Members of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta and demonstrators from across the region marched to Fannie Mae's regional office to demand that they help homeowners having difficulties making their monthly payments.
The Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, the nation's largest mortgage holder, and The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Freddie Mac, the second-largest mortgage buyer, received nearly $200 billion in federal bailout money during the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression.
Protestors want the lending giants to loosen their purse strings and reduce the principal payments on mortgages for homeowners whose houses are underwater, allow people to rent their homes after foreclosure or sell foreclosed properties back to the occupants or non-profit developers.
Robert Anderson, a protestor whose home is underwater, meaning he owes more on his mortgage than what this home is worth, said he has tried to modify with Freddie Mac but with no luck.
"I want the investors to step down and talk to us," Anderson. "I've been going through anxiety."
Security officers stood between protestors and the Fannie Mae offices as demonstrators demanded officials come outside and take a letter requesting a meeting.
"They have the power to turn the key to economic recovery," said Tim Franzen, one of the protest organizers, who added that it is time for Fannie and Freddie to start giving back. "We're here to encourage them to turn the key, to stop holding our neighborhoods hostage."
Protesters were not permitted to speak to Fannie Mae officials, and even CBS asked a spokesman if a meeting would be possible. The spokesman said that he couldn't say for certain if there would be a meeting with the group, but added "we absolutely want to work with homeowners who are having difficulty making payments, who want to work with us to prevent foreclosure."
The spokesman also encouraged Fannie Mae mortgage holders who are experiencing difficulties to contact them for assistance.
If you have a mortgage with Fannie Mae and need help, call Fannie Mae at (866) 442-8573 or go to knowyouroptions.com.