On Friday, February 8, just three days after Tenants Together issued a press release calling out Fannie Mae for contracting with real estate agents that aggressively and illegally push out tenants living in their foreclosed properties, Fannie Mae scrambled to save face by offering Owen Casper, the San Diego tenant and cab driver whose story was profiled, a new one year contract.
Owen reports that two Fannie Mae representatives visited him at his home, treated him very nicely, and offered him a new, one year rental contract. As Owen explains, after Fannie Mae felt the public pressure, things quickly changed and “a tense situation that started pretty bad, ended pretty good.”
Tenants Together is very happy about Owen’s victory. However, it is not enough for Fannie Mae to address these incidents on a case-by case-basis. If Fannie is serious about following the federal law and its own policies, it must respond to the letter Tenants Together sent it a week ago demanding that it comply with tenant protection laws and its own policies, establish a tenant-friendly complaint system for its tenants to file complaints over harassment by its contractors, and that it terminate all its contractual relationships with real estate agents, lawyers, and contractors that provide false or misleading information to its tenants.