Skip to comments.I'm walking from my underwater mortgage
Posted on 01/31/2010 7:57:46 PM PST by TigerLikesRooster
I'm walking from my underwater mortgage
By JANET SPEER
Last Updated: 7:34 PM, January 31, 2010
Posted: 4:34 AM, January 31, 2010
I stopped paying my $1,450-a-month mortgage on my 200-year-old, four-bedroom home in September 2008 -- after making the hard decision to walk away from my mortgage because it is hopelessly underwater.
It is not an easy decision to walk away from your home, and in the beginning I actually felt like a loser. That was the hardest part.
You see, I was raised to live up to my financial responsibilities. I was taught plenty about personal responsibility. But in this case I had no practical solutions to my financial dilemma -- I lost my job, was turned down for a mortgage modification and owed a lot more than the house is worth.
I WOULD RATHER FIGHT THAN SWITCH HOMES
I am a single parent with three children, one with medical issues. So, with only unemployment benefits and child-support money, I decided to pull the plug on my mortgage payments.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
I know some bankers and they say that they let people stay in their homes these days because they think the homes (assets) will be better cared for. No pipes freezing and bursting, no homeless people or drug users breaking in and taking over. They cannot afford the security that would be required to check on every home with any kind of regularity.
Nope, that probably would not have happened. The 2005 bankruptcy “reform” law effectively made non-secured credit card debt more difficult to discharge in BK than a mortgage. Student loans are no longer dischargeable at all.
So the net result is that the banking industry set themselves up for this - that mortgages end up being the easiest debt to walk away from.
I have friends who are Real Estate Agents. According to them, this has been going on for some time.
Not only is this woman a common deadbeat, she can’t do simple arithmetic.
Too bad that she and her family trashed the house wile they were there. It sounds like they didn’t do even the most basic maintenance and she is a textbook example of someone who should never have been in that house in the first place.
I’ll bet the neighbors will throw the new owners a BBQ...either that or they will burn the place to the ground as soon as they leave...
What you say is true.
It is also true that over the past two decades many Wall Street private equity firms have purchased viable US companies, stripped the cash and other assets out of them, significantly downsized the employee base, leveraged the company to the hilt, and then left the banks and other lenders holding the bag while they walked off with billions. The losers — employees, banks and investors, localities, and the US economy. The list of companies looted and destroyed by these companies is endless. In many instances they looted the pension plan assets as well leaving the federal government holding the bag when the company filed bankruptcy. The way these deals are structured the private equity partners have none of their personal wealth at risk — these companies are structured as independent entities.
Unfortunately the misbehavior of Wall Street is causing the average citizen to wake up and say why should these people be protected and bailed out when I have to suffer. When private equity raiders strip the company employing me, it is I who lose a job and my pension plan. It is my community that pays the social services to support the employees let go. It is my taxes that pay to bail out the banks that made loans to people with more credit and it is those same banks that then turn around and pay their executives billions in bonuses while I’m living paycheck to paycheck.
Rightly or wrongly, the average citizen who believes in the Constitution and capitalism is fed up not only with government but the financial elites as well. No wonder average people who a few years ago wouldn’t have considered be late with a credit card payment are now seriously thinking about walking away from underwater mortgages. I live in Florida and have two neighbors who have done exactly that. They were small businessmen who played straight but now feel the government, big business, and big finance are out to take advantage of the little guy. In their minds walking from their mortgages is payback.
The moral fiber of this nation has been destroyed by the immoral behavior of the elites in government, business, academia, the legal profession and Hollywood. We were once a God fearing nation where two men of character could transact a business deal with a handshake. We now live in a world where contracts drawn up by armies of lawyers are frequently litigated when one party decides it no longer wants to be bound by the terms of an agreement willingly entered into.
No, no, no. Zer0’s new bank fee(tax) will take care of the bank’s part of the deal...right?
Yeah, so? The truth is, she would be making a payment on a loan, not a house.
So you’re saying she could live there for free forever?
“...Something doesnt add up, here. Ms. Speer is not being honest.”
Or is the ny compost trying to develop talking points for the administration...the poor downtrodden, crushed by an economy inherited bla bla bla...
Yet another opportunity for the government to step in and take more control. mommy state at it’s best.
“Bottom line, she sucked 54K out of the bank and now she’s leaving them high and dry. “
Sounds like she stole $54,000. And the taxpayers will get the bill. She should be jailed.
