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February 24, 2009

Government help for homeowners

Count me in. I want some of that free money, too. I’m a homeowner who has made every mortgage payment on time for more than 16 years, because I bought a house I could afford, not a house they said I could qualify for.

So now the Obama administration is rewarding people who spent 38 percent of their income on a home and reducing the loan value to 31 percent (2/19, A-1, “Obama offers a huge hand to troubled homeowners”).

My house is now worth about $200,000. Just cut me a check for the same 7 percent as other people are getting, and we’ll call it square!

Craig S. Fisch

Let me see if I understand, Mr. Obama. I faithfully paid off my mortgage over a 25-year period. I didn’t buy more house than I could afford. My wife was a stay-at-home mom with four children. We lived on one income. I never even considered her working outside our home while our children were growing up. I have been through five recessions as a homeowner.

Now that my home is finally paid for, President Obama and the Democratic Congress pass a spending bill that will require me to pay taxes to subsidize mortgages of homeowners who should have never qualified for a loan in the first place.

It’s called socialism.

Wilson Winch

I’m glad David L. Davis (2/22, Letters) can pay his bills and has an excellent credit score. Someday, if he loses his job or a spouse who supplemented his household income, maybe he’ll see what’s in the stimulus package for him.

And I wouldn’t consider him a “loser” for taking the help offered to him.

Karen Zentz
Lee’s Summit



Think how many more people could be helped, if only the government left us more of our money . . .


"This is the kind of situation that brings out the best in the volunteer community."

True Kate, but this is just one story that happened to get publicity. How many other families in similar situations are having to suffer in obscurity? The rest of us are so tapped out right now that there is no way charities, churches and philanthropists can make much of a dent.


Tina, my heart goes out to this couple, and I’m sure their story will touch many people. In fact, I’d be surprised if someone or some group didn’t bring their mortgage up to date for them, or offer them at no charge a place to live until they get back on their feet.

Kaleigh’s website has a place for making donations to the family, and it appears that some people in the community are holding fundraisers. A Google search turns up more than 29,000 listings for this baby, many of them Christian websites offering prayers, and possibly donations. This is the kind of situation that brings out the best in the volunteer community.


Okay, any of you who think we are bailing out nothing but "losers"...what do you make of this story?

Couple chooses between baby or home

After the way our home purchase was bungled by the realtors on both sides of the transaction, I am the last one to be sympathetic to people who sling property. But this story got to me.


Pub 17
Marctnts has completely answered your post. From previous posts it seems that you have claimed to hold a PHD in Economics and to have taught the subject in University. Or at least to have implied you have the one and done the other. Now it seems I am to believe you have also been a member of the bar and a practicing attorney. As well as a used car salesman. Or at least you have certainly implied these things. The third I find very easy to believe. Seems a natural fit. But I have been impressed by some of your posts and thoughts. Some things really shake one's self confidence.


"Particularly when they are recommending new and creative methods of financing, which is absolutely and certainly financial advisement?"

They typically don't recommend them under the guise of providing "professional advise", they present them FOR SALE under the terms they set forth in a CONTRACT.

If you read most mortgage documents carefully, you will see that they clearly state that nothing presented should be construed as financial advise and that consultation with an independant representative is recommended if desired.


1. Lenders have loan committees to look after their institution's best intrests, often not trusting their employees to enter into the CONTRACT of a mortgage on their behalf without review.

2. Financial advisors can be sued WHEN THEY ARE ACTING ON YOUR BEHALF, not when they are selling a product WITHOUT REPRESENTATION of its fitness for your situation. That's why its illegal for a lender to lie about the terms of a mortgage, but not to sell you a crappy one.

3. Do you also advocate the professional responsibility of Tony Little to act in your best intrest when selling you that crappy Thighmaster product? After all, he's a "fitness professional", and you wouldn't expect an average person to be able to tell it's useless, would you?

Arguing that individuals are not capable of understanding the basic principles of bugeting and determining affordable monthly commitments has to be one of the nuttiest things I've heard in a while...

Pub 17

Engineer, on what amazing legal theory are you basing your argument that the officers and agents of the lending institution are somehow magically free from any responsibility for their actions? Particularly when they are recommending new and creative methods of financing, which is absolutely and certainly financial advisement?

Geez, I have to get back into the game here. If Kansas City is in fact this far out of the mainstream on litigation practice, the ol' shingle's going back up and my wife can tend to her OWN dam' tea roses.


Pub 17
A financial advisor selling you instruments is one thing, a loan officer approving a loan is another. But if you want to accept a loan officer's word on the loan you can carry without review on your own part or thought on the matter, that of course is your affair. Just don't ask for others to bail you out if it goes bad.

Pub 17

And financial advisors can be and are sued for financial malpractice. If a banker is telling you about a financial instrument that is in fact high risk but is not presented as such, THAT IS FINANCIAL ADVICE.

Pub 17

Also, Marctnts, if you believe you can make budgetary decisions AND PROJECT THEM FORWARD ACCURATELY FOR THE NEXT THIRTY YEARS, you need to get off the pipe and into a cold shower.

Pub 17




Smarter Than You

Caveat emptor!


Here we go again..

1. Lenders are NOT considered professionals in the same manner as doctors or lawyers.

2. The law recognizes that the average citizen does NOT possess the complex set of knowledge embodied in these professions, and as such, these professionals are bound by a "standard of care" that require they always act in the best interest of their clients. They, if effect, sit on the same side of the table as their clients.

3. The law DOES recognize that the average citizen DOES possess the basic knowledge required to make budgetary decisions.

4. In a mortgage situation, the lender is nothing more than the OPPOSITE party to the borrower in a contractual relationship. The lender's review and approval of a mortgage is to protect THEIR OWN intrests in the contract, not those of the borrower. They have NO PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATION TO ACT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE OTHER PARTY TO THE CONTRACT.

Helping troubled borrowers may be the prudent thing to do in our current situation, but to argue that it is the lender's ultimate responsibility to look out for the borrower is ridiculous.


Pub 17
It's any adult's responsibility to make the decision as to what they can or cannot afford. If an adult wishes to undertake something that adult should have a clear conception of how it is to be done. Whatever the responsibility of others may be, that does not relieve an adult of the responsibility that is theirs. If some sharper wishes to push an unsustainable loan on to you with the idea of selling it right away, then it's up to you to figure out what is going on. Apparently many did, but had "flipping" in mind.

Pub 17

Then you should know and freely acknowledge that a professional cannot disclaim responsibility for their professional actions by shrugging their shoulders and saying, "The fool should have known better." An applicant for a mortgage loan CAN NOT know the proprietary algorithms used by the lender to approve an applicant as credit-worthy.

What you propose is that an applicant approved by a lender for a mortgage loan should properly argue with the lender if the applicant "knows what they can afford," and they can't afford what the loan provider says they can. If that's the case the applicant wouldn't submit the application in the first place. IT IS NOT THE APPLICANT'S JOB TO MAKE A PROFESSIONAL APPRAISAL OF THEIR OWN APPLICATION.

The fact that this may not be the way you're accustomed to seeing the process doesn't mean it's not correct, Engineer.


Any minorities in attendance? :-)


Pub 17
I chaired a State Professional Ethics Committee.


If my count is correct this is the 50th comment on the mortgage crisis compared to 24 on the race thread.

Pub 17

Then you have no concept of the legal meaning of the term "professional." Sorry. Educate yourself.

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