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Officials Urge Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Reduce Principal Loans

Officials Urge Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Reduce Principal Loans

Tuesday, Feb, 13, 2018 04:20PM

The housing crisis of recent years no doubt resulted in major changes to the education given to students earning an online degree in finance or completing an online accounting degree program, and the longer the industry remains in flux, it is likely that the programs will continue to evolve.

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris recently submitted a letter to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac urging debt reductions and requesting the government entities stop foreclosures in her state, which has been hit especially hard by the crisis. More than 500,000 homeowners there have been foreclosed on since 2008, and another 500,000 are in the process, she said.

“I know this effort will confirm what many economists have already concluded: principal reduction plans are the most helpful form of loss mitigation for homeowners and the most cost-effective for investors when compared to foreclosures,” Harris wrote in the letter.

Harris said she wants the sale of foreclosed homes stop until the Federal Housing Finance Agency "your agency has completed a thorough, transparent analysis of whether principal reduction is in the best interest of struggling homeowners as well as taxpayers," according to the letter. She said in November that unless the agencies' regulator, Edward J. DeMarco, complies with those requests that he should resign so someone who would agree could take the position, Bloomberg reported.

A number of U.S. officials have voiced similar requests to DeMarco, who controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Those requests reached a fever pitch after the February announcement of the foreclosure abuse settlement, a multibillion-dollar move that requires banks to write down mortgage debt for eligible home loans - however, loans backed by Fannie and Freddie aren't eligible for relief.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley also made a similar request, joining a number of housing analysts who say debt reduction is the best way to prevent further foreclosures.

“[The settlement] may be good for individual homeowners, but if you don’t do something to help the foreclosure process, it’s not going to help the housing market,” Christopher J. Mayer, a housing expert at a New York university's business school, said to The New York Times when the deal was announced.

In December, Harris sued the loan agencies for allegedly halting her efforts to learn if drug dealing and prostitution occurred in Fannie- and Freddie-owned homes, whether taxes were being paid on them and whether military families have been illegally evicted.

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