Sacramento - The California State Legislature has taken an official position urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency Director, Edward DeMarco, to allow principal write-downs of mortgages for “underwater” homeowners.
Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) introduced the resolution, AJR 40, to urge the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) to immediately offer principal reductions to homeowners, who owe more on their home loans than what their homes are worth.
There are more than 2 million mortgages in California currently underwater—over 60 percent of which are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nationally, DeMarco is under scrutiny for his unwavering opposition to principal write-downs.
Skinner released the following statement regarding the state-wide call to action:
“Housing regulator Edward DeMarco may ignore the calls of millions of struggling homeowners, but the State Legislature certainly will not. This issue is so important to California’s economic recovery and to the cities and counties we represent, that I wanted the principal reduction message to be affirmed as the official position of the California Legislature. Homeowners need a fighting chance to save their homes and perhaps this added pressure will push DeMarco and the agency to do the right thing.”
Skinner also authored AB 2610, which is part of the “California Homeowner Bill of Rights” sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris and provides protections to renters living in foreclosed homes.
Assemblymember Skinner was elected in 2008 to serve the 14th Assembly District, which includes Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Kensington, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo and parts of Oakland and El Sobrante. Skinner serves as Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee.