12 November 2012

Dear Lender

Dear Lender:

Our household has not been immune from this 'economy thing' and, as a result, our mortgage check will be somewhat delayed. Our financial resources have finally dwindled to the point where our ability to make payment is affected. Our living expenses have been cut back to the basics and we're still cash short to cover the mortgage payment, which is our largest expense next to taxes. We will resume paying the mortgage when our financial situation improves. It's not like we haven't been trying. It has been and continues to be very frustrating.

You may decide to proceed with eviction. Before doing so, you should know that we consider the dwelling our home and home is very important to us. Since those events that control the economy are way beyond our control, we don't plan to suffer disproportionately for something that's not entirely our fault, and since there is no safe haven from this 'economic thing', we prefer to stay in our home until whenever. You have the power to initiate or to not initiate the use of legal force that will be required to remove us from our home. Should you initiate the use of force or harassment, at whatever level, you will share proportionately. Friends who share our outlook and temperament are aware of our situation. The level of escalation is your call.

Please don't take this personally, these are just business risks that the bank must have, or should have, considered when investing in people's homes. The business climate has certainly changed.

There's no place like home.

Sincerely yours,


Pretty Boy Floyd by Woodie Guthrie
Yes, there’s many a starving farmer
The same story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage
And saved their home.
Some rob you with a six gun
Some with a fountain pen

Don Corleone, the Godfather, speaking to Sonny:
“Don’t you want to become a lawyer? Lawyers can steal more money with a briefcase than a thousand men with guns and masks.”

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, 2004
Mafia bosses often start out as street thugs. But over time, the ones who make it to the top transform their appearance. They take to wearing impeccably tailored suits, owning legitimate businesses, and wrapping themselves in the cloak of upstanding society. They support local charities and are respected by their communities. These men appear to be model citizens. However, beneath this patina is a trail of blood. When the debtors cannot pay, hit men move in to demand their pound of flesh. If this is not granted, the jackals close in with baseball bats, Finally, as a last resort, out come the guns.


Spain suspends house evictions for two years

12 Nov 2012
An estimated 350,000 families have been evicted from their homes since Spain's property market crashed in 2008, at the beginning of the economic crisis. The announcement comes three days after a woman in northern Spain took her own life, just before she was due to be evicted from her home. A 53-year-old woman jumped out of her fourth-floor flat on Friday as local officials arrived to evict her from her home. Another man in the city of Granada, whose house was also due to be repossessed, apparently committed suicide last month. There have been demonstrations in Spain, with an organization called Platform for Mortgage Victims blocking access to houses to prevent evictions.

Suicide rates in Europe 'linked' to financial crisis
07 Jul 2011
The financial crisis "almost certainly" led to an increase in suicides across Europe, health experts say. The analysis by US and UK researchers found a rise in suicides was recorded among working age people from 2007 to 2009 in nine of the 10 nations studied. Finland fared best while Greece had the worst record. The UK saw a rise of 10% to 6.75 suicides per 100,000 people. Dr David Stuckler, one of the researchers, said: " Almost certainly these rises are linked to the financial crisis." And he added it was also possible there would be other health consequences from the economic problems as the impact on heart disease and cancer rates was not likely to be seen for many years. Prescriptions for drugs such as Prozac rose by more than 40% over the past four years with GPs saying more and more people were coming to them with money worries. Andy Bell, deputy chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, said: "We know that unemployment and the fear of unemployment are major risk factors for poor mental health. This research shows how important it is that we treat the mental health of people who are not just out of work but also in work but fear losing their jobs as a major public health issue".

US banks 'foreclosed on record 1m homes in 2010'
13 Jan 2011
Banks repossessed a record one million US homes in 2010, and could surpass that number this year, figures show. Among the worst hit states were Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California, once at the heart of the housing boom. Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate for the fourth year in a row, with one in 11 housing units receiving a foreclosure notice, and RealtyTrac said more than half the nation's foreclosures occurred in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan. "2011 is going to be the peak," senior vice-president Rick Sharga told the Associated Press news agency. Foreclosures slowed toward the end of 2010 amid revelations that banks had based the proceedings on improper documentation, but the pace is likely to rebound in the first quarter of 2011, Mr Sharga said.

