Dear Mr. President, Federal Government, elected officials, bailed out bankers, and all those who shamefully help those who will get you re-elected and fail the rest of the deserving Americans who have fallen through your bail out cracks.
Here is a tale, not so much of woe, but a tale of shame. Shame because you are too interested in giving hand outs to special interest citizens than to offering a hand up to those who fall outside your demographics. It is the story of a woman, not young by most means but not so old as to be in your senior citizen grouping. She is a white woman, so she doesn't measure up to your minority pandering. She works, so she isn't one of the millions on unemployment you so blatantly appeal to.
It is the story of a woman, however, who is an inspirational American. (Click on the previous link to read WHY she is inspirational.) A woman who thoughtlessly gives so much to so many and is hardly willing to beg for help. A woman, who would rather quietly try to work things out than complain loudly to her friends and neighbors and whoever else might listen.
It starts out, not so long ago when she lost one of her three jobs. She found herself unable to make the $800 a month mortgage. So she went to her mortgage lender, DHM, and told them she had lost her job and needed help readjusting her payment.
In a letter, this simple woman wrote to them and explained the situation of her income, the fact she did get another job - making a little less, - and that she not only worked locally but that she was very active in her community.
“I don't wish to move anywhere,” she wrote. “[O]r wish to be homeless, either.” A sentiment most Americans can respect and relate to.
She explained that her grown daughter had been in and out of the hospital, her sister (several hours away) had been fighting cancer and that in her quest to make more money to be able to afford her mortgage she had gone back to school (paid for by local private company) and received her certification as a paramedic. (Her next step of taking her National Registry exam has been hampered by her lack of funds to take the exam and the time to finish her practicals in New Hampshire.) She recounted how she had been taking care of the home – replacing the heater that had caught fire and getting a new well pump installed.
“I know most owners would walk away,” she wrote. “[B]ut this is not just a house its my home.”
Now to this woman, who has dedicated her time to helping so many in need and selflessly does for others without batting so much as the proverbial eyelash, and who gave them suggestions as to how things could be worked out for both parties – retooling the mortgage to a 40-year term at 2-2.5% interest (down from 5.5%) and commenting that within 6 to 12 months she could return to paying a higher rate once back on her feet – the mortgage company said “no.”
When she spoke with their representative, she asked him if he would rather let the house go to foreclosure instead of working out a deal that would mean the lender would continue getting money, he callously said “yes.” When he told her he couldn't lower the interest rate, she told him she knew there were programs out there that were helping people by lowering their mortgage rates, he said he wouldn't do it. When she explained she was not going anywhere, that the lender would get ALL their money if they worked with her. “You mean you are willing to lose all that money by letting my house go to foreclosure?” she asked.
“We'll just lose it,” he said flippantly. And that was that.
Now, even though this true American doesn't spend her money frivolously (no microwave, cable, internet – not even basic television service because its just “too expensive”), who worked hard all her life, never working less than two jobs, and often working more, will lose her home in two weeks. On December 14, this home will go up for sheriff's sale. She will be homeless. In no position to help house her two grandchildren while her daughter goes back into military service. No longer able to able to be in a position to help others as she has always done. Stripped of the dignity she has always lived by, forced to beg for the help that should be available to ALL Americans, not just a chosen few who meet the demographics politicians, who are only interested in help in their next election, have set. Forced by financial institutions that so readily have taken taxpayer dollars yet so insensitively flaunt that money by NOT helping those who deserve it.
Though this woman is extremely deserving of not just the help freely offered to those who are not as responsible and to be treated with more dignity than the likes of DHM and the Bank of NY Mellon have done, her story is not a solitary tale. Far too many people have found themselves on the losing end of looking for help in these tough economic times, times put into play by some disreputable financial institutions and moguls, made possible by politicians who failed to protect the people they should have in order to protect their “friends” who contributed so lucratively to their political careers. It is more than sad that we should even be discussing a situation like this in America. It is a sad commentary on an Administration and political atmosphere whose sole idea of the job at hand is to mire the situation with their intractable ideologies and than blame the other side. It is sad that an average, responsible citizen like her is forced to lose everything while those in power speechify and stump to say how much they are trying to help, but in reality do little more than that.
President Obama, if you really want to show the people you are serious about doing something, start with this woman. Congress, if you want to prove that you are not being partisan, come together and help this woman, and go to work helping all those in similar situations. After all, you DO hold a majority stake in these banking institutions. To all those banks out there that are tired of the Occupy backlash you are getting, fearful of the strong support building to strip you of your power in American finances and losing ground everyday in the area of public relations, then help this woman keep her home. To all the above, I demand you do something for this woman, and all those like her, who do not seek hand outs, bail outs or something for nothing. Give aid to all those seeking help to be able to stand up on their feet and feel the dignity that all Americans have been able to enjoy for hundreds of years.
As for my closing tag line of not caring if you agree or disagree, I will not use it. For even though this is me Thinking Out Loud, it is also me demanding of those in power stop letting people like this woman fall through the cracks. If you are so stonyhearted enough to disagree that those who want to work things out rather than just “walk away” like most owners have been doing (the ever popular use of “jingle mail” of 2010 – where the owners simple walked away and mailed the keys to the mortgage lender), than I say shame on you. For all those bleeding hearts that so willingly plead the case of illegal immigrants and non-tax paying freeloaders but would let people like this woman go homeless, I say double shame on you. I not only want you to think for yourself, but in this case I want you to share in the outrage. I want you to think about 'what if.' What if this were you? What if this were your mother or your sister or your daughter? What if this were the woman who took care of your mother and father when no one else would? What if this were the woman whose volunteer work with the local ambulance and fire service saved the life of your kid in that traffic accident at 2am? Would you really not care? Could you really be that cold and callous?
Please note, this is not a plea by this woman for any donations. It is not some scam or hoax. I know this woman. She is my sister. All she wants is help saving her home. And for all Americans in similar situations to get the help they deserve. This situation has gone on for far too long without a face to put to the story. For too long the problem has been given vague statistics and been argued academically. Well, here is a face. And if you look closely enough to your neighbors, you will see more faces. It is about time to fix this problem in America. And it is something you can do to help, that is as simple as sending an email to your politicians, to the President, to your banks and mortgage lenders.
After reading this, forward it to everyone you know. Tell them to contact the President and all the others, and tell them to do something. Tell them that enough is really enough and they need to stop all the political crap and work for ALL Americans. Put it up on Facebook, tweet it, Digg it, everything we can to get the most people seeing this. Because if you tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on and so on . . . maybe we can finally get the powers that be to do something right.
If you do this, have a great day. If you don't, than I hope you reap what you sow in your inaction.