Cummings Applauds Fannie Mae’s Decision to End Home Sales to Vision

May 23, 2017
Press Release

Cummings Applauds Fannie Mae’s  Decision to End Home Sales to Vision

 

Cummings Investigation Exposed Company’s Abusive Business Model

 

Washington, D.C. (May 23, 2017)—Today, in response to an investigation conducted by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, officials from Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) informed Cummings’ staff that they are ceasing all sales of real estate owned (REO) properties to Vision Property Management and its affiliates.

 

“Families who move into homes purchased from Fannie Mae should not have to worry about whether their children will get lead poisoning,” Cummings said.  “Vision withheld documents from both Congress and Fannie Mae, so I applaud this decision to end sales to this company.  I welcome additional measures to prevent other companies that buy homes from Fannie Mae from willfully ignoring their responsibilities as owners and landlords, endangering tenants, and promoting abusive lease-to-own schemes.”

 

On May 12, 2017, Cummings sent a letter urging FHFA to restrict Vision and other unscrupulous investors from buying properties from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at bargain-basement prices, shirking their obligation as landlords to ensure the safety and habitability of their homes, and then leasing them as-is under terms that try to put responsibility for repairs and maintenance onto tenants.

 

Today, Fannie Mae and FHFA officials informed Cummings’ staff that they are “ceasing all sales of REO properties to Vision.”  Contributing to this decision was the fact that they had asked Vision for data on its leases that Vision refused to provide.

 

These officials also explained that Fannie Mae plans to insert in its future contracts with investors a provision prohibiting the use of Fannie properties in lease-to-own schemes.  They also reported that Fannie Mae will identify all investors who buy more than 25 REOs in a single year, and they plan to approach these buyers to sign MOUs requiring them to provide data about how properties they buy from Fannie are being used. 

 

Cummings has been investigating Vision’s abusive practices for several months in light of a report in the New York Times relating to a family in Baltimore that suffered lead poisoning after living in a home leased from Vision that was not remediated after the company purchased it from Fannie Mae.

 

Cummings first raised concerns about Vision in a letter to Fannie Mae on January 18, 2017, seeking information about the steps it planned to take to ensure that the houses the company obtains through foreclosure and subsequently re-sells are safe for residents and free from lead hazards and code violations.

 

According to information obtained from Fannie Mae, Vision purchased 3,417 REO properties from Fannie Mae between 2010 and 2014 in pool sales, and Vision continued to acquire properties from Fannie Mae after pool sales ended in 2014.

 

Cummings sent a letter to Vision on January 18, 2017, seeking documents on the number and condition of homes Vision acquired from Fannie Mae and offered on lease-to-own contracts in Baltimore and around the nation.  Vision provided only a limited number of documents, prompting Cummings to send another letter demanding that Vision complete production of all requested documents and information. 

 

 

Issues: 
115th Congress