At the DARE Forum on Freddie and Fannie, Ronel Remy of Brockton, Mass. told the emotional story of being preyed upon by unscrupulous lenders and the death of his dreams. Remy hails from Haiti, and early on planned to escape the crushing poverty of his childhood to live in the United States.
Remy came here, found a good job and raised a family. Eventually he was lied to and told that for what he was paying in rent, he could buy a house.
That’s when Remy’s dream became a nightmare.
After being lied to, Remy was swindled and cheated by unscrupulous lenders and others who offered paths out of the trap he was in. Each time he tried to refinance the house, the lenders would raise the valuation, from $266,000 to $340,000. Meanwhile, if they foreclosed, the banks would sell the house for $90,000. Of course, that $90,000 price cannot be offered to Remy. He needs to be punished for his dreams.
The banks that stole from Remy didn’t just take money, they took his very sense of self. Remy found himself asking his daughter to lie for him on the phone, and every knock on the door was met with the fear that this was the day he would be evicted. A good and honorable man, he began to feel like he was failing as a father.
The banks crushed his dreams and aspirations for its own profit. Those who stole from him use his money to buy “houses, boats, yachts… you name it.”
Remy once thought of the United States as a place where he could live the kind of life he dreamed of as a child.
“I wish I had just stayed in Haiti,” says Remy now.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are two government-controlled banks that together own over half the mortgages in the country. “These banks refuse to accept common sense policies like principal reduction, which would stop the foreclosure and eviction of our neighbors and friends, prevent blight and gentrification,” says DARE.
Watch the heartbreaking video here: