Friday, February 20, 2009

More Complaints about the Mortgage Bailout

A story on is backing up the points I was trying to make yesterday about the problems with the mortgage bailout.

Don't have a job?

Struggling to keep up with payments on a home worth less than half the mortgage?

Owe way more than your home's value, but can still afford the payments?

Sorry, but you likely aren't among the 9 million people who may get help under President Obama's $75 billion foreclosure prevention program.

The article went on to tell the story of a homeowner who is facing a similar situation to mine and thousands of others here in Vegas and in the Southwest in general.

Take Joe Martinez of Bristow, Va., who fits the profile of the "responsible" homeowner Obama cited in the plan. The government contractor and his wife thought they did everything right when they bought their brand new $600,000 house two years ago. They put 5% down and got a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage they could afford.

Others in their neighborhood, however, couldn't keep up with the payments. As foreclosure rose, the value of the couple's home plummeted to $450,000, leaving them doubtful they'd ever recover their investment.

Martinez called their lender to try to get into the Hope for Homeowners program, which would reduce their loan balance to 90% of the home's current value. But they were turned down because they weren't in default.

So two months ago, the couple stopped paying their mortgage, hoping they could then qualify. But even if they don't, they are willing to take the hit on their credit scores to stop throwing money down the drain.

"There's just no point to stay here," said Martinez, 29, adding he could rent the house across the street for half his monthly mortgage payment. "We don't want to give up our home, but it's never going to come back."

Martinez isn't interested in having his interest rate lowered. He would like to see some of his principal forgiven.

"Why would it be such a big deal for them to modify my loan?" he said, noting that his tax dollars are being used to finance the program. "Wouldn't that stabilize the economy?"

Is it time for we the people to all just stop paying our mortgages and walk away from our houses? The banks have already received our money in the form of taxpayer funded bailouts.

"Cutting principal is really what's needed to contain foreclosures," said Christian Menegatti, lead analyst for economic research firm RGE Monitor.
The next wave of mortgages may very well be instigated by those of us who are under water on our mortgages and just don't have any hope of ever getting back on the plus side. Nothing in the current mortgage bailout will do anything to solve the problem. We've been abandoned by our government after stealing our money to save irresponsible lenders.

Some experts, however, say Martinez is the exception. Those who can make their payments aren't likely to walk away because still need a roof over their head, said Howard Glaser, a mortgage industry consultant.

"Homeowners aren't day traders in their homes," he said. "The investment value is not an issue."

Really? Homeowners don't care about the value of their homes? Really?!!! We're the exception to the rule?!! REALLY?!!! That's exactly the kind of thinking that disappoints me most about this administration.

Questioning Politics

1 comment:

Sarah Kay said...

WOW, that pretty much says it all doesn't it? I am glad to see someone like CNN Money pick up such a loophole and expose it. I am not sure what that will do in the end, but it's nice knowing that we aren't sitting around wondering if we are crazy for thinking there is no hope for us.