Monday, May 10, 2010

Too Much Extra Time

We're house-sitting for Andrew's parents for a few days as they take a work vacation in Vancouver. In some ways, it's awesome because we have cable, and I have no work to do (piles of laundry? None! Floors and counters to clean? None!). In other ways, it's not very fun because I'm bored out of my mind when Oliver naps. And, of course, he would choose today to have his longest nap of all time (currently 2 hours and 15 minutes).

I have nothing to do! I ate lunch. I dusted a bit. I set up a play area for Oliver when he wakes up. I watched some TV. Hmm.

Speaking of TV, an episode of 60 Minutes really got me fired up. It was on a bunch of people who are able to pay their mortgages but choose not to because their homes aren't worth as much as their mortgages. They had no remorse, no issues at all with not paying their debts. In fact, many of these people were mad at the banks!

Let's explore this issue. Say you want to buy a CD. I loan you $20, and you agree to pay me $30 back for interest. A few months go by, and the price of CDs drop. You tell me the CD you used my money to buy is no longer worth $20, much less $30, so you want me to agree to let you pay me just $10. What? Excuse me?

And what if the value of their homes had gone up instead of down? Would they be happy if the bank said to them, "Well, your home is worth more now, so we expect you to pay us more." No. Because that's not how investing works! Investing is a gamble. However, with a home, you get something for your money no matter what. These people have a home they can live in, a home that they liked for what they paid. If they can still pay for the home, then they need to do just that. It doesn't matter that the value dropped.

Because of these people, home values can continue to drop and contribute to the recession. Apparently, laws in many states don't allow the banks to take these people's assets, like their cars or w/e to pay for the mortgage they're choosing not to pay. I think those laws need to be changed. And shame of those people for not feeling guilty at all! And shame on the companies they featured who encourage people to stop paying their mortgages even when they can afford them.

I think I'd be better off not watching TV. Hopefully, Oliver will wake up soon...

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