Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Foreclosure Nightmare - A Real Story

This is the story of someone facing a mortgage foreclosure, someone who is trying desperately to work with the mortgage company to work out payment. The problem is the mortgage company is unwilling to bend at all. Let me give you the details.

My sister purchased a home in Spring Hill FL a few years back before her husband decided to get a drug problem and skip out on her and the children. This was her second marriage. Her first husband was killed by a co-worker some years back. Through two marriages she has 7 children. I know that is just insane and it is no ones problem but her own that she was so irresponsible to keep having children that she simply could not afford. That fact means very little in terms of this discussion. She has been making her mortgage payments every month but had not paid her taxes which she believed were part of her payments but her contract called for her to pay the taxes directly. This put her behind two payments. She was not aware of this fact until after the first year of non tax payment. The mortgage company paid the taxes and she had her payment increased to cover the tax escrow. They included the first years unpaid tax as well as escrowing for the second year. She began making the higher payments by taking on a second job but has been unable to get caught up. Each month she is late they continue to pile on late charges and they threaten her daily with foreclosure. Today she asked me to talk to them. I agreed to help her out financially to get her caught up. My conversation with Chase Mortgage Services was less than productive. In fact it was down right frustrating and disheartening.

I told them I was willing to help her get caught up and asked how much they had piled on in late charges. The late charges were close to $500.00. Since her pay periods are such that she can only pay at the end of each month late charges are assessed every month. I asked if they could change the due date so she could avoid all the late charges, that was refused. I asked if they could waive the late charges so that she would be able to get caught up more easily, that was refused. At that point I asked what I could do to get this matter resolved. I was told the only way to avoid her being sent to foreclosure was to pay $1200 immediately or it would progress to the next level. That would mean legal fees and additional charges and for sure this would lead to foreclosure. I offered to pay half of that immediately and then $500.00 monthly until the account was caught up. That would be in addition to the monthly payment that she has been making every single month. My offer was refused. I told them that the house would never be sold since there are foreclosures all over the area that she lives. I asked why they would want another foreclosed property on their books when they were receiving payments every month. My sister, in prior conversations with Chase Mortgage Services said that she would make up the entire balance with her tax refund that she would receive in February. Now remember she was making a monthly payment at the higher rate this whole time. In my discussions with Chase it was revealed that they were also charging her for homeowners insurance which she pays herself on a monthly basis and it is one bill that she is not behind on. This was an obvious Chase mistake and I pointed that out. Again I was told it didn't matter that they needed a payment of $1200 now or they would start foreclosure proceedings. We went to them willing to do what was necessary to get this mortgage caught up. All we asked was that they meet us half way. I told them my sister was a single mother with seven children and that meant nothing to them. The prospect of a homeless family fell on deaf ears.

My sister has two jobs and one doesn't provide health care and the second job the employee costs of the plan are too high and therefore unaffordable. She is one of the 47 million uninsured. Her children would benefit from SCHIP but she was recently told that she earned too much to have them qualify. Her children would have been covered under the bill vetoed by that moronic fool we call President Bush. Her story is certainly not unique. It is a story shared by millions while those at the top continue to gain an ever larger percentage of the pie. When will this madness stop? We are a country will a shrinking middle class an ever expanding deficit. We spend more on defense than all the nations of the world combined yet are losing two wars simultaneously.

If anyone knows of any legal recourse we have to stave off foreclosure that would not involve heavy legal fees please let me know. This situation has left me so angry I could spit nails. Here you have someone who is saying I am not avoiding paying what I owe I just need some flexibility to allow me to get the payments caught up and the flexibility is not there. Hell human decency doesn't even seem to be there on the part of Chase Mortgage Services. This situation seems like a perfect campaign issue for any of the Democratic hopefuls especially John Edwards who has made poverty a major focus of his campaign. If any member of the campaign staff happens to see this we would welcome the opportunity to take this story national. This is the type of situation that can happen to almost anyone struggling to make ends meet.

This incident has made me want to turn this site into a movement. My sister is one of tens of millions of working poor who are being destroyed by the corporate culture that permeates every part of our government. I want to build Save The Middle Class into a not for profit aimed at helping the middle and lower classes stand up to the systematic elimination that has been happening to them since the early 1980's.

It is time to make our voices heard loud and clear. It is time that we say enough is enough and demand fundamental changes to our political process. It is time for us to say that we will no longer sit by and watch as everything we have worked for is gobbled up by the wealthiest among us. We will not exist solely to service the rich and be grateful for the scraps they wish to throw our way. We will not let the working poor replace the middle class in this country which is happening at an alarming rate. We must demand that our Presidential hopefuls pay more than lip service to the plight of the middle and lower classes. It is an issue that can be agreed upon by both liberals and conservatives. It is an issue where mutual cooperation could be achieved. Please recommend this story so that we can start the process of saving the middle class and taking back our country.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mortgage Meltdown More Costly Than The Savings and Loan Debacle of the 90's

Reports Suggest Broader Losses From Mortgages
Every time economists and Wall Street executives think they have acknowledged the full extent of the losses from the meltdown in real estate mortgages, more bad news turns up.

