Left-wing activists have taken aim at a man whose name you've probably never heard: Edward DeMarco. He's the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and he oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The presidential appointee has become a villainous figure to those who believe lenders should write down loan balances for mortgage holders who owe more than their homes are worth.
For years, the Obama administration has been pressuring Fannie and Freddie to join a federal program to write down mortgages into smaller government-backed loans. DeMarco has resisted, saying in the past that it would not be "loss minimizing" to Fannie and Freddie and warning that writing down loans could encourage more people to default and refinance who otherwise would not.
The liberal political activist group MoveOn gathered yesterday at the corner of Parry and Haskell avenues north of Fair Park, calling for DeMarco's ouster (and they're in good company around the country). Obama has the power to kick him out of office, and they fully believe the president should do just that.
As part of of 200 similar events around the country, MoveOn presented a petition with 60,000 signatures of those calling for DeMarco's removal to Taylor Holden, the regional field director of Obama for America.
"The obvious solution to underwater loans is to write down the principle," Hukill says. "Until that happens, it will be a terrible drag on our economy."
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"God help us," Paul Heller said, sitting on a bench next to Faith Evans. The two had become friends through meeting at local protests.
"Things suck generally," Evans answered, smiling and seemingly half-kidding.
"[DeMarco] has not been a leader in getting Freddie and Fannie to renegotiate mortgages," Heller said. The bailouts were for the banks, not the mortgage holders, he said.
None of the MoveOn folks raised their hand when Hukill asked whether they were sinking in the mires of the foreclosure process. They were all there in solidarity. When they presented the petition to Holden, she politely accepted it, thanking them for their activism before they got back to waving their signs at cars as rush hour traffic began building. Several honked in acknowledgement.