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Economy and Business


Underwater homeowners go on strike
Group says they will continue strike until Freddie Mac and Fannnie Mae restructure mortgage balances.
by WKSU's SIMON HUSTED

Reporter
Simon Husted
 

An Ohio advocacy group is encouraging homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth to go on strike.

Paul Bellamy says the group Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People Monday announced the first such protest against housing lenders.   So far three underwater homeowners have joined the strike.

Bellamy says the strikers are still making their payments - just to an attorney instead of the lender. 

Listen to Bellamy

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“These folks haven’t stopped paying their mortgage,” Bellamy says. “They’re simply paying it into escrow. It’s not as if folks are merrily going their own way ‘Oh well, I’m mad. I don’t have to pay my mortgage anymore.’ That’s not what’s motivating these folks and they recognize the risks they are taking by violating the contract. But they’re not violating any sort of criminal law or moral law anyone is aware of that I know.”

Bellamy says his group plans to continue the strike until the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency announces plans to align mortgage balances with the dollar value of underwater homes.

Belamy estimates one-third of homeowners in Cuyahoga and Summit counties owe more than their homes are worth.

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