I'm sorry. I can't help myself. I get all worked up about this stuff. Do we really want to examine the parts of the bailout that are mind numbingly stupid? Stupidity like the rum clause... a little rebate to U.S. Caribbean territories, estimated to be worth $192 million over 10 years. And then there is the news story of the 90 year old woman and her foreclosure woes. Her tale is a sad one, and so are many others, but what is the message the government and media are communicating to us? Gee, sorry you shot yourself, but HEY! No sweat. For taking two bullets to your upper torso, we'll forgive your mortgage, courtesy of your fellow Americans. It's a risky proposition, but one wonders what a broken toe or black eye might get you. I am not lacking in sympathy for the suffering of some individuals, but the sweet grannies are a small minority in this debacle and until I see Angelo Mozilo in jail, feeding homeless people or contributing to the bailout then I feel no qualms balking about our government's unwavering idiocy. Sometimes I imagine that the whole mess is super-super hard to understand and then I am reminded that no, in fact the whole mess is so easy to understand it can be summed up in a comedy skit. (Oct. 8 update: Why was skit removed from Hulu?)
I was going to move on. Change the subject. But something has come up and I cannot exclude this passage from this post. Countrywide Mortgage is getting bailed out. Geoff just told me, and he didn't have to explain what this means for our family. We have been patiently and hopefully waiting on a short sale of a property held by Countrywide. We have saved and waited for 5 years to buy a home with a reasonable mortgage and on ethical lending terms. We have endured ridicule and shame, we have been diligent. My 3 boys slept in the effing kitchen/dining room so we could bide our time and do things the "right way." Free market and capitalism were good enough for the mortgage companies then, but now they want their sorry @sses bailed out, because God forbid the free market dictate that houses be worth less than what they dreamed up. Our hopes and plans are officially wiped out. Countrywide will withdraw the house we wanted to buy, and instead we will continue to pay for that house and millions of others, that we don't get to live in, through taxes and losses that will burden generations.****
What are we supposed to do? Please. I thought I understood some things, but I see I was profoundly wrong. I could lash out in angry protest. I could really make an awful display of my rage. Isn't it too bad I am still a good citizen? I cannot even mention what I wish I could do...
What should I tell the children? Oh, God. I actually told them, last April, *Mommy's pretty sure we'll be in our own house by Thanksgiving.* It seemed so close to possible. It seemed so possible to believe and hope. Is there a support group for this sort of thing? When everyone was on the spending spree and shaking their heads at us, we had no one's sympathy, and now we are still out of the loop... everyone assumes we are smugly sitting pretty, instead we are getting screwed. No relief. No bail out. No rescue. No sympathy. No home.
I had all kinds of pumpkin patch pictures and lovely sentiments about the pleasures of taking flights of fancy, of me making up stories about flighty witches in the quilt shop I love. I was on a fool's mission, and I thought it was sufficient to amuse and distract me, but no more.
****Sometimes in the interest of being discreet I am not so much subtle as I am obtuse.
Allow me to clarify.
1. We made an offer on a home
2. The home
3. The owners borrowed from Countrywide, and they continued to add home equity loans to the tune of many hundreds of thousands of dollars above their mortgage
4. Our offer was to be a short sale... something satisfactory to the lender... unless
5. Unless the government stepped in and agreed to bail-out the lender from their reckless lending
6. Foreclosures are sad when it's old ladies or hardworking families with honest tales of woe, but around here there are are far more flippers, Humvee owners, I need my Botox now kind of scenarios that do not remotely evoke sympathy.
7. We have been bumped from at least 4 different home sales due to highly questionable tactics... this time I blame Jerry Brown.