Monday, October 17, 2011


In 2008, my husband lost his job through no fault of his own and we couldn't keep up with our house payments. The mortgage company REFUSED to work with us. We couldn't sell our house because its value plummeted more than 70% in less than 10 years. We discovered that the bank would rather take our house back, to sell for a tiny percentage of what we owed on it, than lower our payment so we could try to keep it. In 2009, we lost our house to foreclosure. This happened to us with $0 debt. No credit card debt, no student loans, and no car payments. We were LUCKY enough to have parents who could help us by buying a house for us to rent from them. We are now buying it from them on land contract. 

Almost everyone I know is STUCK in an upside down mortgage, with no hope of ever getting out from under it unless they foreclose and/or file bankruptcy. How is it right for banks to continue collecting mortgage payments worthy of $150,000 houses for houses that are ACTUALLY worth $30,000 and will NEVER be worth $150,000 again? Maybe if the houses had been sold at FAIR prices to begin with, we wouldn't be in this predicament today. I'm not talking mansions and living beyond means here. I'm talking MODEST homes in regular neighborhoods. 

Many of the people I know who are fortunate enough to have health insurance still can't afford to go to the doctor because their co-pays and deductibles are so high. Some of them pay BIG BUCKS to keep their medical coverage just in case of a major emergency, which they are ironically more likely to have because they can't afford preventative care. People DIE of treatable illnesses in this, the greatest country on earth, because they can't afford EXORBITANTLY priced life saving medications and procedures. A lifetime of good credit can be RUINED by one medical emergency. A family can be rendered HOMELESS because of one serious illness. Why does health depend on wealth? Even people who take good care of themselves get cancer and have heart attacks.

I am not whining. I am LUCKY and GRATEFUL, and not a day goes by that I don't remember that. We have been blessed beyond measure. Wanting an accountable government that is not corrupt and not stealing the little people blind is not the same thing as whining. 

Some people appear to have a misguided notion that they are not part of the 99%. Are you a millionaire many times over? Are you in an influential position where you can bribe politicians to do what you want them to do, for your own benefit and at the expense of the general population? Are you one of the politicians or big business executives perpetuating the cycle of extreme greed in this country? If not, YOU ARE THE 99%.

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