Thursday, November 15, 2012

Teamsters take the fight to the $116B bailout queen

First, let's review a little history about Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that is now a ward of the state. Daniel Mudd drove Fannie Mae into the ground during his tenure as CEO from 2005-08 by buying risky mortgages. As a result, Fannie got a bailout from the taxpayers totaling $116 billion. Mudd was paid $13.4 million in 2007. The Securities and Exchange Commission has since charged Mudd with fraud.

Now, let's talk about Mark Harris. He worked at UPS as a member of  Teamster Local 728 and an Army Reservist. He was called up to serve in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. In  1995 he started his own trucking businesses, and in 1996 he bought his house in suburban Atlanta with a VA-backed loan. Then the economy went south and his service-related disability kicked in. He fell behind in his mortgage payments. But he started receiving disability checks from the VA and can afford to catch up with his mortgage.

Mark Harris did not get a $116 billion bailout. He didn't even get $13.4 million. He got a cold shoulder from Fannie Mae, which auctioned off his house without warning. Now Teamster Local 728, Jobs with Justice and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta are fighting to keep him in his home. That's what the video taken yesterday is all about. In addition to protesting outside of Fannie Mae's Atlanta office, they're urging people to call Fannie executives (try Andrew Wilson at 202-752-5168) to demand that Fannie work out a deal with Mark Harris.

Fannie has reached out to him with an offer of a one-year lease in his home. Harris rejected it and is waiting to see what happens next.

Because we don't need more homeless veterans.

Stay tuned.