Congress is working on bailing out the mortgage companies and homeowners caught up in the foreclosure mess. I haven't really read enough to know whether I think this is a good idea or a bad idea. I do think the brokers who helped people commit fraud by exaggerating their income ought to be in jail and I think the people who lied about their income to get a loan shouldn't get any help at all.
But, what I want to know is, when do I get my bail out?
Okay, technically I don't need a bail out because I live within my means, pay my bills, have a good retirement account and have money in the bank. I didn't buy more house than I could afford, I didn't lie on my income documents, I didn't sign my loan papers without reading what my monthly payment would be. I've made those payments on time for 22 years. I've refinanced twice and cut my interest rate almost in half. When I first got my house, paying that monthly bill meant we didn't have a lot of furniture and we didn't eat out very often. Over time, my house payment took a smaller and smaller percentage of my take home pay. I've refinanced twice and cut my interest rate almost in half. After a few years, I could save more and I could treat myself to some nice things. Now my taxes will pay to bail out others who weren't quite so responsible. Like the woman I listened to on NPR explain that she is facing foreclosure because she took out a loan even though the papers she signed indicated she would owe $2000 a month. Somehow she overlooked the fact that her income is $26,000 per year. How could she not have known she'd end up defaulting on that loan? I and other taxpayers will help her out. That just doesn't sit right with me.
Sure, I'm not facing foreclosure and I'll own my home outright when I retire. And I'll be able to retire. So I guess I'm rewarded after all.