Sep 16 2008

Maybe I Just Don’t Get It

Category: economy,freedom,housingamuzikman @ 9:48 pm

I have had a home mortgage of some sort since 1980. In the 28 years since my first loan I have sold property and I have bought property. I have refinanced home loans more times than I can remember. I have made money in real estate and I have lost money (a lot of money), in real estate. I have had loans that were labeled as “creative financing”. (This formerly often-used term can be freely interpreted as “You-can’t-really-afford-it-but-we’ll-think-of-something financing”). I have taken risks with loans – betting (and hoping) that real estate values would continue to rise, knowing I would be in serious trouble if they did not. I have faced “balloon payments”. In short I have made decisions both good and bad and lived with the consequences of both. But never even once did I think it was someone else’s job to bail me out if I made what turned out to be a bad decision.

I have been to real estate sales offices, escrow company offices, and bank loan offices. But never even once did I witness a borrower forced at gunpoint to sign loan documents, or tortured until they signed a purchase agreement. In fact I have never seen anyone forced in any way to enter into any kind of financial agreement.

So here is my question: How in the world did we ever get to the point where we expect the government to step in and protect us from the consequences of bad decisions?

I’m sorry some people have lost their homes to foreclosure. I really am. Who knows, maybe it will happen to me. It happens every day in this country and has for many many years. People over-extend themselves, lose jobs, have unforeseen events changes their lives…and some are just deadbeats. Foreclosure is not new. So why does the government suddenly care about this? The answer lies in the unprecedented volume of foreclosures. OK I get that. But what do you say to someone who lost their home to foreclosure, say 10 years ago? “Gee, too bad there weren’t more of you at that time, then maybe we would have bailed you out too.”

Maybe I’m missing something here…

As an adult I understand that every decision I make carries consequences. It is a fact I have tried to instill in my kids as well. Understanding that is a part of growing up. But I make decisions knowing full well I will and should bear the consequences of those decisions – not my neighbor, not my co-workers, not my government – me!

I just don’t get it.

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One Response to “Maybe I Just Don’t Get It”

  1. harmonicminer says:

    This will seem very rude, and uncaring, but: of all the people getting foreclosed on recently, who took loans they couldn’t keep up with, what proportion do you think were more likely to vote Democratic than Republican? I have my suspicions, based purely on the demographics of the people who were most likely to take the riskiest loans, loans which lenders were given incentives to make by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (ultimately by Congress), because somebody wanted more people who didn’t really qualify to “have a chance at the American Dream”. What would be a Democratic Congress’s reaction to all this if the foreclosures were happening mostly in RED counties of RED states? Yawnnnn

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