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Comment Re:Great Depression? (Score 1) 873

All we need is for the government to get its head out of its ass and give money to people who truly need it (i.e. those who are close to defaulting on their homes).

Your definition of the word need is very curious. I'm puzzled why you somehow feel that "maintain current lifestyle" should equate to "need." A need in this case that should be met with money forcibly taken from the taxpaying base of the nation?

I've been working in my tech-sector job for just shy of 5 years now. After paying my own way through college, I was hired as a contractor for 6 months, and subsequently interviewed successfully for a full-time position. When I moved to the state, I found the smallest, cheapest apartment within a 35 mile radius of work. The place was not glamorous and I had annoying neighbors who chain-smoked, banged the walls, and argued constantly. For 3 years I scrimped and saved everything I had to buy a house. I had no bed (slept on an air mattress) or other bedroom furniture, no TV, and obtained a couch only by bartering babysitting hours. When I did start looking for my own home, I was shocked to realize that there was no way I would be able to afford my own (single-family) house anywhere close to work, and restricted my search to the only type of dwelling that did fit in my budget: condos built before 1990. After a year of searching, I found an early-eighties townhome and bought it under 80/10/10 financing: 80% first mortgage, 10% second mortgage, 10% down payment. I negotiated the best fixed-rate mortgage I could (I had a good, but relatively short, credit history), counting on the fact that even if economic times turned bad, as long as I kept my job I'd be able to afford the house. Today I ride the bus to/from work to save money on gas, buy most of my groceries at Costco, and rarely eat out. I've made every mortgage payment on time and have a reserve built up that should last me at least 3 months in case of catastrophe.

Compare that to an acquaintance of mine. During the years I drove a used commuter car, he leased an expensive new sedan. While I struggled to save for a down payment, he rented a large house in a private community. While I shopped for a fixed rate mortgage, he searched for the absolute lowest rate he could find, which turned out to be an interest-only loan. And when I bought a townhome that was almost as old I was, he found an almost-new house in an upscale neighborhood for over twice as much. I admit the place was fantastic - granite countertops, walk-in closets, and an expansive back yard, but it was far more than he could afford. Soon after buying the place with no down payment, he started to fall behind on his mortgage payments. Now, with 5-digits worth of credit card debt, an expensive car lease with 18 months remaining, and an impending foreclosure on a house in which he has virtually no equity that's worth less than he owes, he was ecstatic to hear of government plans to restrict foreclosures and rewrite loan terms.

"This is exactly what I need to get out of this situation," he claims. And while I am not jealous or bitter, I can't help feeling sadness and disappointment that he and so many others feel the right thing to do is spread the burden of his "need" across the nation's taxpayers.

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