Why are the Feds destroying our ‘hoods?

200+ people came out to hear testimony in May, 2013:

Homeowners determined to stay & fight

Crowd applauds testimony from S. Baxter Jones

“I really wanted you to view me and acknowledge me as a living, breathing, human being and not just another statistical casualty. I guess because you’re not represented here today, I can’t accomplish that. I guess when you don’t have to face me it makes it easier for you to not feel compassion for me or to account for your actions towards me.

“You can just continue business as usual, taking away my home and pushing another faceless person out into the streets.” — S. Baxter Jones, at May 20 hearing on federal agencies evicting homeowners

After months of negotiations with UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada and some stalling, the government-owned Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac agencies had agreed to send 20 officials to town on May 20 and see first-hand how their hard-hearted policies are devastating our communities. “Fannie and Freddie, which own or insure more than half of all residential mortgages in the country, have foreclosed on more than 15,000 families in Wayne County since the government takeover by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency [in 2008],” UAW V.P. Estrada told the Metro Times. “Thousands more have lost their homes in Oakland and Macomb.”

But just days before the hearing, the officials from our government backed out, saying it would be “awkward” for them to be in the same room with homeowners who are battling them in court to save their homes from eviction. The hearing went on without them.

They can’t hide from the truth

The powerful testimony was being taped, and we’ll make sure it gets to the Feds. Stay tuned for more.

During the bank crisis,the U.S. government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which insure and buy mortgages from banks.

At the hearing, 22 homeowners, neighborhood activists, and members of the legal defense team gave powerful testimony on how Fannie and Freddie are relentlessly evicting families who have trouble paying inflated mortgages.  The testimony was broadcast live-to-tape by Tony Trupiano that evening on his “Night Shift” program (WDFN, AM radio, 1130, 7pm). Our new report, “A Hurricane Without Water: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Foreclosure Crisis in Metro Detroit” was distributed at the hearing.

The seats reserved for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the May, 2013 hearing were empty, because they canceled at the last minute.

We are fighting for three things the federal government can do:

1) Halt Foreclosures & Evictions: Fannie Mae has declared moratoriums for hurricane victims. The 75,000 Michigan families foreclosed on in the last year are also victims— of mass unemployment and mortgage banking fraud.

2) Principal Reduction: Fannie and Freddie should help families in need by by reducing mortgage principal to reflect current market values. Families facing foreclosure can hear from homeowners at the rally who have successfully resisted.

3) Due Process for All: As government agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now governed by the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” The case opened Feb. 20 in Detroit