This house is worth $20,000 more than when she bought it.
If she wouldn’t have been stupid and refinanced and sucked $54,000 out of it she would still be ahead .
Some people are just to stupid to own a house.
She has a permanent renters mentality thinking that you never have to repair anything also (complains that the toilet is not working - How hard is it to go to Home Depot and buy a kit to repair for under $20 or a whole new toilet and a wax ring for under $200 ?)
Some people are just to stupid to own a house.
I can’t believe she got away with living their for 18 months without paying anything.
I guess I can figure out how she votes.
ah, yes,it does -
Not a sound business plan.
1) She bought the house at $100,000
2) It went up to $154,000 and she refinanced it at $154,000 which means SHE TOOK OUT $54,000 in cash.
3) Its now down to $120,000 and she cant afford mortgage so she is walking away.
This house originally cost $100,000. In 2005, as the housing market heated up and I needed cash, I refinanced it. An appraiser said it was worth $154,000 -- which I thought was too high but nonetheless accepted. I cashed out the house at that value.
I used the money I accumulated from not paying the mortgage to pay off all my credit-card debt
I feel no shame. I am not suicidal. When I think of what really counts, I do not think of money(unless you count the credit cards that she ran up); I think about the health of my children. Besides I am not the only one.
I am single and dating again.
Probably one of those fools who refied to do something STUPID, like buy a car, or refi credit card debt.
What idiot finances a car or a credit card for THIRTY YEARS????
Here’s what I would like an answer to. Why WON’T banks work with people in these situations? It’s like they are forcing people into foreclosures when there simply has to be a better solution. Most creditors would rather get 50% of a debt, for example, than 0%, but that seems to be what the mortgage companies are willing to take.
After this year, you’ll be lucky to find additional buyers. I’d hold on to your cash.
The crash of ‘08 will soon look like a picnic.
Some banks are working with people. But let’s face it, most of the people that are losing their homes are unemployed and have exhausted what little savings they have. If you have no job, you do not qualify for an adjustment.
It is better for the banks to take these homes and sell them. Unfortunately, because of govt intervention this is going to go on for years because of ‘shadow inventory.’
According to the article, she took out a SECOND mortgage on the equity her home had rose in its value. It is this she is walking away from.
Nevertheless, being bilked into a loan you shouldn’t be bilked in doesn’t absolved you from responsibility.
I wonder, perhaps, if the devolution of our education system does not beget the crux of the blame here. Many members of Free Republic were able to notice the outrageous rate she was paying on her home based on the price and monthly payment. Me thinks they had the last vestiges of real teachers in this country (of whom I was lucky enough to have had), not those bought and sold for by Godless Sachs and their union and lawyer ilk
True moral behavior cannot be destroyed by immorality. The homeowner was foresaken by temptation, something I feel every time a Westerwald or Mettlach beer stein waltzes across ebay! (I’m a big stein collector)
Please don’t make excuses for the homeowner in this article or those that you know who came up on hard times, for the moral fiber of this country has not destroyed by the bankers or the politicians. It was destroyed and will continued to be ravaged by “We the People!”
The sooner we realize this and pull one another - the best and most resilient people the world has ever known - up by our bootstraps, the better, and more worthy of the title “AMERICAN” we shall be.
I’m done for the night.
That’s right, I said “Godless Sachs” - please report me to the committee and let me be done away with in the dark of night.
She has a new boyfriend. Someone should advise him to RUN!
But notice when a US company outsources to China, and screws the US employee, many here will say, "that's just good business. Management owes the stockholders the best return on their investment".
Yet these types will condemn anyone (as do I) that walks from a mortgage obligation......
Pity more folks aren't FReepers.
Ex-texan* and I were beating the drum on this bubble back in 2005.
*For which he was called a blog pimp.
Sounds like an ATM machine, or oil well or something like that to me.....She took $54,000 out of the house, and has been living in it several years RENT FREE....
This pisses me off. I make a six figure salay in a business I have 15 years of experience in. I have a 730 rent on a 600 sq foot apartment. I have a mortgage on a property with renters that pay the mortgage plus 90 bucks. My credit is shot from 06 07 so a second mortgage is out of the question. I have next to no furniture, a tv I bought in 1995 and a 2003 model car. All I do is pay back debt month after month, it drives me crazy, but I swear I will frame the first dollar I own.
