Not everyone is happy about mortgage lenders’ latest efforts to help troubled borrowers.
Take Teresa Nelson. Instead of going for an adjustable rate mortgage with its lure of low initial rates, she opted for the security of a 30-year fixed at 7.10 percent for a house she bought in Pinellas Park, Fla. in December, 2005.
“I was well aware of what an ARM meant, and was staying far away from those snake-oil pipe-dream promises,” Nelson said. “I also wasn’t shopping for a short-term, big payoff investment – I was looking for my home, until I retire.”
But many delinquent subprime borrowers who went for low teaser rates that shot up to unaffordable levels are now paying lower rates than Nelson as part of a new round of foreclosure prevention packages. And she doesn’t like it.
For example, one subprime borrower had a riskier hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) with a rate of just under 7 percent that was going to reset in December to 10.5 percent. But last month, as part of a new bailout plan from Countrywide Financial, the lender gave him a rate reduction to 5 percent on his loan, saving him hundreds of dollars a month.
Nelson feels cheated and has little sympathy for people who she believes weren’t as careful as she was. “Everybody was seeing dollar signs,” she said, “and let their greed get the better of them. So, no. No bail-out, no assistance with my tax dollars. Not one red cent.”
Then there’s this:
Steve Bailey, Countrywide’s CEO of loan administration…. said he understands their anger but said, “That’s a situation where the greater sin is letting their homes go into foreclosure. You have a vacant home in the community and drive down the property values of neighbors.”
Right, because in a free market, capitalist economy it would be wrong for home prices to drop and for me to have to spend less on the condo I’m looking to buy. Since when was it anybody’s job to artificially drive up the prices of homes in my or any other neighborhood? Since when is it wrong for someone else to have their home value decrease because of a market adjustment, but it’s right for me to have my future home cost increase because of an artificial intervention? They lose money, it’s wrong – I lose money, it’s right. Uh huh. I am just increasingly sick and tired of every bail out of the rich and the poor, from the right and the left, coming at the expense of those of us in the middle who never seem to get anything, except an increasingly large bill for helping everyone else at our own expense. I’m not opposed to helping others. I am opposed to never being on the receiving end of such help. The Republicans help one side, the Dems the other, and no one thinks of the middle.