Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Coming Middle-Class Anarchy

Future Anarchists of America?

Update I, below. Update II, below. Update III: The denouement of Brian and Ilsa’s story can be found here
True story: A retired couple I know, Brian and Ilsa, own a home in the Southwest. It’s a pretty house, right on the manicured golf course of their gated community (they’re crazy about golf). 
The only problem is, they bought the house near the top of the market in 2005, and now find themselves underwater. 
They’ve never missed a mortgage payment—Brian and Ilsa are the kind upright, not to say uptight 60-ish white semi-upper-middle-class couple who follow every rule, fill out every form, comply with every norm. In short, they are the backbone of America. 
Even after the Global Financial Crisis had seriously hurt their retirement nest egg—and therefore their monthly income—and even fully aware that they would probably not live to see their house regain the value it has lost since they bought it, they kept up the mortgage payments. The idea of them strategically defaulting is as absurd as them sprouting wings. 
When HAMP—the Home Affordable Modification Program—was unveiled, they applied, because they qualified: Every single one of the conditions applied to them, so there was no question that they would be approved—at least in theory. 

Applying for HAMP was quite a struggle: Go here, go there, talk to this person, that person, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. “It’s like they didn’t want us to qualify,” Ilsa told me, as she recounted their mind-numbing travails. 
It was a months-long struggle—but finally, they were approved for HAMP: Their mortgage period was extended, and the interest rate was lowered. Even though their home was still underwater, and even though they still owed the same principal to their bank, Brian and Ilsa were very happy: Their mortgage payments had gone down by 40%. This was equivalent to about 15% of their retirement income. So of course they were happy. 
However, three months later, out of the blue, they got a letter from their bank, Wells Fargo: It said that, after further review, Brian and Ilsa had in fact not qualified for HAMP. Therefore, their mortgage would go back to the old rate. Not only that, they now owed the difference for the three months when they had paid the lowered mortgage—and to add insult to injury, they were assessed a “penalty for non-payment”. 
Brian and Ilsa were furious—a fury which soon turned to dour depression: They tried contacting Wells Fargo, to straighten this out. Of course, they were given the run-around once again. 
They kept insisting that they qualified—they qualified! But of course, that didn’t help at all—like a football, they were punted around the inner working of the Mortgage Mess, with no answers and no accountability. 
Finally, exhausted, Brian and Ilsa sat down, looked at the last letter—which had no signature, and no contact name or number—and wondered what to do. 
On television, the news was talking about “robo-signatures” and “foreclosure mills”, and rank illegalities—illegalities which it seemed everyone was getting away with. To top it off, foreclosures have been suspended by the largest of the banks for 90 days—which to Brian and Ilsa meant that people who weren’t paying their mortgages got to live rent free for another quarter, while they were being squeezed out of a stimulus program that had been designed—tailor made—precisely for them
Brian and Ilsa are salt-of-the-earth people: They put four kids through college, they always paid their taxes. The last time Brian broke the law was in 1998: An illegal U-turn on a suburban street. 
“We’ve done everything right, we’ve always paid on time, and this program is supposed to help us,” said Brian. “We follow the rules—but people who bought homes they couldn’t afford get to squat in those McMansions rent free. It would have been smarter if we’d been crooks.” 
Now, up to this point, this is just another sob story of the Mortgage Mess—and as sob stories go, up to this point, it’s no big deal. 
But here’s where the story gets ominous—here’s where the Jaws soundtrack kicks in: 
Brian and Ilsa—the nice upper-middle-class retired couple, who always follow the rules, and never ever break the law—who don’t even cheat on their golf scores—even when they’re playing alone (“Because if you cheat at golf, you’re only cheating yourself”)—have decided to give their bank the middle finger. 
They have essentially said, Fuckit