Merrill Lynch said yesterday that it would take a charge for mortgage-related securities on its books that is $3 billion more than the $5 billion it expected just two weeks ago. And a report from the National Association of Realtors showed that sales of existing homes in September fell twice as much as economists had expected, to their lowest level in nearly 10 years.
Ask yourself a question - what are the similarities of these two events? With both it was trusted financial institutions conducting shady business with the customer holding the bag. Will we need to bail out the financial institutions this time as well?
At this juncture, economists say the troubles in the mortgage market could, all told, cost financial firms and investors up to $400 billion.

That is far more than the roughly $240 billion cost, adjusted for inflation, of the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s, according to estimates of the combined financial toll of that crisis on both the federal government and private sector. The loss in total real estate wealth is expected to range from $2 trillion to $4 trillion, depending on how far home prices fall, according to several economists.
With numbers like this do you still think we can avoid a recession? This is what happens with a lack of regulation oh and of course a Republican administration that beleivves in letting industry police itself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Home Builders: Worst Is Yet To Come

The battered markets for real estate and home building still have farther to fall, according to a range of economists who spoke Wednesday at a forecast conference sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders.
The economists agreed that the problems with home finance markets will continue to hit housing into next year, and that even when there is a recovery, it will be a slow process that will see weakness continue into 2009.

While most said they believed the overall U.S. economy can weather the housing downturn, several saw significant risk of a recession. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's, said that large areas of the country will fall into recession, if they haven't done so already.

The economists also admitted to being surprised by how bad the housing downturn has become, and all said that making forecasts of a recovery is difficult due to the problems in the credit markets.

"This time, we just don't know how it's going to pan out because the securities markets have become so much more important," said David Seiders, chief economist with the builder's trade group.
The economists were surprised at how bad it is? What world are they living in? The savings rate is negative, personal debt is at an all time high and home affordability at an all time low. Subprime loans were the perfect teaser to keep the housing market sizzling. The problem is too much sizzle usually leads to a burn. The housing market could be charred beyond recognition.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Iraq War's Creeping Costs

The Iraq war may be funded largely with Uncle Sam's borrowed cash, but don't think American consumers will escape without taking a hit in the wallet.
The nation has spent $415 billion in Iraq and another $190 billion since 2001 fighting the "war on terror," which includes the fighting in Afghanistan, according to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, Congress' nonpartisan research arm.

That number could grow substantially. The CBO estimated in August that the total could hit $1 trillion by 2013 and that's if nearly two-thirds of the 210,000 troops now deployed are brought home.

On Wednesday, CBO Director Peter Orszag is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill and is expected to say that those numbers have been revised higher.

In addition, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said recently that a long-term "Korea-like" presence in Iraq could end up costing $2.5 trillion, or enough to cover half the estimated shortfall in Social Security due to retiring baby boomers.
Remember this war when they tell us that they need to cut social security benefits. Instead of caring for our own citizens we wasted trillions of dollars on war and countless lives to satisfy this vindictive and stupid President. If you still support this man then you are truly stupid.

Monday, October 22, 2007

George W. Bush's Job Approval Rating Drops to 25%

What do Richard Nixon and George W. Bush have in common?
George W. Bush's overall job approval rating has dropped to 25% as nearly seven in ten Americans say the national economy is getting worse according to the latest survey from the American Research Group. This matches the lowest approval rating for Bush recorded by the American Research Group.

Among all Americans, 25% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 67% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 23% approve and 67% disapprove.

Among Americans registered to vote, 26% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 67% disapprove. When it comes to the way Bush is handling the economy, 25% of registered voters approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 67% disapprove.

Approval among Republicans has dropped back to 67%. In September, 80% of Republicans approved of the way Bush was handling his job. In August, 66% of Republicans approved of the way Bush was handling his job.

The results presented here are based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews conducted among a nationwide random sample of adults 18 years and older. The interviews were completed October 18 through 21, 2007. The theoretical margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, 95% of the time, on questions where opinion is evenly split.

Overall, 25% of Americans say that they approve of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president, 67% disapprove, and 8% are undecided.
Who are the 25% who still agree with this moronic fool? You have to wonder about their sanity or their intellect. Republican still support this fool by large numbers. What does that tell you about Republicans? Is it simply not admintting that you made a mistake or do they really feel everything is going so well? I would love to have a conversation with someone that supports this fool and see if I can understand what they are so supportive of.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gas Prices Continue To Rise

Prices up a nickel in past two weeks according to national survey and are up 60 cents from the same time a year ago; more increases expected.
Gas prices rose a nickel during the past two weeks, to an average of $2.80 per gallon of self-serve regular, a national survey said Sunday.

That's 60 cents more than prices at this time last year, but 38 cents below the all-time peak of $3.18 set on May 18, said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the "Lundberg Survey."

The increases reported in the survey, which was carried out Oct. 19 and Oct. 5, will likely continue, she predicted.

"This nickel is a drop in the bucket," she said.

Over the same two-week period, the price of crude oil went up the equivalent of 18 cents per gallon.

That hike is not fully reflected at the pump because refiners, marketers and retailers have not passed it along, she said.

"The margin squeeze alone for refiners, marketers and retailers is enough to tell us that gasoline prices will continue to rise," she said.
Did you know that the price of a barrel of oil has more than tripled since the start of the Iraq war and occupation? The saber rattling going on with Iran will only cause prices to rise even further and if we should attack Iran $5.00 per gallon will be common.

We are living through some very strange times and the pressure on the middle and lower classes will only continue to grow until we demand a change in course.