Saturday, September 12, 2009

I understand the impulse...

... of a woman who refuses to leave her home when she was evicted.

I get it, I really do. She feels compelled to try to stay in her home. She thinks the bank somehow acted unfairly. But, she took out an adjustable rate mortgage on the home -- and her payments increased 1,000. She also lost her job -- so she stopped making payments. So -- it's not like she was making her old payment of $1200.... she wasn't paying anything.

Really, what did she think the bank was going to do?

I know darned well that if I stopped paying rent, they'd kick me out. My rent is almost as much as her original house payment. Would I be reasonable in asking my landlord to let me live here indefinitely? Of course not -- and my apartment management knows me much better than her bank does.

She's lived in the house a long time (26 years, I think)-- which means that the adjustable rate mortgage was a re-finance decision. She cashed in her home equity, like many people did - and got in trouble. Welcome to 2009... it's a common story.

On the other hand, I feel for her. I'm sure that some slick little salesperson dangled the cash value of her home equity in front of her in order to slide the horrors of an adjustable rate by her. But, in the end, it doesn't really matter how it happened - -she signed a contract she didn't fully understand. She spent the home equity money on something -- and that alone should have sent up warning bells...

According to the Star-Tribune story, the bank has tried to make offers to settle with her --- but she refused. The most recent one (well after she was supposed to get out) was $5,000 to move out. With $5,000 for deposits, first/last month's rent etc.. she could get a pretty decent apartment that she can afford on unemployment. I don't think it's a bad deal -- really. Even if the mortgage salesperson initially acted poorly, the institution seems to be acting well in a bad situation.

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