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letters | homeowners avoiding foreclosure

Grass-roots movement pushes for change

We appreciate the article about lenders reducing mortgage principals in the face of the foreclosure crisis (“Homeowners get a break,” Page A1, Oct. 7). The article also noted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refused to do principal reduction.

We would like to add some details to the story.

Continue reading below

A key reason for the progress on principal reduction is that a large and growing national grass-roots movement is demanding it. Groups in New England made this demand five years ago. The Obama administration recognized the power of this demand by inviting 200 activists, including City Life organizing coordinator Steve Meacham, to a meeting on this topic in the White House in September.

Further, the five Wall Street banks you cited have committed only $17 billion to principal reduction as part of the $25 billion settlement with state attorneys general. This will cover 1 in 40 underwater homeowners.

Protests against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have grown all over the country. In September alone, rallies were held in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington.

You ran an Associated Press article on Oct. 9, headlined “Occupy Atlanta members join retired police detective’s effort to save home.” City Life’s members went to Atlanta in May to help train activists in the method we have used in Boston, where we also are defending police officers facing foreclosure.

A growing national movement is achieving significant results, and it’s centered right in the Globe’s backyard.

Heather Gordon

Sue Parsons

City Life/Vida Urbana

Jamaica Plain

The writers are members of City Life’s Bank Tenant Association.

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