Santa Cruz Sentinel – Eshoo, Dems demand meeting on foreclosures with Obama

January 22nd, 2012

Jason Hopping, reporter for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, recently wrote about Eshoo’s efforts to help underwater homeowners and those foreclosed upon. Eshoo, along with the entire California Democratic Delegation, recently released their plan to address the housing and foreclosure crisis which the Obama administration has failed to address. Additionally, they have called for a meeting with the President on this important issue, and for Obama to appoint a permanent head to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The article is below:

California Democrats are showing increased irritation with the Obama Administration over what they see as inaction to address the large number of home foreclosures here and nationwide.

Led by Bay Area Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, 27 members of the delegation on Friday demanded a meeting with the president. The move follows a push for more action on foreclosures, including a call for Obama to make a permanent appointment to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees 70 percent of all U.S. mortgages.

“The California Democratic Congressional delegation has spent the last year meeting with one administration official after another to present our legislative ideas, and the actions the Executive Branch can take to mitigate the foreclosure crisis,” Eshoo said in a statement. “The time has come for the delegation to speak directly to the president on behalf of our constituents whose lives have been upended.”

The California delegation is pushing for a plan to have the federal housing agency refinance all U.S.-backed mortgages, as well as reduce the principle owed by underwater homeowners. They have also called for a “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights.”

An administration official said the the president has taken steps to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, and has proposed unemployed homeowners receive up to 12 months of mortgage forebearance.

The Obama Administration has also committed $2 billion to California for new foreclosure prevention programs.

“From day one the President has worked to stabilize the housing market and help responsible homeowners stay in their homes, including through refinancing efforts, foreclosure prevention programs and programs directed at the hardest hit states,” White House spokesman Adam Abrams said. “The president will continue to expand on these efforts and look at new ways to help homeowners, just as he has over the past few months with new programs to help underwater homeowners and expanding forbearance so more unemployed homeowners can stay in their homes.”

The Democratic delegation wants Obama to make a permanent appointment to head the federal housing agency, urging him to make a controversial recess appointment to replace acting director Edward DeMarco. Republicans have been blocking an appointment to the federal housing agency, which oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

DeMarco has ruled out one key aspect of the California Democrats’ plan – a write-down of the principle for underwater homeowners. In California, 34 percent of homeowners owe on their mortgage than their home is worth.

To read the full article online, please click here.

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