I’ve been following the recent news regarding the rising rate in home foreclosures. Although certain sub-prime lenders are certainly guilty of making too many home loans to people with bad credit (can you spell greed?), it appears to me that not enough reporting has been done about the people who are now defaulting. If you were told that you could get an ARM with an intro rate of 3%, you were also told that the rate would certainly rise when the prime rate increased – meaning a higher house payment. If you could barely afford your mortgage at 3% interest, why would you expect to be able to make it at 6 or 7%? Did these people actually believe that the Fed Reserve would continue lowering the interest rate indefinitely?
I certainly have great sympathy for people who have fallen on hard times due to a medical or job crisis, or something else they have no control over. I’m just sick and tired of hearing news reports that blame credit card and loan companies for the poor financial management skills of the rest of the American public. Where is the personal responsiblity? If you’re living on the edge financially and you have the means to change it – why wouldn’t you? Why would you continue to gamble your financial well-being in the hopes that the status quo will never change?
The really sad thing is that now many of these people can’t even sell their homes for what they paid for them. The housing bubble was destined to burst. In fact, it was predicted well in advance of the actual event. So if you’re going to make the largest purchase you will ever make in your life, wouldn’t you evaluate the options carefully before you scribble your signature on the dozens of documents that will tie up the bulk of your spending pie for the next several years?
Maybe this is just another example of how people are abdicating most of their personal responsibilities: Parenting is now the school district’s responsibility. Your lung cancer is the tobacco company’s responsibility. McDonald’s is responsible for the nation’s weight gain.
So here’s my own list of things I’m personally abdicating any responsibility for:
- I blame my gene pool for being short, stocky and prematurely gray, which has prevented me from a lucrative career as an underwear model for Victoria’s Secret.
- I jointly blame the Tostitos company and Edy’s Ice cream for the size of my thighs.
- I blame my 1st grade teacher for teaching me to read, which has led to my life of solitude with my face buried in a book. This has kept me from being an extroverted, nationally-renowned motivational speaker.
- I blame a girl I went to Junior High with for teaching me how to smoke cigarettes. I still smoke and it’s all your fault.
Whew, that’s a relief.