They haven’t defaulted—not yet. They’re paying the lower mortgage rate. That they’re making payments is because of Brian: He is insisting that they pay something—Ilsa is of the opinion that they should forget about paying the mortgage at all
“We follow the rules, and look where that’s gotten us?” she says, furious and depressed. “Nowhere. They run us around, like lab rats in a cage. This HAMP business was supposed to help us. I bet the bank went along with the program for three months, so that they could tell the government that they had complied—and when the government got off their backs, they turned around and raised the mortgage back up again!” 
“And charged us a penalty,” Brian chimes in. The non-payment penalty was only $84—but it might as well been $84 million, for all the outrage they feel. “A penalty for non-payment!” 
Nevertheless, Brian is insisting that they continue paying the mortgage—albeit the lower monthly payment—because he’s still under the atavistic sway of his law-abiding-ness. 
But Ilsa is quietly, constantly insisting that they stop paying the mortgage altogether: “Everybody else is doing it—so why shouldn’t we?” 
A terrible sentence, when a law-abiding citizen speaks it: Everybody else is doing it—so why don’t we? 
I’m like Wayne Gretsky: I don’t concern myself with where the puck has been—I look for where the puck is going to be. 
Right now, people are having a little hissy-fit over the robo-signing scandal, and the double-booking scandal (where the same mortgage was signed over to two different bonds), and the little fights between junior tranches and senior tranches and the servicer, in the MBS mess. 
But none of that shit is important. 
What’s really important is Brian and Ilsa: What’s really important is that law-abiding middle-class citizens are deciding that playing by the rules is nothing but a sucker’s game. 
Just like the poker player who’s been fleeced by all the other players, and gets one mean attitude once he finally wakes up to the con? I’m betting that more and more of the solid American middle-class will begin saying what Brian and Ilsa said: Fuckit
Fuck the rules. Fuck playing the game the banksters want you to play. Fuck being the good citizen. Fuck filling out every form, fuck paying every tax. Fuck the government, fuck the banks who own them. Fuck the free-loaders, living rent-free while we pay. Fuck the legal process, a game which only works if you’ve got the money to pay for the parasite lawyers. Fuck being a chump. Fuck being a stooge. Fuck trying to do the right thing—what good does that get you? What good is coming your way? 
When the backbone of a country starts thinking that laws and rules are not worth following, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to anarchy. 
TV has given us the illusion that anarchy is people rioting in the streets, smashing car windows and looting every store in sight. But there’s also the polite, quiet, far deadlier anarchy of the core citizenry—the upright citizenry—throwing in the towel and deciding it’s just not worth it anymore. 
If a big enough proportion of the populace—not even a majority, just a largish chunk—decides that it’s just not worth following the rules anymore, then that society’s days are numbered: Not even a police-state with an armed Marine at every corner with Shoot-to-Kill orders can stop such middle-class anarchy. 
Brian and Ilsa are such anarchists—grey-haired, well-dressed, golf-loving, well-to-do, exceedingly polite anarchists: But anarchists nevertheless. They are not important, or powerful, or influential: They are average—that’s why they’re so deadly: Their numbers are millions. And they are slowly, painfully coming to the conclusion that it’s just not worth it anymore. 
Once enough of these J. Crew Anarchists decide they no longer give a fuck, it’s over for America—because they are America. 
If you are interested in this subject, be sure to check out The Strategic Planning Group, where I discuss black swan events and other interesting possible scenarios. Here is the Preview Page, if you are interested. Enjoy!
Update I: 
The Center for Public Integrity has a story, written by Michael Hudson this past August 6, that shines a light on the issue of perverse incentives of the HAMP program. These perverse incentives came to light because of a whistleblower, a former employee of Fannie Mae, filing a lawsuit. Fannie Mae was so keen on being perceived as a money-maker, after the Federal government bailout, that the aid programs passed by the Congress and signed by the President were turned into profit centers. 
