Friday, October 15, 2010

Foreclosures or "Why Should I keep paying my Mortgage?"

I don't usually read the New york Times, and for good reason, it generally makes me angry.  Yesterday was absolutely no exception.

From a Maine House, a National Foreclosure Freeze

In this lovely story, The Times Reporter weaves a beautifully eloquent tale a modern David and Goliath story, er sorta.  In the original David and Goliath, David was truly a good guy.  He had done what he was supposed to do and as a result God blessed him.  David not only took responsibility for his own actions but for the rest of his family as well.  This is not really the case with Nicole Bradbury, the heroine of the Times article.  Mrs. Bradbury has not paid her mortgage in 2+ years, she lost a full time in 2006 and has worked part time since.  Her husband is ill and unable to work.

GMAC the "Goliath" of the story, who lent her the money in 2003 to buy property from her brother and to build a home, has tried to evict her multiple times now.  Their fruitless attempts have caused problems for the entire mortgage industry.  There's even discussion of a "foreclosure moratorium" to be imposed by the Feds.

I'm stuck on someone not paying their mortgage for two years, I'm sorry give me a moment to digest that.  I can't even think about what would happen to the housing market if the Feds stopped foreclosures.

So we are supposed to feel sorry for Nicole?  Am I supposed to what?  want to send her money?  Hate GMAC? Is there a goal here?

Then I read this article Lenders abandoning foreclosed properties so clearly I'm supposed to hate the Mortgage Industry.  But again, that's not what sticks out in my mind, this part is:

"I've paid taxes here for 6 1/2 years. It's ridiculous that I have to live next to that," Yancey said, motioning to the boarded-up house that has been home to squatters and scores of animals. "Nobody knows what goes into that building."
Like Lewis, Yancey said she has called City Hall to get the building torn down or to at least find out if Lass is still the owner.
"When you call, it's like there's no answer," she said. "Is it the mortgage company or is it a 'somebody' who owns it?"
The 39-year-old Lass bought the Lincoln Ave. house in June 2006 - about a year and a half after his release from prison, where he had spent about a dozen years for drug dealing. Lass financed the purchase with a $112,500 loan from subprime lending giant Argent Mortgage Co., of California. The mortgage carried an adjustable interest rate between 10.05% and 16.05%. (emphasis added)
I'm sorry, he was in jail for 12 years and 18 months after his release he qualified for a mortgage?  When I got my first mortgage even with 30% down I had to provide tax records for a decade, my grandmother's shoe size, proof of income, and my first born as collateral.  How does an ex-con get a loan 18 months after he was incarcerated?  The above referenced article also had this little gem:

Although a demolition order was issued last year, the building is still standing. It is one of about 80 houses waiting for funding so they could be razed.
Lewis has urged city officials to bulldoze the house and to tell him who owns it.
"They keep telling me some lady," Lewis said. "They say some lady owns it, and they can't get in touch with her."
County records show Latoya Wesley bought the house in 2006 with a subprime mortgage loan. It was one of five properties the Milwaukee woman bought around that time.
Wesley has been hit with repeated foreclosure suits and was on the way to losing title to the Clarke St. property when a foreclosure judgment was issued on Feb. 26, 2007. The property was never sold at a sheriff's sale, however. Just last month, the foreclosure judgment was dismissed.
Wesley said she isn't the owner. "It was foreclosed on," she said. "The bank owns it." (emphasis mine)
And we wonder why our property values are falling faster than the prices at Walmart?

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