Center for American Progress

The Multifaceted Mortgage Mess: Identifying Solutions to Protect Families and Neighborhoods
Press Advisory

The Multifaceted Mortgage Mess: Identifying Solutions to Protect Families and Neighborhoods

Keynote Address: Representative Joe Baca (D-CA), House Financial Services Committee

Introduction: Sarah Wartell, Executive Vice President for Management, Center for American Progress Action Fund

Featured Panelists: Jeanne Fekade-Selassie, Homeownership Specialist at NeighborWorks America Andrew Jakabovics, Associate Director for Economic Mobility Program, Center for American Progress Action Fund Jef Kinney, Vice President for Innovation Development, Fannie Mae

Moderated by: Louis Soares, Director, Economic Mobility Program, Center for American Progress Action Fund

RSVP for this Event

The Family Foreclosure Rescue Corporation (FFRC), modeled after Roosevelt’s Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, the successful New Deal program that stabilized the financial system and protected homeowners from foreclosure, is one in a family of policies that can protect families facing delinquency, default, and foreclosure. The FFRC would offer new fixed-rate mortgages to borrowers who are effectively precluded from refinancing because of negative home equity caused by declining prices. Designed to operate at minimal cost and risk to taxpayers, the FFRC would buy up existing non-performing mortgages at a discount and offer mortgage holders corporate bonds in their stead. The FFRC is designed to directly help at-risk borrowers, stabilize neighborhoods by preventing widespread foreclosures, and potentially restore liquidity to the capital markets from the bottom up. This program is meant to complement other programs and efforts underway to refinance borrowers into safer mortgages or otherwise prevent foreclosures.

We invite you to a panel discussion that will highlight our new white paper, “Throwing Homeowners a Lifeline: A Proposal for Direct Lending to Qualified Troubled Borrowers.” Representative Joe Baca (D – CA) will provide opening remarks and introduce new legislation to create the FFRC, followed by a presentation on FFRC by Andrew Jakabovics, the Associate Director for the Economic Mobility Program at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Andrew will be joined in a panel discussion by Jef Kinney, Vice President for Innovation and Development at Fannie Mae, and Jeanne Fekade-Selassie, Homeownership Specialist at NeighborWorks America, moderated by Louis Soares, Director of the Economic Mobility Program at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 Program: 9:30am to 11:00am Admission is free.

Center for American Progress Action Fund 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005 Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

For more information, please call 202-682-1611.


Representative Joe Baca has served in Congress since winning a special election in 1999. Rep. Baca represents the 43rd District of California, which includes the cities of Colton, Fontana, Rialto, Ontario, and San Bernardino, as well as the areas of Bloomington and Muscoy.

Rep. Baca serves on the House Agriculture Committee, and he is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Departmental Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry. He also is a member of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry. He also serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where he is a member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, and the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. In addition, Rep. Baca serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and as a member of the Water and Power Subcommittee.

In November 2006, the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) elected Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) to serve as the next Chair. Rep. Baca will lead the group during the 110th Congress (2007-2008). This group includes all Democrats of Hispanic descent in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. He also chairs the CHC Corporate America, Technology, Communications and the Arts Task Force.

Jeanne Fekade-Selassie specializes in data analysis for NeighborWorks America‘s Campaign for Home Ownership. As such, she provides leadership on Campaign and other NeighborWorks America evaluation projects as they relate to homeownership, provides support to the development of internal and external trend analysis, and monitors benchmarks for progress of the national homeownership programs and related corporate goals. Fekade-Selassie assists in researching, developing, and implementing strategies and action plans to achieve the corporate homeownership goals, assists with the growth and development of the NeighborWorks National Home Ownership Programs, and provides training, support, and technical assistance to District staff, NeighborWorks organizations, and NeighborWorks Home Ownership Centers. Previously Fekade-Selassie was a promotion specialist for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the largest funder of community organizing efforts in the United States. She also managed the Make it Your Own TM National Women’s Homeownership Campaign with McAuley Institute, overseeing a national campaign to assist more than 12,000 low-income women to build assets through homeownership; a $500,000 Individual Development Account program; and a housing counseling network that provided technical assistance, pass-through funding, and peer learning opportunities to agencies in 10 states.

Andrew Jakabovics is the Associate Director for the Economic Mobility Program at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. He works on housing, household debt, and higher education, as well as other issues related to sustaining and growing the middle class. Jakabovics has appeared on television and radio and in print, most recently for his research on the effects of the current mortgage crisis and potential policy solutions. Prior to joining the Action Fund, Jakabovics served as the research chief of staff for the MIT Center for Real Estate’s Housing Affordability Initiative. In 2004, he founded a grassroots organization, Kiruv for Kerry, which conducted outreach to the Orthodox Jewish community, drafted position papers, and connected policy issues with Jewish principles. He has also lectured on the relationship of Jewish law to the modern, democratic state. Andrew holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Columbia University and an M.C.P. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently pursuing his doctorate.

Jef Kinney is Fannie Mae’s vice president for Innovation Development, reporting to the senior vice president of Single-Family Business and Strategic Development. Kinney is responsible for the analysis, development, and implementation of strategic initiatives and the development of strategy and strategies for the Single-Family Guaranty Business. Responsibilities include internal and external relationship management and cross-department coordination for the development and implementation of strategic initiatives.

Before assuming his present title, Kinney was vice president for Business and Product Development, Single-Family Mortgage Business, where he was responsible for the development and management of products and processes that delivered value to Fannie Mae’s customers and facilitated Fannie Mae’s fulfillment of its mission. Before that, he was vice president for Single-Family Pricing and responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of credit pricing models.

Kinney began his career at Fannie Mae in 1984 and except for a brief one-year break in service at the CIT Group in 1987, he has held increasingly more responsible positions at Fannie Mae in the areas of credit pricing, capital markets, technology, and mortgage finance. While at the CIT Group, Kinney was assistant vice president of Financial Strategies, responsible for asset/liability management, pricing and asset securitization.

Kinney has a bachelor of science from Vanderbilt University.

Louis Soares is the Director of the Economic Mobility Program at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Louis brings more than 15 years of private, nonprofit, and public sector experience. He has worked as a nonprofit director, educator, policy analyst, volunteer, and advocate across the fields of workforce, education, and economic development. A leader in workforce development and human capital issues, Louis has published articles and op-eds on workforce and innovation. Prior to joining the Action Fund, he served as Director of Business Development at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation where he managed Rhode Island‘s business attraction, export assistance, government contracting, and small business initiatives from 2003 to 2006. As Director of Education and Training for the Rhode Island Technology Council from 2000-2002, Louis developed and managed a workforce training strategy for a 240-member trade association, which included implementing education-business partnerships at the high school, college, and corporate levels to align with relevant workplace skills. He also was a small business consultant with the U.S. Peace Corps in Romania in 1995 and 1996. Louis brings to us expertise in state strategy and incentives for economic development, adult literacy, and workforce development. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in business economics from Brown University.

Sarah Wartell is the Executive VP for Management for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. One of the original architects of Action Fund’s business plan, she has been responsible for building the institution, overseeing its operations, and strategic planning from its founding.

Sarah served in the White House in the Clinton Administration as Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. Prior to serving at the White House, Sarah was a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Federal Housing Administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has served as a consultant to the Millennial Housing Commission and the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation. She also practiced law with the Washington, D.C. firm of Arnold & Porter and taught law and technology policy as an adjunct professor and visiting scholar at Georgetown University Law Center.