Monday, October 06, 2008

Who Is Addie Polk?

Addie Polk is a 90 year old woman from Akron, Ohio. She became a symbol of the nation's home mortgage crisis when she was hospitalized after shooting herself at least twice in the upper body rather than being evicted from her home of 38 years; due to foreclosure by Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae has since forgiven the loan.

Addie became the hottest topic on Google Trends after Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich mentioned her name on the House floor in the debate over the $700 Billion Bailout Bill.

But Ms. Polk is just the tip of the iceberg. Millions of people are currently going through the same situation.

Many are hard working people who just wanted a slice of the American Dream. Unfortunately they went after their slice at the wrong time. They panicked believing that if they didn’t buy when they did, the dream of homeownership would be out of their price range.

They paid more than what their home’s real value was because Real Estate prices were escalating at a rapid rate. Others, like Addie, took out loans on their existing mortgage free property because the interest rates were very advantageous.

Case in point; my Son-in-Law and Daughter. They bought their house in June 2005. The real value of the house was probably $165,000 and they paid nearly $200,000. Now judging from comparable houses on the market (in this area of Florida) it has a current market value of about $135,000 or less.

Along comes the $300 Billion Housing Rescue Bill. Salvation!

But no, not for them! To avoid going into foreclosure they decided to pay their mortgage rather than some of their other bills. Also my Son-in-Law’s (A Plumber) net income had dropped significantly because of the cost of gasoline and a lack of work available during the current economic crisis.

When they bought the house they both had very good to excellent credit ratings. Now their credit ratings have gone so far down that my daughter tells me that they cannot qualify for the Housing Rescue Bill.

It’s a Catch 22.

Now that Addie’s story is known, I can imagine many more people shooting themselves. The people that should be shot (better yet, jailed) are those that put them into a position from which they cannot escape.

The Beach Bum

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