Saturday, February 28, 2009

It Wasn't Me

As the new 'economic stimulus' package starts to take effect, the cries of class warfare fill the air as taxes are raised on the wealthiest citizens. Meanwhile, in the same breath, many still blame the working class for taking out home loans they couldn't afford as the cause of the fall of our fine and upstandingshifty and greedy financial institutions.
As one of those people who received a subprime loan and defaulted on it, let's get a few things straight.
Five years ago I was going through a divorce, angry and unreasonable, much more than I am these days, I ignored the advice of those who suggested I rent an apartment after moving out of the house I shared with my ex-wife. Pigheaded, I sought out a house, and found a nice one, figuring that I deserved one since I was losing one. The prescription drugs weren't helping me think any clearer.
The real estate agent assured me she could get me a loan, even with a certain part of my income unverifiable (money I thought I might make on eBay that never materialized). She even suggested I put in a higher bid on the house, just to make sure I got the house (and, of course, so she got a bigger commission). I applied for a loan, never thinking that I would get one. But, much to my shock and chagrin, I got one, and when things went bad, I was left with a foreclosure on my financial record from a loan on a house I should have never been approved for. But I wasn't alone. Lots of people did.Why?
It all comes down to the financialization of our economy. As the growth of our economy moved farther and farther away from the production of goods as the basis for accumulating wealth and more towards the accumulation of paper wealth, the need for riskier and riskier loans became inevitable. So, basically, my desire to have a simple home was exploited by greedy bastards so that they may have more little pieces of paper than their neighbors.
So, don't blame me, I'm just another victim of a corrupt system run by shylocks and shysters whose only concern is to have more wealth with little effort.


Tom Harper said...

I've seen articles about these subprime loans. Loan officers were instructed to push for these types of loans as much as possible. There were quotas. For any loan officer who wasn't "productive" enough to approve a certain number of these loans, it was termination.

Kathy said...

Two of my children had similar experiences with real estate agents. They pushed them to roll their closing costs into their mortgage and stretch to buy more house then they could really afford. The agents told them they'd see a 10% increase in their house value within a year.

Now they're stuck with large payments and mortgages that are underwater.