In a letter to Fannie Mae President and CEO Timothy Mayopoulos and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Edward DeMarco, Clarke urged that the government-sponsored enterprise adopt a case-by-case policy of reviewing whether homeowners can remain in their homes if they are able to continue making ‘reasonable payments’ or are able to purchase the property at a fair market rate.
‘My office has heard numerous reports of Fannie Mae refusing to sell homes in foreclosure to the families who have lived in them for years, sometimes decades, despite reasonable offers from those families or outside nonprofits working with the homeowners,’ Clarke wrote. ‘Instead, Fannie Mae evicts these families and allows their homes to become vacant. Once homes are vacant, they are often stripped of valuable materials and deteriorate into blighted structures that require demolition. This process has devastated many metro Detroit neighborhoods, increasing crime, lowering home values, and decreasing the local tax base, which funds services for all city residents.’
Clarke, who noted that Fannie Mae does not have an office in Detroit, invited the Fannie Mae and FHFA leaders to meet with Detroit-area homeowners and community groups to discuss the situation at greater length.