Globe in December.

Rev. GRAYLAN S. HAGLER
Hagler is development director of NACA, national president of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice and senior minister of the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.

He said today: “Our unprecedented Save the Dream event in Washington, D.C. last week attracted over 20,000 people with unaffordable mortgages. We will be having similar events in the coming weeks and months in cities including New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and Houston to actually help homeowners. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac meanwhile have given massive bonuses to their executives.”

The AP recently reported: “Last year, Freddie Mac paid Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Syron nearly $19.8 million in compensation even though the mortgage company’s stock lost half its value. During the same period, Fannie Mae President and Chief Executive Daniel Mudd got compensation valued by the company at $12.2 million, including a $2.2 million bonus.”

Background:

AP’s “Thousands queue to save homes in Washington

The Real News’ video “Homeowners get help in D.C., but not from government

Boston Globe‘s “Guarding the House: Wall Street made billions off the backs of homeowners. But when the mortgage crisis blew up, a pit bull named Bruce Marks stood up for the Average Joes and, incredibly, got some of the biggest banks to bend.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167