RE YOUR ARTICLES on the foreclosure situation:
As someone who's been in the industry for more than 20 years, I know how the problems started. Our government, in its infinite wisdom (and as a means to secure votes) decided that everyone should share in the American Dream and be a homeowner.
This is an admirable notion, but, unfortunately, not everyone is qualified to be a homeowner. Financial responsibility is alien to some and to expect them to exhibit financial discipline is ridiculous.
Credit scores as low as 500 were accepted. A credit report of 500 means that one is breathing and not much else. Charge-offs, judgments and delinquencies dominated the credit report, but still qualified someone for a subprime mortgage.
Of course, a higher interest rate would accompany the offer (remember the risk/reward principle), but the applicant didn't care because they qualified for a mortgage. In some cases, the applicant's actual income didn't qualify, but they told the loan officer that their income would be rising in the future, so an adjustable-rate loan provided the solution.
We then had many people house rich and cash poor, but they were homeowners, temporarily. Suddenly, people aren't getting the anticipated raises nor are they exercising financial discipline and setting aside cash for their monthly mortgage payments, let alone utility bills, car payments, cell phones and property taxes. How can these people be expected to be responsible adults when for years the government has shown them that they needn't be? We now are facing record numbers of foreclosures.
The mortgage industry is ruined. Loans to all but the most conforming borrower are nonexistent. Forget investor loans. Since the investors can't get loans, we'll have more urban blight than ever before. Evicted homeowners won't have anywhere to live except off the government.
And guess what will happen to your taxes? True, there are some borrowers who did fall on hard times, but they are in the minority. We are experiencing what Wall Street calls a correction. Property prices will find the appropriate levels. Credit will loosen for qualified borrowers. Investors will once again get loans to buy the rental properties that will house people who should be renters.
If Big Brother stays out of the picture and doesn't force socialized housing that you and I will pay for, things will eventually recover.
Frank J. Melfi III
According to my calendar, May 8 was the 63rd anniversary of VE Day, Victory in Europe, World War II. In the May 8 edition of your paper, I can find absolutely no mention of this historic event. I'm sure all those who served in the European theater during World War II are greatly upset.
Are you going to ignore VJ Day?
I want to register my disgust at the " 'Toon du jour" cartoon of May 13. The display of a KKK costume was in poor taste. We have had enough racially dividing activities of late.