The former executive, Caroline Herron, recounts:
“It appeared that Fannie Mae officers were focused on maximizing incentive payments available to Fannie Mae under various federal programs – even if this meant wasting taxpayer money and delaying the implementation of high-priority Treasury programs,” she claims in the lawsuit.  
Herron alleges that Fannie Mae officials terminated her $200-an-hour consulting work in January because she raised questions about how it was administering the federal government’s push to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, known as the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP.
Herron further alleged that “trial mods” were implemented regardless of eligibility of applicants, so that Fannie Mae would be eligible for Federal government bonuses. 
Ms. Herron’s testimony in fact proves Ilsa’s suspicion that there was a scam at bottom. As Mr. Hudson writes, “Herron charges that Fannie Mae continued in headlong pursuit of ‘trial mods’ even though it knew that many had little chance of becoming permanent. [. . .] Fannie preferred doing trials, Herron alleges, because it was eligible to receive incentive payments from the Treasury Department.” 
So in the pursuit of these perverse incentives, people who did not qualify for HAMP were enrolled in the program. And when their “trial mods” were up after 90 days, they would be notified that they didn’t qualify—regardless of whether they in fact did qualify, as in the case of Brian and Ilsa. 
All so as to be perceived as a profitable operation, worth having been bailed out. All so as to be perceived as “returning America’s money”. 
As of February, 2010, of the over one million homeowners’ mortgages under HAMP auspices, 83% were “trial mods”. One would assume that those 850,000 homeowners would also be assessed an $84 penalty for non-payment. 
$84 times over 850,000? You do the math.
Update II:
This post seems to have struck a nerve—by the number of hits it’s gotten, it’s number 2 on my list of most viewed posts, with a bullet. By the number of comments it’s generated, it’s the undisputed number one.
But a lot of the comments seem very negative towards Brian and Ilsa personally, which I’ve found surprising. A lot of the comments seem to say, basically, “They had it coming, for buying at the top of the market.” Or else, they seem to say, “They deserve it, trying to take advantage of the system.”
First of all—as I thought I made clear early in the piece—HAMP would not change the principal of Brian and Ilsa’s mortgage: It would only extend their payment period, and refinance the loan with the now-lower interest rate, so as to lower their monthly payments. Brian and Ilsa would still owe more money than their house was worth, but at least they’d be paying less money per month.
Second—and an issue I debated quite a bit before publishing the post—I didn’t highlight the fact that, in order to qualify for HAMP, one of the conditions was that one of the homeowners had to have a medical event which had required large out-of-pocket expenses.
In the case of Brian and Ilsa, both of them had had such medical expenses: Ilsa for breast cancer, which has since gone into remission, Brian for cardio-vascular problems, which have also been cured, though at great cost.
I didn’t highlight these medical issues because I wasn’t trying to write a sob story—I was trying to write a piece describing a middle-class couple who are throwing in the towel.
I thought I had made it clear that Brian and Ilsa were not trying to have someone else pay for their misfortunes—they would still own an underwater house. But they would simply be paying for it over a longer period of time, with a slightly lowered mortgage interest rate, and therefore having to pay less out of their monthly income.
The vitriol of some of the comments, however, was surprising in its need to find blame with Brian and Ilsa.
There were elements of class envy, certainly, but I think for the most part, there was a kind of projection-and-denial going on: If salt-of-the-earth, always-follow-the-rules people are getting screwed with, then maybe the screwing that I’ve been getting as of late isn’t normal either—and maybe I should be fighting back, instead of accepting my lot.
By claiming that Brian and Ilsa “had it coming, and should accept their fate”, maybe those commentators are trying to explain away—to themselves most of all—why they have been screwed with, yet are doing nothing about it.
Just a thought. 

