February 2, 2009

A Headline, A Rant

This morning I saw this headline: Good News for Foreclosure Victims. Foreclosure victims I tell you! Argh! The only people affected by foreclosure that I think of as victims are the renters whose landlords failed to pay the bills, causing the renters to be unfairly evicted. The article did address those people, too. Freddie Mac has decided that to avoid unsightly vacancies and properties falling into disrepair, the bank will graciously allow the house to be rented to the foreclosed-upon owner. In the even that the house was already occupied by renters, Freddie will rent the house to them instead of evicting them. For the renters, who likely can't afford to start a new lease elsewhere, this is great news! For the owners-turned-renters, this is also good news. Sort of. Sure, I think it's great that they aren't going to be kicked to the curb and their pets abandoned to the local shelter or worse. I do have a couple of questions. First, if they weren't paying the mortgage, what makes Freddie think they'll pay the rent? Is he going to drop the monthly rate? If he IS going to drop the monthly rate, then what motivates a struggling homeowner to keep struggling. Why not give up the loan and the house and pay the decreased rent? Same house, same standard of living, price break. Yes! The decision to borrow too much is first rewarded with the loan itself, and then with a possible drop in rent. Second, what makes these people victims? They chose to take the loan. They chose to buy a house that was beyond their means. I know there are exceptions. There are people who could afford the monthly payments but disaster struck and times got hard. In my opinion, they aren't victims either. They could have waited to buy a house until they could pay cash or at least had enough savings to cover them in the event of an emergency. Why is Freddie continuing to reward people for their irresponsible choices?!


karen said...

Eye roll. Because it's the American way. This is why we give large amounts of bailout money to companies who have already demonstrated they don't know what to do with it. We reward poor choices, poor service, poor products, poor decisions. It makes us look nice. Whereas letting people experience the consequences of their bad choices, while really the best thing for them, is called TOUGH love for a reason. It's hard, and it looks mean.

Sometimes I think we worship at the altar of "nice." It's the highest virtue.

Dennis said...

Good thoughts! We're all supposed to be victims these days, I guess.

Tara said...

I have to second Karen on this: this IS the American way! An easy out, no responsibility. The message that if you are struggling or anything is "hard", that is unfair to you and it's unacceptable for you to have to deal with it.

Heck, everyone WANTS to be a victim in this country. Look at the result of Hurricane Katrina. Don't even get me started on that. Ugh! I know so many people out of work right now and not looking for a job at ALL because they're on unemployment. They have no motivation. And they were raised in America so nothing in them says it isn't right to be a mooch. That they should be at least trying their very best to earn an honest living. They think they 100% deserve to have someone take care of them and their mistakes.