Think I give a damn about her troubles?
"The second transaction didnt turn into a personal ATM mahine like she planned, so she is using that as an excuse to not pay back the money she borrowed."
The bank agreed to the loan, contracting to repossess the house if the mortgage terms are not met.
The bank took the risk and will own the house. The borrower will suffer a poor credit rating and any principle accrued. The seller of the house is the winner.
This house looks like a 1875 (25 x 25 x3) square foot building, but it’s painted like a duplex. So is she in just half of it?
Our court systems encourage such behavior w/ regards to single (never married women w/ childwenz) and as in her case, divorce, child support, goobermint assistance for women, etc., etc., the whole 9 yards.
I personally know of 2 recent separations / divorce, where the woman simply 'wasn't happy', wouldn't work, constantly nagged about there not being any money, but never missed a week w/o going to Wal-Mart, Target, etc; and we ain't talking about grocery shopping.
Both former ex's (neither were cheaters nor abusive making $45K plus) now live in dumps still working and saddled w/ child support payments from fiscally irresponsible women that 'weren't happy'....that is seems they needed regular ccard excursions while refusing to live w/in their means.
Something is very wrong with society and the courts these days as the men in the cases I refer to were forced into basically poverty from court supported behavior.
Not so. It does happen often. During and after.
At least you can take part of the process. There ain't many mods going permanent, and many that do continue to be daily battles with the banks. But that's a different topic.
Sounds about right... I am in the same spot and going to do the same thing! Only owe 16 more years on a 9% loan with 89k payoff and we have a $1200 payment. I tried for a regular refi 14 months ago, the day my hours got cut to 20 a week... My credit score was a 720 and I was locked in that day on a 4 5/8% Loan. Now My house is only valued at 50k compared to the $250 it appraised at 4 years ago. The bank will not work with me. If they would just give me a current market interest rate and 30 years to pay it off, I could easily pay the 89k I owe them, without any government program... but they would somehow rather take my house and maintain the property for a year while it sits here getting vandalized and then sell it for 40k or less, we have had 2 within half a mile that sold for 17k after the gang bangers and tweekers stole all the copper pipes and wires out of the house, not to mention everything else including carpeting, cabinets and fixtures. Probably would cost more to fix back up than to bulldoze and start over.
327 Church St Royersford PA 19468
4 beds, 1.0 baths, 1,577 sq ft
Residence: Single family —
Bedrooms: 4 —
Bathrooms: 1.0 —
Sq ft: 1,577 —
Lot size: 3,923 sq ft
Year built: 1800 —
Year updated: — —
# Stories: 3 —
Total rooms: 8 —
good God! i’m not a very religious man, but my prayers are with you during these troubling times!
Congratulations. 53 here, 14 year old and a 2 year old.
Surely the $1450 figure isn’t P&I, but the whole payment including tax and insurance escrow, and probably private mortgage insurance. This is from the NYPost, so both real estate taxes and insurance are probably a good deal higher than they are where most FReepers are reading this from.
At the same time, the cracks of the corrupt government foundation spread.
Now that I lost have effectively lost my regular job, I get 10 hours a week if I am lucky, that is exactly what I am doing... Checking these foreclosed houses for the banks and photo documenting them. We get sent there twice a month to cut the grass and keep them in code compliance and bid on repairing any damage to put the house back in marketable condition. MOre recently I am doing more initial secures, going and drilling out locks and changing to a bank keyed lock and doing the same photo documentation interior and exterior... It is not unusual to have bids in thousands of dollars to repair. Really sad to see. Every trip back a new window is broken out. We have to bid to board it up, then get approval to board it a week or two later, go back and the house is destroyed. I have thousands of pictures.
I started doing this job back in March and we have two status homes, REO - Real Estate Owned - These we remove debris from and do monthly janitorial services, besides the yards, and PPO - Private Property, these houses we are not allowed to go inside (except after bid approval to re secure) or to remove anything from the property, it is all still somebodies stuff. I have had some houses that have been maintained for 10 months now that are still listed as PPO and they have been empty for the entire time.
Always go with your gut.
She undoubtedly didn’t get the whole 54K from the refi. The “fees” were probably in the 5-10K range.
“I make a six figure salay...All I do is pay back debt month after month, it drives me crazy...”
You lucky so and so. I would love to be able to pay back debt month after month.
Oh, well, maybe this will be the year I finally get a real job.
The $1450/month presumably includes taxes and insurance. Most of the Philly suburbs in which you could buy that large a house, even in poor condition for $120,000 are super high tax counties (and you can be sure the taxes went up during the bubble and haven’t come back down) — the few who are actually paying taxes are forced to support the massive non-taxpaying underclass. In addition, given the age and condition of the house, there’s no way she could get/keep a standard insurance policy on it, so she’s probably stuck with very expensive insurance. Some insurance companies are quick to issue a policy in connection with an initial home purchase, and don’t even bother sending anyone to look at it — then they send someone around a year or so later, and send you a letter demanding thousands of dollars in repairs and upgrades, and cancel the policy if you don’t do them by the demanded date. A couple of years later, they send someone by again and pull the same stunt, demanding repairs and upgrades to things that are exactly the same as last time but weren’t mentioned at all then. Easily a third of that $1450/month could be taxes and insurance — possibly more. And she may have spent a lot of the $54,000 on repairs the insurer demanded, in addition to medical bills for one of the children.
The insurance BS is getting out of control, especially with certain insurers, and this woman doesn’t strike me as sophisticated enough to deal with it effectively. I have two homes in Pennsylvania, both 100+ years old — one is my main residence that I’ve had for 20 years in one of the nicer Philly suburbs, the other is a vacation home in the Poconos which I’ve had for 8 years. I’ve had the same insurer on the first home for the whole 20 years with NO claims, but they just issued me a non-renewal notice after I told them to go jump in a lake with their latest round of idiotic demands — e.g. paint the shed, which is an accessory structure specifically excluded from the coverage, and several other silly demands, yet no request to replace or even just re-shingle the roof of the house, which urgently needs it, and is now in the process of getting it all the way down to replacing all the wood underneath the shingles and adding insulation — i.e. I’m spending $10,000 to do something that’s seriously needed to prevent water damage to the house for the next 30 years, but they want to cancel my policy because I won’t paint the little shed which I plan to replace entirely in a couple of years. They cancelled the policy on the Poconos house a couple of years back, after I finally drew a line in the sand over this sort of nonsense, and I had no trouble replacing it with a policy from a saner insurer. Amazingly, my about to be ex-insurer has never had (nor requested access for) one of their eagle-eyed inspectors inside either of these houses — they just show up when no one’s home, walk around the house and write down a bunch of random stuff to prove to their boss that they’ve actually been there. Heck, if this lady in the article was home when they showed up, she could have spent the whole $54,000 on stupid stuff they demanded, and STILL have “The main toilet is broken upstairs; the roof is leaking into the kitchen ceiling, the ceiling is falling down. The floor in the back room is coming apart”, because none of those things were on the list of repairs demanded and made.
ltc8k6: re “what has the bank been doing since September 2008?” Answer: Counting their blessings that she’s been staying in the house and not trashing it herself or leaving it empty to be trashed and stripped by vandals — they’ve seen what’s happened to homes they foreclosed on after the ex-owners moved out, and they’re not eager to see more of that. We’re talking right next door to Philadelphia here.
I'd love it. Love putting the bullet through your loan shark skull.
Well, yeah. The bank apparently eagerly lent her $154,000 on an old fixer-upper house she'd bought a couple of years earlier for $100,000 and not fixed up. I'm sure not feeling a lot of sympathy for that bank. This lady doesn't seem like a paragon of financial prudence, but at least she's got the excuse that she isn't a banker.
Hildy, the price of the condo isn’t the only consideration.
Does the association have a sufficient reserve fund? Adequate maintenance funds? Special assessments looming? Stable annual dues? Well maintained facilities?
Take a look at the reserve study and the annual budget—make sure you are buying in a sound community/building/etc.
Yes Ex-Texan was criticized by many here and he was right. I started advising everyone I knew to stop buying and start paying off debt.
Most did not listen and were suprised by the fall, even though I warned them for over a year.
I still remember their mantra on FR “they aren’t making any more land” to explain how a crash couldn’t happen, yet it did.
I still find it funny and sad that people here will criticize someone for walking away from this, but excuse all the bad behavior of the banks and financial institutions.
I can’t make sense of this - - did this irresponsible scumbag buy the house for a place to live or as an investment to flip for a quick profit?
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