Monday, December 3, 2007

Tenant Victim

I saw this article last week and just about fell out of my chair. Haven't I asked you over and over again about the different angles that the media will concoct from this real estate nightmare?

OK, so, poor lady. Innocent victim of some overzealous investor and greedy bank. Now she has to move again through no fault of her own (except that the months of foreclosure notices should have been a dead giveaway, no matter what the owner said). I feel so bad for her. Boo hoo.

I'm not heartless. It doesn't make me happy that this renter has to move out of her home, but are we missing the point here? Doesn't anyone feel bad for the investor? Maybe he was approved for a house he couldn't afford in hopes of cashing in on the appreciation. Maybe he sucked all the cash out on a refi or HELOC (or ELOC, whatever). But maybe, just maybe, he lost so much money from other investments, and he wasn't charging enough for rent, that he just couldn't hold on to the house any longer. Now who do you feel sorry for?

I admit. I'm one-sided on this. Can't help it. I just lived it. I didn't go into foreclosure on anything (if you're unfamiliar with my story, start here and scroll to the bottom). There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Does it even occur to CNN to tell the tale of the poor investor who owned the house that the renter has to move out of? How 'bout any investor? Can someone send me a story that is sympathetic to everyday citizens losing their non-owner occupied homes? I don't think so because investors and speculators were the ones who started this mess. It's our fault that real estate hit a downturn. We're the lousy culprits who have victimized an entire nation, and now our own renters have fallen victim to our oh-so-greedy ways. How ironic.

You may not remember that we forced millions of people to sign loan docs for interest rates that they eventually would not be able to afford. We were the ones who caused the tumble in a market whose time it was to correct. It was we who approved the loans for all those who were not qualified. So, then, why run a sympathetic story in the media for such low-life barracudas?

And now I, miserable investor who has dug my own grave, have the nerve to contact my mortgage company and ask for a freeze on my interest rate. Talk about ironic. Did I just victimize myself? I don't think so. If PHH doesn't agree to put a hold on my rate increase, I can just refinance because I have the equity to support it (even in this market). I'll never get a rate as good as the 4.75% that I have now, especially if I have to use stated income, but I won't lose my home. That's the difference.

Why ask for a rate freeze then? Because I can ask for anything I want. Doesn't mean I'll get it. But, most of all, it's for your entertainment, my dear readers. Since the media hasn't detailed what that experience is like, I guess I'll have to jump in and do it for them--either now or after my rate increases. I'm always up for a new real estate experience. Aren't you?