Bank of America restarts home repossessions
18 Oct 2010
Bank of America - the biggest bank in the US - has said it will restart legal proceedings to repossess 102,000 homes. The lender had stopped its foreclosure process earlier this month after it emerged that thousands of cases may have been mishandled. The bank said it would restart proceedings in 23 states.

Facing Foreclosure? Don't Leave. Squat
04 Feb 2009
Marcy Kaptur of Ohio is the longest-serving Democratic congresswoman in U.S. history. Her district, stretching along the shore of Lake Erie from west of Cleveland to Toledo, faces an epidemic of home foreclosures and 11.5 percent unemployment. She criticizes the bailout's failure to protect homeowners facing foreclosure. Her advice to "squat" cleverly exploits a legal technicality within the subprime-mortgage crisis. These mortgages were made, then bundled into securities and sold and resold repeatedly, by the very Wall Street banks that are now benefiting from TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program). The banks foreclosing on families very often can't locate the actual loan note that binds the homeowner to the bad loan. "Produce the note," Kaptur recommends those facing foreclosure demands of the banks.

Meltdown Madness: The Human Costs of the Economic Crisis
29 Jan 2009
The body count is still rising. For months on end, marked by bankruptcies, foreclosures, evictions, and layoffs, the economic meltdown has taken a heavy toll on Americans. In response, a range of extreme acts including suicide, self-inflicted injury, murder, and arson have hit the local news. It's mostly on Main Street, not Wall Street, that people are being driven to once unthinkable extremes. And while it's always impossible to know the myriad factors, including deeply personal ones that contribute to drastic acts, violent or otherwise, many of those recently reported are undoubtedly tied, at least in part, to the way the bottom seems to be falling out of the economy. As a result, reports of people driven to anything from armed robbery to financially-motivated suicide in response to new fiscal realities continue to bubble to the surface. And since only a certain percentage of such acts receive media coverage, the drumbeat of what is being reported definitely qualifies as startling.

With no job and 5 kids, 'better to end our lives,' man wrote
28 Jan 2009
It was described as one of the most grisly scenes Los Angeles police had ever encountered: the bodies of five small children and their parents, all shot to death, in two upstairs rooms of the family's home.

The Rising Body Count on Main Street
20 Oct 2008
Suicide is just one type of extreme act for which the financial meltdown has seemingly been the catalyst. Since the beginning of the year, stories of resistance to eviction, armed self-defense, canicide, arson, self-inflicted injury, murder, as well as suicide, especially in response to the foreclosure crisis, have bubbled up into the local news, although most reports have gone unnoticed nationally -- as has any pattern to these events. Troubling trends are to be expected in the years ahead, especially as hundreds of thousands of veterans of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, their families often already under enormous stress, are coming home to scenarios of joblessness and, in some cases, hopelessness.

Bush: No Bailout for Pinched Homeowners
09 Aug 2007
President Bush said Thursday concern should be shown those who've lost their homes but it's not the federal government's job to bail them out. "Obviously anybody who loses their home is somebody with whom we must show an enormous empathy," Bush said. Asked whether he would champion a government bailout? Bush responded: "If you mean direct grants to homeowners, the answer would be `No, I don't support that.'"

Foreclosure Rates Still Soaring
15 May 2007
Foreclosures continue to trouble real estate markets nationwide, with filings in April up 65 percent from a year earlier, according to a report released Tuesday. Six out of the 10 hardest hit cities were in California with Stockton registering the nation's highest rate, 1 foreclosure filing for every 131 households. Other California cities in the top 10 included No. 2 Vallejo-Fairfield and No. 4 Riverside-San Bernardino.

The Ugly Face of Foreclosure
07 May 2007
Foreclosures are devastating communities across the United States, and the impact may only worsen as more subprime adjustable mortgages reset during the next few months. The vacancies look bad enough, but it's what happens next that really hurts. "The bad people in a community find out right away when a house has been foreclosed on," said Hayden. "They come in and steal the copper plumbing. I've even seen them strip the aluminum siding off to sell. The houses become havens for drug dealers." Fighting those problems off, stabilizing the community and redeveloping blighted areas are a challenge for cash-starved municipalities. And they have less money to pay for it because foreclosures cause tax collections to suffer. Not only do foreclosures, abandonment and demolition take properties off the tax rolls; the remaining homeowners often want their assessments lowered and taxes cut to reflect their plummeting property values.

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