by Alberta Parish
As part of a coalition of people helping folks stay in their homes, I wrote this column to inform people about Occupy Our Homes Atlanta Regional Day of Action against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which will be held on Monday, September 10, 2012 at Buckhead MARTA Station at 10:30 AM, in Buckhead Atlanta. Please join Occupy Our Homes Atlanta Regional Day of Action where citizens will be protesting the actions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have received over $339 million in funding for the state of Georgia and only 5% of these funds have been allocated to help struggling homeowners with loan modifications and foreclosure sales.
Homeowners who have been impacted by the housing crisis in Georgia are standing up to the banks and mortgage lenders who are foreclosing on people’s homes, and often are not willing to reduce interest rates and mortgages so that homeowners can remain in their homes.
In 2012, the state of Georgia still ranks high in home foreclosures and evictions. There are more homeless ex-homeowners in 2012 than ever before in the history of Georgia. Unfortunately, Georgia homeowners have very little rights when it comes to saving their homes from foreclosure due to unemployment and underemployment. Mortgage lenders, which include banking institutions are simply not doing enough to help people stay in their homes and not get evicted. Since mortgage lenders make a lot of money from the insurance whenever a home gets foreclosed, many could care less whether a homeowner defaults on the loan, and loses his or her home to foreclosure.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was bailed out in 2008 by the federal government at the expense of hardworking taxpayers. Now, since we the taxpayers need a bailout, mortgage lenders and bankers would rather put people out of their homes and sell them to wealthy investors. Prior to the federal government giving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac billions of dollars in bailout funds, predatory lending was perpetuated for many years by these same mortgage companies who gave loans to people they knew would more than likely default on their loans in the event of a downshift in the economy or a job loss.
When unemployment rates around the country drastically increased between the years of 2005 and 2007, people found themselves unemployed and underemployed with lost pensions and other retirement savings. As a result, these people were catapulted into financial difficulties in which they could no longer afford their mortgage note each month in addition to their other expenses. In fact, food stamp benefits have increased over the past several years among families who never before had to rely on government benefits just to feed themselves.
Under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, taxpayers bailed out Wall Street financiers who, in turn, cashed in on the crisis they helped to create. The U.S. Treasury Department had printed billions of dollars in response to Wall Street’s financial debacle of 2008 when the DOW fell over 700 points sending Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy, and threatening the financial collapse of our economy. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was the bailout of the U.S. financial system in response to the subprime mortgage crisis, also. In addition, the U.S. Treasury Department bailed out banks and huge corporations such as Bank of America, AIG, Citibank, Citigroup, General Motors, etc., and stuck taxpayers with the bill. I was opposed to the $700 billion dollar bailout plan from the start, and I knew this would not stop the inevitable coming collapse of America’s economic system in the years to come.
Wall Street investors and stockholders had also gambled with taxpayer dollars, and, as a result, millions of Americans lost funds in their 401K accounts and other retirement savings accounts. Our public debt and federal deficit are now trillions of dollars, thanks to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate had voted in favor of. In addition, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009, added to our public debt and federal deficit. The U.S. Treasury Department is printing new money just to pay the interests on its debts to China, Japan, Great Britain, Russia, Switzerland, Brazil, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc. The United States Government could never collect enough taxes from its citizens in the next three decades to repay its debts to those countries who have purchased U.S. government debt.
Struggling homeowners need a bailout now! Many have lost their jobs due to outsourcing by corporations. We know that millions of jobs have been outsourced to other countries in the last three decades. Today, only 24.6% of jobs in the United States are considered to be “Good Jobs” in which people can earn livable wages, and not struggle from paycheck to paycheck. In addition, the price of goods and services have increased while wages are not increasing as quickly. Therefore, our dollars doesn’t have as much buying power as they did over 30 years ago. The lack of livable wages has increased financial hardships in many families, and therefore, homeowners need loan modifications so they can stay in their homes. Wall Street was bailed out. Now, Main Street needs a bailout.
Please plan to attend Occupy Our Homes Atlanta Regional Day of Action on Monday, September 10, 2012 at Buckhead MARTA Station at 10:30 AM in Buckhead Atlanta. See you all there!
For more information, please contact Occupy Our Homes Atlanta at [email protected]