Congratulations to the millions of Americans who had big savings accounts, massive equity in their real estate and great and high paying jobs before the recession. Even more so to the ones who still do!
But, millions of other American homeowners had not achieved such a lofty place financially when the recession hit. Some of them are young and just getting started on wealth-building. Some are less fortunate, less well-connected. Some are in the midst of personal problems such as divorce or death in the family or are sick themselves. Some of these folks are distracted form wealth-building by interests such as church or the environment or helping victims of domestic abuse, etc. Some just have vocational priorities like teaching or preaching, that don’t pay very well.
Then there’s the millions of other American homeowners who foolishly believed that they could have it all – they participated in the scam that foolishly, greedily and sometimes fraudulently lenabled them to buy and occupy homes way above theri means. Their kids even went to schools in these better neighborhoods. Shocking, no? Unfortunately, no one is showing much sympaty to these folks.
There are heroes and villains, struggling with foreclosure, in each group. In my work as a foreclosure consultant I get on the phone and across the table from hundreds of struggling homeowners each month. ‘The vast majority in three groups are heroes – Americans just trying to extend our heritage of restlessness and hope for a better life for our families.
I bristle when I hear the industry tools pander to wealthy and smug viewers by blasting the vulnerable members of the financial lower class. Without a doubt I have met just as many villains across the $18K dinner table as I have across the $180 one. Palos Verdes villains are scarily-similar to Compton ones.
So, let’s keep after bad guys as we clean up this housing mess. But, let’s be nice. After all, even the villains in this story bought homes with the booty. It’s not like they – well, you know lots of bad things that you can do with ill-gotten gains.
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