Tuesday, February 23, 2010

News Talk Online February 24, 2010: Man Bulldozes House Ahead Of Foreclosure

By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network


If there any amongst us who still doesn't believe that this Great Recession is devastating - I offer you the story of Terry Hoskins of Moscow, Ohio.

Hoskins, who has been trying to work out a loan modification with his bank to save his house from foreclosure, has made good on his promise to bulldoze the house before the mortgage company could reclaim him.

Flying an airplane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas over similar frustrations isn't cool. But this action I like.

I can't begin to tell you the number of people I know or I've met who are struggling to keep their homes. They are decent people who want to remain in the house and maintain it. All they need is a little relief from their banks.

But instead of helping their customers out, the banks are only too happy to evict them. All-too-often they aren't really helping themselves. The house remains vacant and the bank has to pay to upkeep the grounds. The property erodes. And instead of taking in some albeit reduced money for the house - they lose any flow of income.

And some family finds itself out on the street.

A family that probably shouldn't have qualified for the loan in the first place - but was granted it because of the bank's own predatory lending practices. Or a family whose head-of-household was simply laid off and has fallen on hard economic times.

I was talking just the other day to a woman friend - a single mom - from whom her ex-husband has hidden assets to avoid paying his fair share in child support and alimony. She works three - count them - three jobs, in an attempt to keep the house which is home to her and her four children - all of college age - all of whom are not getting any financial assistance from their father for their educations.

She has tried to utilize all the programs supposedly available to be able to keep her home. But, the system is far stronger than is she. It has beaten her down.

Now this is a tough woman who has successfully battled cancer. She's someone I admire - because she has been doing all of the "right things" to provide for her family without outside assistance. She probably could have gone on welfare - rather than work three jobs - but that's just not her nature.

And the improvements she's made on this house over the years. It has an amazing garden and yard - the result of long hours of her tender loving care.

Of course, none of this matters to the bank. The answer is "no" to her request to refinance the house. It's a sure-fire bet that once they evict her - as surely they will - the value of that property will decrease.

I doubt that my friend will rent a bulldozer and knock the house down like Terry Hoskins did. But there are millions of Terry Hoskins and people like my friend who have reached the end of ropes. They are our friends, our neighbors and sometimes, us.

The nation should be in crisis mode over this. Real programs to help people - laws to protect them - are needed. The time for words is over. It's time for action.

The discontent runs much deeper than the superficial analysis of the Tea Party movement would suggest. But, as usual, those insulated within the Beltway, are the last to know. And those who do know, on Wall Street, are too busy counting their bonuses to care.

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