Incredible article here on a county in California with a high rate of foreclosures. We talk quite a bit about the "sub-prime" market, folks who shouldn't be getting mortgages in the first place, greedy lenders, greedy Wall Street, and unrealistic policy makers.
What we don't talk enough about is the rampant greed and "keeping up with the Joneses" within upper middle class America that added fuel to this now raging fire.
Read this story...the people for whom we are expected to have such sympathy weren't struggling folks looking to get in their first house; they were upper middle class people who simply could not take the fact that people around them seemed to be moving up into more spacious and wonderful McMansions. One couple profiled here believed they were putting $236,000 into their $1M plus home....but it turned our they couldn't sell the first place in time, so they were stuck with two places. Just how meager a house is it that you would be looking to take $236,000 out of?
What this article documents is plain old upper middle class American entitlement mentality. One person here EXPECTS her mortgage broker to re-do the deal based on what the house is worth NOW. Or she'll just walk away. I do hope the credit rating companies aren't forced at the point of congressional fiat from holding decisions like that against people.
It is my fervent hope that this crisis resets our national sense of what home ownership is all about. It is about shelter, it is about stability, it is about a predictable long range investment that potentially builds wealth for a family. But I am not hopeful.