I had to turn off the President's news conference on the big mortgage foreclosure settlement yesterday because it was getting me too pissed off. The President continued to use the term "responsible homeowners" to describe the "victims" of the five lenders ponying up the $26 Billion to settle the Federal case. He also used the phrase " who lost their homes through no fault of their own" a couple of times as well.
I will grant you, the President went to Harvard while I just went to the University of Wisconsin--but my definition of "responsible" would not include "not paying your mortgage." I am yet to find an example on-line of a family that was up-to-date on their house payments that had Bank of America, or Ally Bank foreclose on their homes. I can't even find a case where a homeowner missed just one payment before being tossed into the street. All four million of the "victims" in this settlement were NOT PAYING THEIR MORTGAGES!!
The great "sin" of the five lenders is they made foreclosure "too easy". They moved too quickly to file foreclosure papers--even though the loans were in default under the terms of the lending agreements. They failed to re-finance the loans--and then wait another six months without payment. And they refused to take a bath on short sales--like the houses could have been sold anyway.
I have two friends who are local lenders--and I wish we could have them on the air sometime to tell their stories from the "front lines" of the foreclosure mess--because their view of what's going on is a lot different than what the White House is seeing. I wish you could hear the stories of homeowners who came to them with no interest in standard 15 or 30-year mortgages--because those monthly payments would have been too high--and they had no money for a down payment anyway. They only wanted zero down, interest-only, jumbo, ARM's or balloon loans--because for at least one or two or five years they could barely make the payments.
My friends could also tell you about the letters to those not making their payments that go unanswered, the phone messages that are never returned, the appointments that are made to discuss refinancing or alternate payment plans that go unattended and the excuse after excuse after excuse they hear for why another promised, partial mortgage payment wasn't made this month. I think you would be less likely to shake your head in the affirmative when the President says these people are losing their houses through "no fault of their own."
I realize that it is politically expedient for Democrats to not hold people accountable for their actions and their decisions in life--but can we do away with the insulting practice of lumping the irresponsible with those of us who do live our lives like our actions actually have consequences? Thank you.