We own Fannie Mae now. Lock, stock, and eviction-addicted barrel. You. Me. The lady in the street. The guy in the bowling alley. And the President of the United States owns part of it too -- the guy who's been talking about the housing crisis for years now; About how, now that banks have been bailed out, it's time to help out Main Street. And yet
((Jennifer)) Britt currently lives with her son, daughter, 74-year-old mother and a 77-year-old uncle who she referred to as having been born with developmental disabilities. She says she has put over $45,000 into the house... She finally stopped making payments to Flagstar in 2009 after exhausting her savings.... Flagstar foreclosed on Britt's home in 2010 and sold it to Fannie Mae.After refusing to negotiate, Fannie Mae pursued an eviction, and now that Ms. Britt has exhausted all her legal options
Judge Nancy Blount finally signed the writ of eviction this Wednesday.The arc of the story is so familar now. Jennifer Britt lost her husband back in 2006. There were complications with probate, the deed to the house, and the mortgage, but she managed, using her husband's life insurance money to rescue the property. Then she lost her job, and the bank raised the mortgage payment on a house that was probably worth less than a quarter of the mortgage. Flagstar Bank, which has yet to pay back its Federal bailout monies, ultimately sold the mortgage to Fannie Mae, which began the eviction proceedings.
Having nowhere else to turn, Ms. Britt engaged with Occupy Detroit and other activist groups in the area. Beginning yesterday, July 20th, Occupy Detroit, BAMN, Faith-based groups, union members, community advocates and neighbors commenced a vigil on her property to do what they can to prevent the family from being physically evicted, creating yet another unoccupied house in the already economically devastated Detroit area.
Beyond a mass of eviction defenders, there is some additional hope,
The offices of Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow have intervened in the case on behalf of Ms. Britt, calling on Fannie Mae to account for its refusal to sell the home on favorable terms that would keep the family in their home. Critics of Fannie Mae point out that it has routinely sold repossessed homes to investors for less than market value, but refuses to do so for Jennifer and other homeowners facing eviction.
Rally in front of the Britt's home
And there you have it. While I applaud Michigan's Senators for getting involved, they really should not need to. What we have here is our tax dollars undermining the economy instead of boosting it.
Fannie Mae... insisted it would sell for no less than the $121,000 it paid Flagstar.The Zillow estimated price for Jennifer Britt's home is $33,300, and the estimated monthly mortgage payment is $119! At the point Jennifer could no longer afford it, her payment was running almost $2000/month!
And yet Fannie Mae will not negotiate a deal with Ms. Britt that would likely result in we taxpayers ending up with a far greater return on our investment on the $121,000 we paid for it, while making it eminiment affordable for the Britts to stay (simple math says that even on a mortgage totalling $121,000, the payment would be less than $500).
Why not? It makes no sense. The government wants to throw five people out into the street so that it can try to sell a house at a huge loss instead of receiving reasonable monthly mortgage payments, with no guarantee that the house won't sit vacant for years.
This is our government, working at odds with itself to make the economy worse as it blights neighborhoods with foreclosures on the one hand while decrying the state of the economy with the other.
Mr. President: If you want to win in November, use one of those fancy executive orders of yours to tell Fannie Mae's executives and their minions to find a way to keep Ms. Britt and her family, and all the other Ms. Britts and their familys, in their homes. I'm betting such an order would be very popular. And besides, it's the right thing to do.