Putting A Face On The American Home Foreclosure Crisis

As some of you kindly noticed, I've been absent a great deal lately (although I believe the situation is now corrected... especially once my DSL begins to work). Although I really hate airing dirty laundry in public, I feel obligated to tell you a bit of why I've been missing, since it ties directly into a very serious situation here in America: a record of primary home foreclosures that now EXCEEDS that of the Great Depression that began in 1929.

I am one of 1.6 million home mostly middle class home owners whose home was foreclosed upon. Obviously, my financial problems were a big part of it; like many, my principal income post September 11th nose-dived and (also a sad norm with foreclosures and bankruptcies) a catastrophic illness in 2003 left me unable to work the 20 hours a day, 7 days a week I had for many years. By 2005, every effort I engaged in to secure my home went boom.

Though financial advisors always say to contact your mortgage company, lay out the case, and work with them to find a solution, my mortgage holder - the largest in the U.S. - never returned my calls. In fact, in the 7 years I had a mortgage with them, I never managed to speak to one single human being. When I tried to sell the home (tough in a bad market), the mortgage holder fought that, too, going to court to prevent me from doing so.

Sadly, my case is becoming the norm. Millions and millions of homes have been taken back since Bush took office (the "ownership" society he talked about really only meant the banks owning us), and though 1.6 million have been lost this year alone, some figures cite that at least 20 million other home owners are in serious danger of bankruptcy/foreclosure in the next year. Millions more are at risk of losing homes within the next two years. (More than half of all bankruptcies in the U.S. have as their initial factor medical bills - but, of course, universal health care isn't needed by anyone except Congress for themselves. ::cough::choke::

This crisis does NOT just affect the home owners. Mortgage companies have no reason these days to work with home owners because the federal government gives them a wonderful out: all the laws are written to their favor AND the Federal National Mortage Association (aka Fannie Mae) comes in and buys these foreclosed homes with our tax dollars to save the mortgage holders. Since homes aren't selling, this is only going to worsen... and get much worse if we continue to have someone like Bush (aka Giuliani, Thompson, etc.) in the White House and running Congress.

Massachusetts is talking about trying to intercede to provide some kind of bridge between distressed home owners and their mortgage holders to try to help people stay in their homes and save tax dollars being lost to "help" mortgage companies when it's American families who need the assistance.

I'm not asking for sympathy here, but to help put a face on this crisis. So many of my friends have been totally perplexed how someone like me, hardworking and frugal, could be caught. The answer is, this can happen to anyone. And does.