“Fannie Mae, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side,” chanted over 200 homeowners and renters from across the country, who protested today in front of Fannie Mae headquarters in Northwest, Washington D.C.. The protestors gathered to demand the resignation of acting Federal Housing Authority Director Edward DeMarco, whose agency oversees twin Government-backed mortgage regulators Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“What do we do when the banks attack?” they shouted. “Stand up, fight back.”
The protestors said they want President Obama to replace DeMarco at the FHA with a director who will prevent Fannie and Freddie from issuing post-foreclosure evictions. They also demanded the following:
- Fannie & Freddie sell back to residents or a non-profit after foreclosure at real value
- Fannie & Freddie don’t sell to hedge funds or other investors who caused the problem in the first place, but instead turn over properties to community control, or sell back at current market value to occupants
Five woman were arrested for blocking passage outside the Fannie Mae complex after local police issued three warnings for them to get out of the street.
“I will do whatever it takes to keep my home even if I have to go to jail,” said Massachusetts resident Virginia Wooten, a protester that was detained.
“The banks got bailed out and we got sold out, they got the money and we got the bill,” said California resident Nell Myhand, another protester that was arrested.
The protesters referred to themselves as the Fannie Freddie 99 Fighters, and expressed frustration over the fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the largest holders of vacant foreclosures. They have traveled to five major ciites demanding immediate attention and action from leaders at the twin GSE’s (Government Sponsored Enterprises).
“We respect the right to protest and voice opinions,” Fannie Mae spokesman Andrew Wilson told TRNS. “Every day, Fannie Mae is focused on helping homeowners who are struggling. The bottom line is that we want to prevent foreclosure whenever possible.”
The women who were arrested included Wooten, Myhand, Renika Wheeler from Georgia, Deborah Nowell from Massachusetts and Roline Burgson from Rhode Island.
Malcolm Chu, a community organizer at Springfield No One Leaves, told TRNS that his organization will pay the $50 bail fee incurred by the protestors who were arrested.
The mob of protestors were expected to protest in front of DeMarco’s Silver Spring, Md. home later in the day.