The calls for Edward DeMarco to agree or step aside are getting stronger.
DeMarco, who has served as the acting head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency since 2009, is still refusing calls from the administration and left-leaning members of the government to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give principal write-downs to underwater homeowners.
While this has resulted in a fuming left, they may be angrier than we thought. On Wednesday, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are rallying at the House Triangle in order to push DeMarco to favor the reductions or leave his job. They’re even armed with a petition calling on President Barack Obama to fire him.
The emotional appeal is not far behind.
At the event, The New Bottom Line and Rebuild the Dream will announce the launch of the Underwater America website — complete with a map that shows how much money would flow into each state if banks and the FHFA agreed to do large-scale principal reduction, as well as the American Underwater Tumbler blog where underwater homeowners can post pictures of their homes with signs of how underwater they are and tell the story of how they got there.
The Tumblr, already up and running, is full of stories such as “I am still $53K underwater AFTER a loan modification. My loan servicer won't even consider writing down/wiping out my 2nd mortgage balance of $17K, which is just common sense!!”
This fight is far from over, but it may get more political than we thought. For an unelected position, DeMarco is facing quite a bit of voter scrutiny. The moral hazard arguments he is making aren’t going quite far enough for his critics, and his claims that the mortgage mods currently allowed are sufficient are falling on deaf ears.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses, and whether the dozens of petitions calling for DeMarco’s head will amount to anything in the Obama administration.