Seriously..I am torn. I just don’t believe this is the right way to deal with a lender when you can’t make your previously AGREED TO payments.
I recently became aware of the website OccupyOurHomes.org. The site is full of heart tugging stories of people who can’t make their mortgage payments and the issues they have had with the banks in attempting to get a modification or stop an eviction.
I have to start with a basic idea here. All of these people signed mortgage contracts under lawful circumstances. If it could be ruled they were not of a right mind, or capable of understanding what they executed, then by now the attorneys would be attempting to void out mortgages based on the incompetence of the borrowers. Not heard that case being made.
As I wander through this site, I see that the one thread that ties all of these people together is that they can’t make the payments they agreed to make, and getting to live in their homes at a lower cost (or even no cost) is a right extended to them by living in America. Or under God..or some other deity. The theme, as we now have heard it from the media so many times, is the 99% will have their voices heard.
The reasons I am torn? A bunch really.
1. I do feel bad for people who are able to enter agreements (contracts) and really not understand the possible repercussions. On a different scale..I assume most of these folks purchased cars on credit and signed notes for the cars. If they can’t make the payments, the car gets repossessed. No modification programs are being advocated by the government for car buyers. I have heard talk of them for student loan borrowers. I suppose cars are next..and I guess OccupyOurCars.org has already been acquired.
2. Admitadely, the banks have not shown a lot of excitement to provide modifications. They have done it under the strong arm-twisting of the federal government..but the reality is they are complicated beasts with a VERY high rate of failure. As I have witnessed so many times, the people who are unable to make their house payment also often choose to not spend money on maintenance. The longer the situation exists, the more the value of the home drops (as do the ones around it). Modifications, due to the high rate of failure, don’t stop this cycle..only prolong it.
3. As I review the website, it appears there is a lot of good money being spent on this cause. It in fact troubles me as to where the funds are coming from. Yesterday, a press release found on AOL Real Estate brought me to my tipping point on this issue:
NEW YORK – Aug. 22, 2012 – The “Occupy Our Homes” movement is taking its anti-foreclosure message to the airwaves. The protesting group, part of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has a network of participants across the country, announced it has launched a national television ad campaign to speak out against foreclosures and show struggling homeowners how they can fight against evictions.
In recent months, the group has staged “sit-in” protests at properties of homeowners facing foreclosure.
The TV ads direct viewers to the OccupyOurHomes.org (Link: http://occupyourhomes.org) website for a field manual on how to “start an occupation,” which details how homeowners can protest a foreclosure using sit-in strategies.
The ads are set to appear on networks like CNN, FOX and MSNBC.
This is not inexpensive advertising!
The great thing about America and our system is there is plenty of room for groups like this to exist. We do have laws and at some point those laws will need to be enforced. There are thousands and thousands of people involved in the housing business who have all kinds of empathy for people who made bad decisions. Nobody really wants people to be put out on the street. Don’t worry..they won’t be. There are so many options for renting and public assistance today. What I have on my mind is who is funding this anti-capitalism, anti-law, protest movement? And why?
That is what we all should start to be concerned about. If you have information on this please comment and share so we can all draw our own conclusions.