If you like what I’ve written, then please subscribe to my mailing list.

I’ll only contact you with things that are worth your while.

Thank you.


* indicates required


  1. Great article but a couple of points stand out. Maybe chaos rather than anarchy is the term to use if people stop following the law but there could be an upside.

    These people are arguing not for chaos but are thinking of opting out of a corrupt system. The system is or could be described as a corrupt Mercantilist system with expansive government in bed with large business interests to cover one another at the expense of the general citizen. So by saying 'fuckit' these folks are opting out. This is not scary but is in fact a market reality in that they are choosing not to participate by forking over more dollars for little or no return through there continued participation.

    If more middle class Americans said the same about paying taxes and obeying frivolous laws, the services that could not be payed for that are offered by the gov any longer would either by deemed unnecessary or would replaced by market based solutions.

    We would have a system based on voluntary agreements rather than a gun under every stack of laws and regulations promulgated by an ever increasing nanny state along with their crony business minions.

    Count me in.


  2. It is absurd that people past sixty even take out a mortgage period!

  3. RIGHT ON!
    As the elitists in DC fight to retain their lordships and stick the working class (except the unions) with the tab, as everyone gets bailed out but the middle class---the 54% who pays taxes gets the tab, as the disadvantaged are told they have "rights" and "privileges" but no responsibility, as people like my wife and I who are lucky to make a six figure income but are having a hard time managing the household budget for four AND save for retirement AND save for school (no---we don't own fancy cars, drive them to 100K miles plus, have in state "vacactions", our note equals what we would pay for an apartment)BUT we are told that we are "RICH", I get f**king fed up with it all, and how everyone is in it for themselves, and the fabric that made this country becomes irreparable torn.

  4. In there quote "We follow the rules". If you followed the rules when you took out the mortgage, look at the note and there are the rules laid out. You made a bad investment, if you gambled on the stock market and you lost money no one is there to bail you out, your house should be treated, just the same. You lost and you need to "follow the rules" when you signed your loan documents. No pity from me.

  5. I recently found this blog and I know of none better or more interesting. This was an eye-opening piece

  6. Let the word go out across the land,
    its time to do it, one great stand,
    time to make them wallow in shit,
    as we grab them, by the tit.

    Starve the monkeys, just say no,
    won't pay no mo', you greedy ho's,
    put it in, and pull it out,
    make the bankers, scream and shout.

    See the suits, jump off the landing,
    sit and watch, your dignity standing,
    Listen as the Piper play,
    time to pay up, the only way.

    The Piper

  7. Follow the rules?
    Did the bankers follow the rules, or make new ones? At OUR and our grand children's expense?
    How about those GM bondholders?
    I could go on, but, its just time.
    To answer the age old question;

    Do bankers taste like chicken?

  8. While I feel sorry that any hard working American has to tighten their belt during retirement, I agree with the poster above who said they signed for the loan and they lost retirement because of their investments. I am looking at the same picture. We bought our home late in life and have a morgage. We lost a lot of our 401k and right now, it would be servere belt tightening time if we were retired. However, we see what is coming, while we follow the rules and make our payments on time, we are learning to be more self reliant. We don't spend money on frivalous stuff (like golfing), instead, we pay down on the morgage and anything else we own, so that when we do retire, we don't have those bills, instead, we have an infrastructure that will take care of us for less (solar, gardens, orchard, small animals). I feel bad because retirement should be a relaxing time of life, but I don't feel sorry for them at all...they signed on the dotted line, they made their choices.

  9. I am speaking from the UK here, the first thought that came to my head was "It's like middle class Americans are awakening from a sort of Date Rape, they have been taken in, doped and raped' when they wake up, and find out what's happened they are not going to be happy! I would respond to the 'good guys' who are telling the "poor gamblers" to pay their dues (mortgage repayments) that simply the bankers are behind nearly all your woes - the deeper you look the more you'll see that's true, so, especially in the case of the couple mentioned who have tried to be honourable in their dealings, I am totally for what they arec doing and would even side with the wife, stop all payments until the bank comes clean and actually reveals their accounting (they never will)! Just waiting for the other shoe to drop right now ;-)

  10. This sounds good to me. Hopefully, we can move closer to a voluntary/anarcho-capitalist society. End the Fed.

  11. Up until the latest scandal du jour (Robosigning Foreclosure documents), I would have leaned more to the 'pay as agreed' camp. But now....the Banksters and their Government enablers have power over us because we give them that power. Take it away and what will they do? Give you a bad credit rating....only way you can hurt me with that is to roll it up and poke me in the eye.

  12. I've been living all my life in such a sistem, where only "smart guys" survive. There's a saying in my country "The one hwo is hard working has all he wants, the one hwo is not, has the same".
    Imagine what a 50, 100 or 200 years of this regime could do to a nation.

  13. People tend (failure to think critically) to cite anarchy, a pejorative to most non-thinking individuals when in fact:

    Anarchy is NOT a synonym for chaos. It merely describes a social system without government. Now, on the other hand, the word government ... a word that is ultimately synonymous with DEATH. (Ask the Afghan civilian(s) what the U.S. military represents! Death!)

    Webster's New World Dictionary-second edition:

    Anarch-Gr. (without a leader) an-, without+archos, leader

    anarchy n. Gr. 1. the complete absence of government. 2. political disorder and violence; lawlessness.

    anarchism n. (anarch(y)+ism: 1. the theory that all forms of government interfere unjustly with individual liberty and should be replaced by the voluntary association of cooperative groups 2. resistance, sometimes by terrorism, to organized government.


