NPA Urges Watt to Act Immediately on Principal Reduction, Says Time for Study Has Passed

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Contact: Jacob Swenson, 312.316.3973 or

National People’s Action Urges Watt to Act Immediately on Principal Reduction,
Says Time for Study Has Passed

At the House Financial Services Committee hearing yesterday, January 27, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt said that his agency is “still studying” a principle reduction program for families who remain in crisis after the housing market collapsed more than six years ago.

“Every day Director Watt continues to study the problem is a day too long for families in crisis,” said George Goehl, Executive Director of National People’s Action. “The underwater housing crisis may be off the front page, but it still roils the communities that were hit hardest, especially for African Americans, who are nearly 3 times as likely to be underwater on their mortgage as their white counterparts.” [1]

National People’s Action and our allies fought long and hard to ensure the appointment of a permanent director to the FHFA who would institute principal reduction for homeowners that suffered a massive loss to the value of their homes when the big banks crashed the economy. As a Congressman, Director Watt was on record supporting principal reduction.

It’s time for Director Watt to do his job and serve American families. Principal reduction is good for millions of struggling families, it’s good for taxpayers, and it’s good for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

[1] “More black homeowners are underwater.” The Washington Post. January 24, 2015.

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National People’s Action is a network of 30 grassroots organizations in 17 states, with 85,000 individual members working together to advance a racial and economic justice agenda for a new economy and true democracy.