Monday, July 14, 2008

Check Your Sensitivity at the Door

After a bunch of sweet posts of good old family summertime fun and lovin', I got a few bones I need to pick. And I fully admit I may be offending some with this, but hey - it's my blog. My sweetness melted in the pool during my shiteous swim, so if you're looking for some sugar, eat some Mike n Ikes.

Things You Don’t Want to Hear From Your Chiropractor
“Wow! That really worked!” (with genuine surprise)
“Let’s hope that makes it feel better.” (Hope?!?)
“This audit is killing me.” (umm…)

True story. Scary, yes, but true.

Personal Responsibility is DEAD
When I began looking for a house about a year ago, I spoke with a mortgage broker and crunched numbers, and eventually figured out what I can afford. Now, I was originally pre-approved for an amount way beyond what I actually could afford, so I talked my agent and we started looking for houses much closer to my price range. I didn’t sign my name to anything without completely looking at all the numbers and knowing what on Earth I was getting myself into. And at the end of the day, the numbers didn't work, and house buying got shelved.

So what I don’t understand is this housing foreclosure crisis thing. Now, I get that there were lenders out that did bad things, like change and falsify information on documents after the fact, so then the buyer is legitimately screwed. Were they sketchy lenders out there that gave out subprime loans? Absolutely. But there would be no bad loans without the people to sign for them, right? Thus, it seems that there's a whole bunch of people that simply signed their names to documents they didn’t read, or didn’t take the time to understand what they were signing or signed something that may not have been in their best interest. And now the government has to step in and save these people?

WTF? Am I missing a part of this? No really – I am being serious - ‘cause if I am, please send me an email and help me understand it. I’m a reasonable girl – I like a good education.

And speaking of education - ten years ago, I signed my name to a shitload of student loans that today are the equivalent of actually buying a house (I wish I was kidding). I could claim that I didn’t know what I was doing (I didn’t), or no one told me what my monthlies would be down the road (they didn’t) but I am pretty damn sure that pleading ignorance today is not going to get the government to excuse my loans or help me out.

I think what finally set me off on this was this morning, I was listening to a story about a nearby town that had a ton of foreclosures. The people were pissed off at the sheriff's department, who was court-ordered to remove people from their home because they were not paying their mortgages, and subsequently received, like, $200 for their efforts (I believe from the mortgage companies, but don't quote me). And the people in the town were like, "Oh, it's not fair! They are just kicking us out to get their money!" Help me out with what's not fair - the part where you don't pay your mortgage for months and expect to keep your home? If I just stopped paying my rent, what should happen? And pehaps I am being insensitive, but again, maybe I am missing part of this.

Am I the Only Who Could Not Care Less?
Can someone explain to me why Nice, France, all but shut down when Angelia Jolie gave birth? Press conferences? Seriously? I don’t know who I am more embarrassed for – France, because it was like a national holiday over there, or us, because we read/watch/eat/drink this shit called celebrity gossip. Why do we worship these people? Have they cured cancer? Are they teachers/social workers/doctors? No, they make movies, kiss their brothers, cheat on their wives, shoot heroin, and buy 8 million dollar homes. Call me crazy, but it doesn't seem close to world peace.

I have a hard time believing that CNN has nothing better to report on then this nonsense. I mean, don’t they know there’s a housing crisis going on?


Cindy Jo said...

Man, great post Megan. I couldn't have said it better myself. I am as outraged as you are!

Andra Sue said...

Okay, first of all, I didn't know Angelina Jolie was even pregnant, let alone that she gave birth in France. So, it is possible, although difficult, to be immune to the celebrity drivel. I think I must make some kind of unconscious effort to tune it out. Blech.

And on the mortgage/foreclosure thing--I agree with you 100%!!! BUT, if you want to hear an excellent NPR piece about how it all came about, email me and I'll find you the link or send you a CD. Really worth listening to--interesting, plus it cleared up so many things I'd wondered about. I felt like I should totally understand it, given the field of work I'm in, and I didn't before. :)

Lauren said...

Great post. The "mortgage crisis" thing drives me bonkers. DH & I are like you -- qualified for a lot more than we could actually afford. Our neighborhood is crazy with the foreclosures right now (like 6 out of 80 houses are currently in foreclosures), which is killing my home value thankyouverymuch.

The only thing we're screwed about is we need the crisis to be over so the housing market can recover so we can sell our house without having to compete with all the bargain-basement foreclosure prices.

You know, sell our house, so we can buy a bigger house, which is now in our price range because we're not trying to keep up with the Joneses (who are probably in foreclosure)

Flatman said...

Wow...I agree with every thing you just said...EVERYTHING! Good post.

The Clyde said...

