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  • Irresponsible Reporting on the Foreclosure Crisis

       January 30, 2008

    By now we’ve all read dozens of stories about foreclosures. The formula is familiar by now: sympathetic family loses their dream home when their adjustable rate mortgage adjusts. They didn’t understand the fine print. They were mislead. They had vague other financial difficulties.

    Today the Capital Times joined the fray with an article about foreclosures here in Dane County. The sympathetic couple in this case:

    Stella Morris and her family lost their dream house, a west side condominium, last fall after the interest rate on their adjustable rate mortgage reset at a level they could not afford. Their story is one of frustration, shame and, finally, determination.

    "It was very difficult," Morris recalled.

    The increase in the interest rate, and monthly payment, for the couple's adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) came right when the condominium association raised its assessment rates and the family had some medical bills.

    "It started snowballing. We couldn't keep up," Morris said.

    But this isn’t just any family. Someone in the comments pointed my way to the Wisconsin court records of Morris and her husband. Doing a simple search, you find out that:

    • The husband went through a foreclosure in 2000
    • The husband was evicted from one apartment in 1997 and from another one in 1999
    • Morris herself was evicted in 1998
    • Morris has judgments against her from American Family Insurance, Ford Motor Credit Company and Dean Medical Center

    This is a sympathetic couple? How did these people ever get a mortgage? I can understand why a reporter might use them as an example of the type of incredibly risky loans that lenders made (and why the rest of us shouldn’t life a finger to bail them out), but that wasn’t the point of this article. This was just another sob story. Unfortunately, the reporter in question, Pat Schneider, didn’t do his research. This isn’t a couple who made a mistake or fell on hard times. These are people who knew exactly what they were doing. And judging from this quote I’m sure they’ll do it again:

    Morris says she and her husband will spend the next year or two reestablishing their credit rate, so they can eventually buy a house or condominium again.

    "We'll get through it," she said. "I think we'll do a fixed rate this time, unless we get extremely disciplined and have a larger down payment," she said.

    So, look for their latest foreclosure sometime in 2012 or 2013. You read it here first.

    Posted by at January 30, 2008 08:02 PM

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    #  January 30th, 2008 11:01 PM      themandownthehall
    Yeah, none of them report that these people and by that I mean most of the sub prime problem isn't a bank problem. It was the government telling banks that if they don't give out more money to the "poor", they will face sanctions under equal oppurtunity. Basically it is another result of trying to morph equal oppurtunity into equal outcomes. The problem is that people are poor for a reason. They do things that make them poor. Poor old Stella, who couldn't afford the house, probably has cable, a cell phone, several TV's, smokes, beer, designer clothes, Nikes, an SUV and eats out a lot. But they can't afford the house or insurance.

    Another media driven issue to get votes for the democrats in 2008.  
    #  January 31st, 2008 12:14 AM      BVBigBro
    It's a combination lender and borrower problem and I have a lack of sympathy big enough for the both of them.  



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