In response to Mr. Molovinski's post I want to relate a story about my wife's cousin. Tom is a very good worker, husband and father of three little girls. He has a modest homeon which he has a mortgage with CitiBank. Tom lost his job when the housing construction company he worked for shut down. He collected unemployment for the allowed period. He now has no health insurance, no income, three girls who need to eat and Citibank trying to foreclose on his mortgage. He goes to mass regularly to pray he and his girls do not become homeless. The Obama administration is trying to help him and the thousands of others like him. Who should we help--Tom and his three little girls or CitiBank
anon 9:23, "who should we help?" i agree, you and your family should help him. BUT, should the rest of us give a bailout to citibank? and if they must absorb the loss by too many "tom's", they will need a bailout.
Do you really think CitiBank needs government bailouts? To wit: "Citigroup awarded Chief Executive Vikram Pandit $10.82 million of compensation in 2008, a year in which the bank required two government rescues totaling more than $45 billion.The problem is not our president, the problem is greedy capitalists. Shame on you MM for defending the rapacious oligarchs who really run America. You rail at the little guy and give a pass to the rich and powerful. Shame on you!
Mr. Molovinski:I have tried to help Tom. I give him any extra cash and food that I have. I am disabled and rent a room from a landlord who just raised my rent. Tom's family came to America in search of a better life. His family helped make this country great. They worked hard and saved their money. Now they are all struggling. If Tom has to go to the hospital, he and his girls will be homeless. If CitiBank forecloses he and his girls will be homeless.
anon 11:08. if they don't foreclose on the "toms", they will need a third bailout.anon 11:20, maybe you should rent a room from tom, that would help him out with the mortgage.
It takes a real community leader with courage who is grounded in reality to write this piece.Rolf OelerPS - too many Toms and too many bailouts, and pretty soon there will be no point in Toms coming to America anymore, anyway.Rather shocking the Class Warriors have not figured that one out yet.Unless an alternative agenda for America is what the Class Warriors have in mind.
Why doesn't Tom blog about his experiences and put up advertising at his site to generate revenue to help his family out?Tom can sing the praises of the Obama Administration and all they are trying to do! (collapse the economy on purpose?)What ever happened to American Independence?What happened to American Know How?What happened to American Ingenuity?What happened to America?"I need a bailout and am entitled. This is a violation of my Civil Rights by greedy Capitalists."That's what happened.Thank a public school teacher.
Michael:I am sorry the snow has distracted me from your blog. Upon catching up I find you in a dialectic about who is more to blame for our current foreclosure problems, i.e., a major international bank or a greedy slumlord. Interesting situation. You are siding with the bank? I maybe wrong but I think the foreclosure problem was brought on by the investment houses and banks with their creative derivatives and financial gimmicks. Don't you support the greater regulation of the "too big to fail" entities advocated by the White House? I fail to see how helping the victims of the greedy bankers is bad public policy.
gary, i believe the problem started with the government, first in the clinton administration, and then continued with bush. the misconception was that homeownership would make people more responsible, give them "roots" . the banks followed the new, relaxed underwriting guidelines by HUD, now the liberals blame the banks for the frenzy which followed, crying, subprime, subprimein my world you root plants, not people. a mortgage is a contract; between the homeowner and the bank. it's essential that contracts be honored, otherwise faith in the system breaks down. faith in the system has been breaking down, that's why attempts at recovery are failing. not everyone is ready to be a homeowner by historical criterion. and there are victims in a recession.
Anon 9:23 -Tom made an agreement with CitiBank. They would loan him money for his "modest home" and Tom would repay CitiBank over time. I am assuming that CitiBank did not have a gun to Tom's head to make him sign the mortgage.That is not an example of "greedy capitalists". It is an example of an agreement between two willing parties. There is no need for the government to be involved.
Michael: Would you defend AIG's "credit default swaps" as well as CitiBank's lending practices? My home mortgage was sold, bundled and sold and rebundled and sold again. AIG insured all these transactions. Everyone made money each time. The house of cards kept getting steeper until Lehman fell. All the execs got 6 figure, some 7 figure bonuses for these practices.
Anon 6:31 - I tend to agree, but for the sake of argument, where do we take into consideration that Citi's irresponsible lending practices, speculation, and financial management is in large part responsible for the collapse of the real estate market, which led to Tom being unemployed in the first place? Another "contrarian" way to look at this is that the cost to the community for letting Tom and his family become homeless and his home likely remain empty and neglected (I assume if he could have found a buyer for his home, he would have sold already), may be more than the cost of a government-overseen restructuring of his mortgage. For the record, I don't think the government should have to be involved, but we've seen all along that the banks have to be dragged kicking and screaming into any kind of reform to their broken system, so what other alternative is there if we don't want to allow them to continue screwing over our economy?I don't think that his mortgage should be written off, and I don't think that mortgages should become an entitlement - but I do wonder if it is not for our own benefit that foreclosures be halted. Citi isn't losing money by not collecting the mortgages - these homes have no value anymore; they would lose more money selling them now as bank-sales than they would by leaving it alone for a year until maybe Tom can find a job, and then having Tom repay his mortgage on its original schedule (perhaps the interest accrues in the meantime).By the time they would even find a buyer for this home, its likely that Tom would be able to find a job and resume payment on his mortgage.The idea that somehow people can just innovate in their lives to earn money during the recession is flawed - the very nature of this recession is that for every job open, there are over six people searching. Do some people find jobs in this economy? Sure. But 5 out of 6 are still applying.
my mortgage also changed hands 3 or 4 times, but that's none of my business. people are allowed to sell their house (average home owned for 7 years) and banks are permitted to sell mortgages.there are only 500 companies on the fortune list. if their executives, out of 200 million people, make seven figures, why is that my business? i don't buy into that class warfare stuff.
anon 8:11, i will not go into how much i disagree with you. my views are on the post, and this comment section is primarily for your view. however, i must say that prices in allentown(valley) have pretty much held up, maybe off 10%. time on market has increased significantly.
Anon 8:11 -Your write as though the government is blameless in all of this. The government was pushing the banks to loan money to unqualified lenders, so lets not put all the blame on the banks. It seems that you are looking for a government solution to a problem the government helped create.As to the "cost to the community", there is a very large cost to letting unproductive citizens stagnate. Look at what has happened to most of our major cities.I would also argue that if Tom was foreclosed upon, he would move to an area where jobs are more available, spurring growth there. For the record, if you think that anything the administration in Washington is proposing will make the situation better in a year, think again. The President and the leftists in his party seem hell bent on repeating every mistake made by other countries over the last 150 years.Call it socialism, call it big government, call it whatever you want. It looks great on paper, but we're seeing what happens in the real world.
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