People willingly and knowingly bought above what they could afford, hoping the adjustable rates wouldn't inflate. (Not to mention shady mortgage lenders encouraging them, but that's a different story) Now the ARM's rose and they are screwed, so the gov't helps them out.

Then you have responsible home owners like me....bought within their limits and what they could afford...chose the 30yr over the risky ARM's. Do I get "thank you" money from the gov't for making payments and NOT forclosing (ie for being responsible?) (Or even perhaps the ability to lower my APR down to say 2 or 3%, ie what they are offering to some to help bail them out?)

Of course not, rather let's bail out the people who were purposely irresponsible and forgot about all the people who actually made smart decision. (And don't get me wrong I have two friends that had to forclose, but it still pisses me off, I've had debates with both of them).

OK, I have to bang my head against the wall now...thanks Meg ;-)

The Clyde said...

Sorry for all the grammatical errors in that last post...when I get worked up, that all goes out the window, haha.

Amy said...

Freakin' awesome post Megan.

Prin said...

I agree. *high five*

Mommymeepa said...

AMEN sistah friend right there with you on everything you said.

I'm becoming a teacher and what I have to look forward to is all the parents calling me when Johnny or Susie doesn't do their work and I have to penalize them for it and then their parents call and tell me it's because of their busy schedules and I should cut them a break cause afterall kids are so darn busy these days.

Personal Responsibility and Common Sense have gone by the wayside in thie country!! UGH!!!

Mommymeepa said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. I loved the Beach Boys at Ravinia and John Stamos was there for the whole concert with them. He's still a hottie. He played drums, guitar, bongo drums, and sang.

An older couple gave us their Pavillion seats cause they didn't want to wait in line for the bus, so my friend and son went for part of the concert and my daughter and I got to go for the end of the concert. They were 50 dollar tickets. A good time was had by all and I got to relive my Uncle Jessie Crush.

Wipaddler said...

Great post Megan. The problem that I have with it is now that every one is forclosing and the gvt is having to step in the lenders are not giving loans to people who have less than stellar credit. IE ME!!! I have dings on my credit from emergency medical bills and unfortunately that reflects poorly and I can't get a loan to buy a house. I didn't plan on or want to have emergency bills it just happened. And now that people got in over their heads I'm the one that gets rejected. I'm fairly certain I will be a renter till I marry and that sucks.

Anonymous said...

I agree!!!! 100% Excellent post!!!!

Shawn said...

I agree with you 100%. People need to start taking responsibility for their actions and not cry foul when things don't go their way. GREAT POST!!!!

Tiger Lily said...

AMEN sister!!

Benson said...

I'm right there with ya. too many people think they're entitled to everything and don't take responsibility for their actions. Boo hoo to them. I get so pissed off that we 'responsible' people have to hold them up. ugh.
and at all that crap that gets flung from the media...stop the insanity. France seems whacked.

Lon Coleman said...

I have to say that I agree 100%. Sounds like the same thing I have been preaching from my soapbox (which I carry with me everywhere)

On a seperate note... I just got back from the US Transplant Games in Pittsburgh. Nothing sort of spectacular... again! 2010 will be in Madison, WI... you should attend, you will NOT regret it. I think everyone should go at least once.

We will have the TRI for Life triathlon team in Chicago for the Accenture race in Aug. Are you coming out to that one? We have a lot planned.

Tri-Angle said...

Nice one Meg.
We've got foreclosure's and for sale signs all over our neighborhood we'd love to move (read, neighbors are suckish)but that won't happen for 12-18 months. That's mybest non-educated guess as to when this cycle is gonna go the right way again.

Tea said...

Well--I have to offer another side of the mortgage crisis. SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS like me and my husband.
Credit scores are based on credit available versus outstanding balances. Anyone who has a small business will tell you that they also have bad credit. WHY? Because most of us have to finance our business with credit cards. (don't get me started on SBA SH!T).

Here's the catch....we are 100% current every single month, but that doesn't matter to creditors. Small businesses rely on payment terms NOT available credit.

Therefore, we fall into the high risk category for mortgages. It's because of the way teh Credit Reporting Agencies are set up. It hurts small businesses.

SO---if you are a small business owner and considered a high risk to lenders...(eventhough you pay on time every single month)...the only mortgages that you can get are high risk....what do you do?

Tea said...

btw--I did a very poor job of explaining this because it is so complex and the smallest part of the problem is actually people buying outside of their means.

You buy a house. You expect to refinance in a few years to get out of your arm. The real estate cycle (which is 7 years but the last one lasted 10 years) crashes on you. Or worse yet, you lose your job. Your home is now worth less. Your mortgage goes up. You can't afford the payment now.

My point is regardless of the reason that people need to give up their homes. We are talking about families who now have to uproot their children away from schools and friends. "Do not judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes."