Weekly Wrap : housing relief bill outrage & good reads

This article was last updated on April 1

My article on the 2008 housing relief bill was recently republished at Seeking Alpha and based on the first response, it elicited some very strong and interesting follow-up comments. Here is the original comment from destroyed by divorce that got the ball rolling.

(From Destroyed by divorce) I have a comment to this ignorant person who thinks anyone in this situation is lower income lower class and basically losers who went after the American dream of home ownership knowing full well they couldn’t afford it and are now looking for a free ride – I’m a recently divorced Executive woman with two children who got royally screwed in a divorce, had a husband who was a cocaine addict who sniffed my mortgage up his nose causing me to file chapter 13 to save my home, refinanced to get out of bankruptcy to the tune of a sick rate that will adjust, had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to this fool to get rid of him and my rate adjusts in October – I make very good money and bought my house absolutely able to afford it – should I now lose my home after how hard I worked to get it because you’ve put me in a category where you think I’m not worthy? HOW DARE YOU! I pay a sick payment every month- isn’t’ that my dues? I pay a ton of taxes so where do you get off – all I’d like to do is have my rate renegotiated so I don’t lose my home – go have another martini brought to you on your yacht while you judge the rest of the hard working middle class who got into a bad deal!

Can you spot all the contradictions? Also, I don’t like martinis and don’t have a yacht. I wasn’t judging middle class (because I am in this category too), just putting forward my views on the housing bill and why I think it will have limited effect. A number of the respondents to this comment agreed and here is what some of them had to say:

(From User 179505) To Destroyed by divorce: Why should we be responsible to bail you out of a bad marriage? It’s sad what happened to you but it’s “for richer or poorer, sickness or health” and it shouldn’t be up to me to pay for you and your husband’s mistakes.

(From renee) To Destroyed By Divorce: Since we (the American Taxpayers) did choose to marry a cocaine addict, please explain to me why we are now somehow responsible to fund part of your mortgage? To use your own words….HOW DARE YOU!!!

(From user1972) To Destroyed by divorce: I think you’re just the typical type of person that blames everyone else for her own problems. If someone is too fat, it’s McDonald’s fault. If someone can’t stop smoking or drinking, it’s the fault of the tobacco or liquor industry. I’m sorry that you’ve had such a lousy life, but don’t get mad if others get angry that they have to bail YOU out. I pay taxes too but don’t make “very good money” like you do and have NEVER been able to afford a house. Maybe if the government didn’t waste my tax dollars on entitled people like you or help the real estate industry artificially prop up the price of homes, hard working people like myself could actually afford a house!

(From gps_geek) I agree that the housing bill is no relief at all but will just penalize “financially fit” people who live within their means. To “Destroyed by divorce”: HOW DARE YOU complains that your problems need to be fixed by someone else!!! No one FORCED you to buy anything, let alone force you to marry a jerk. Life is not fair! Move on and stop complaining!

(From realist in miami) 600 plus pages is the size of the bill yet one word makes it worthless: Voluntary. The lenders have a CHOICE, BUT NOT AN OBLIGATION, under the bill to modify the loan. Guess what? They have always had the choice so all this hoopla is pointless because the lenders do not have a motivation to take a loss. Who does?

(From realist in miami) I have to agree, while Destroyed by Divorce’s story is sad, why should I, a mother with 2 kids who lives in an apartment pay for your pathetic mortgage. If you think you can’t rent like the rest of America, check again. We’re all a little pissed that we might have to pay -Welfare- for the already wealthy who made poor investment choices. They took a risk, why should we pay for it? It is an abomination that this Government has just stepped in and tried to control something that is completely out of their control.

(From globber) But how DARE you make the rest of us try to feel bad that you should keep your HOUSE. A lot of people like to call them “HOMES”, but what they really are HOUSES. ‘Home is where the heart is’ but HOUSES are for sale. Walk away and save yourself the ranting grief in public comment pages. Spare us the rant of your rather sad and disparaging life and look at this from the point of view of the person on the street who may not have a “good money” job who will wind up paying for big mistakes by other people through a government that no longer represents them, but represents the big conglomerates. You’ll be lucky if this bail out helps you, but remember, you’re just as bad as the coke head because you too are stepping on other Americans, just the way he did to you. Feh.

(From Pity party) To: Destroyed
by Divorce: Your statement makes me nauseous. 50% of marriages end in divorce so you have company. I also tasted the flavor of a bitter divorce. But I solved my problem by paying off my consumer debts and saving. I saw the bubble coming and at first felt rage since I had always owned my own house I could not afford to buy at these HIGH prices. yes, I could easily afford high mortgage payments but why throw your money away at a Realtor, and a bank? So, I remarried and changed my life. I will no longer work for the banks. Instead I am working for my family. Instead of a nice comfortable house with all the amenities we moved into a dump on the wrong side of town. I bought a shotgun for protection (cops never come out to the poor areas) and stated serious saving. I save 100% of my after tax income. That money goes to very conservative savings (not really investment grade -I don’t want banks or wall street to steal from, me again). So beans and rice, freezing winters and sweltering summers. We have refrigerated air and heat, but I don’t want my money going to utilities that lobby for higher prices. No more restaurants or entertainment. No cable TV, actually NO TV—too many advertisements for things I DO NOT WANT TO BUY.

My wife saves 80% of her income that is not taxed. I have two jobs and my wife has three jobs. IO learned that if you are not working, you tend to spend money. SO I keep working AT ANY JOB, whether minimum wage or as a consultant. I am never too proud to work an honest job. Neither of us has a high salary. In fact, our gross income is average for our blue collar neighborhood. but wait! Are we poor? Hell no! She still drives her old car and I also drive my old car. We nickel and dime everything. We have a small vegetable garden and we have both learned to cook and garden. I am still wearing clothes I bought 12 years ago. No frivolous expenses! We prepay all recurring bills rent, gas and electric. I recently ran a credit check and we HAVE NO FICO SCORE. All there was a SSN DOB and street address. None of my paid off house mortgages (four) showed up on the credit reports. None of my wife’s old mortgages showed up on her report. No worry about identity theft here! Well we have saved over $600,000 CASH all taxes paid for our dream house—and guess what?

I blame Realtors, bankers and greed. I AM NOW STARTING TO ENJOY THE fruits of LAST TEN YEARS OF FRUGALITY. We do what we want—no plastic—when we want and how we want. I find that people start giving us stuff— because IF YOU DO NOT NEEED IT—IT HAS A WAY of finding you.

You can read the remainder of the 30 plus comments here.

Moving on. Here are some articles from my RSS and Blogroll that caught my eye this week. Good reads all of them.

Financial Ramblings has put together an excellent list of the busiest and most popular financial bloggers. Yours truly is there, and is a great list for up and comers new to the pf blogging world to see who the best and most read are.

– Curt from Penny Jobs presented an interesting contrarian article on why investing in a 401k is a bad idea. While I don’t fully agree with him, he makes some good points. Diversification of your investments is key.

– Kyle from Amateur Asset Allocator talks about the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VTGSX), one in which I invest and why it’s change in investment approach is not a big deal because their fees are still amongst the lowest in the industry.

– Get Money Energy presented the socially responsible investment challenge. A great concept and I promise to write my article soon (in draft now)!

– Ever wanted to know how to get more popular in the search engine rankings. Well, Dough roller presents a very easy to read SEO article on this titled

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