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White Plains Rally Seeks New Fannie Mae Director

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Protesters gathered on White Plains' Main Street Thursday to demand that President Barack Obama replace the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac director with someone who will work with homeowners struggling with their mortgages.

Marjorie Morales, a New Rochelle organizer for MoveOn Westchester , said current Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Ed DeMarco should be doing more to coerce banks into refinancing, and in some cases, reducing mortgages.

"Many homeowners, including myself, are underwater, which means we owe more than our houses are worth," Morales said. "It's really a shame because some of these people have paid into these mortgages for 20 years and they might lose everything. The banks can then turn around and sell it and make most of the money back."

Morales joined seven others in chanting "Stop foreclosures," and "Banks got bailed out. We got sold out," while waving signs with slogans from the Occupy Wall Street movement in front of Grace Community Church. Carol McLoughlin and other rally attendees said Bank of America and Chase had an obligation to work with homeowners because they lured families into "predatory" mortgages beyond their means.

"The attitude from DeMarco and them is everybody has to pay their mortgage. We just can't reduce their principals," said McLoughlin, a Bronxville resident. "But the issue is these people have been preyed on. The banks knew they couldn't afford it. The banks were greedy and they wanted their money."

McLoughlin said she thinks refinancing struggling homeowners' mortgages would help boost property values in neighborhoods with foreclosures across the country.

"My house is devalued because of these foreclosures," McLoughlin said. "It's in everybody's best interest to stop this."

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