    Having returned from a recent trip to Somalia (January 2010) where “anarchy” by default is criticized by “democratic institutions,” as barbaric, I found quite the contrary. Nothing quite like visiting a place in real time prior to making a judgment. Politicians cannot stand anarchies simple because they DO NOT exercise authority and control over the lives of other people. That remains the purview of regulatory democracies and republics (governments) whose Masters prevail in the use of the lash and the yoke upon the subjugated. The short name: tax slaves, legalized plunder.

    No, experientially, I’d disagree with those individuals proselytizing greater freedom and liberty within a democracy or republic to that of anarchy that I witnessed first-hand in what the MSM calls barbaric anarchy, e.g., Somalia. Poppycock! Only a statist lover would disagree.

    Capt. A.

    Principaute de Monaco

    GMT +2:00 CET

  14. My husband's and my goal was always to own our home free and clear before we retired. We worked hard to achieve this goal and suceeded, but I was astonished to learn that the majority or our friends retired with big home mortages that drain their substantial retirement incomes. My heart goes out to the couple profiled in this article. Like so many others, they believed the crook and liars in D.C. and on Wall Street. Non-violent noncompliance is the only way to stop the insanity.

  15. To those who say that the couple signed the mortgage so they "must follow the rules" - why does this rule not also apply to the banks? It sounds like you people did not read the article. The couple legally complied with a program that lowered their monthly payments. They followed the rules.

    Now the bank arbitrarily is pretending that "no such agreement exists". HOW IS THIS NOT ILLEGAL? If the banks aren't bound by the rules, why should the debtors be bound by the rules?

    It says something about the excessive law abiding tendencies of today that the banksters aren't living in fear of a public lynching - and I mean that quite literally. 100 years ago, no banker would DARE try to pull a stunt like this.

  16. @ Anonymus Capt. A
    I'm very interested of your throughs abt. Somalia. Can You contact me or leave your email here (per Author permition)?

  17. @Capt. A.: If rule by despotic warlords, pirates, street gangs, criminal syndicates, and Islamic sharia law courts is your idea of "anarchy" and "freedom", you are welcome to go and live in Somalia. I notice, by your signature, that you don't actually chose to do so. So much for your much vaunted "personal experience". You think you can know a country by briefly visiting it? You don't know squat.

    Yes everyone is in favor of "freedom" in the abstract, but when it comes down to brass tacks, we prefer to trade in a bit of our "freedom" for civilization. Call that "statism" if you like, but it still beats Somalia. In reality, you did not see the mythical "Anarchy" of the utopian political theorists in Somalia: you saw the rule of warlords, pirates, local crime bosses, religious fanatics, etc. That's a government of a sort, just not a very good one.

    People are trying to get OUT of Somalia, not IN. That is the FINAL word on the matter.

  18. If anyone wants to leave an e-mail address on the comment section, so as to get in touch with someone, they are free to do so on their own recognizance. As per Blogger protocol, you are free to remove the message with your e-mail address later at your discretion.


  19. @ Anonymus abt. Somalia
    I can agree, that in Somalia there is a rule of warlord, pirates, local crime bosses and religous fanatics. But the same is true for many other counties. The difference is competition. Warlord more opressive then necessary soon is wiped out. Legitimate government can do much more harm, and stil be internationaly recognized, democratic, pluralistic, etc.

  20. The fact is...this happens all the time. The banks "lure" people into making monthly payments only to reject them later. In Brian and Ilsa's case, the lender's actions are totally egregious. On top of that banks are paid a HAMP bonus with taxpayer money for each modification they make. Why not credit Brian and Ilsa with that bonus since it is their money. The most important step for Brian and Ilsa is to properly weigh their options prior to making a decision to strategically default. We had a website/blog that provides solid information re: the strategic default process.

  21. Right on, Gabi. I've always tried to think of myself as smart, honest and hardworking. But I wasn't smart enough-just like the couple we're commenting on. I was every bit as honest and maybe more hardworking (at least physically)until I also was slapped in the face with the reality that honesty and hard work=maybe life in the streets. Today, I'm trying to deal with a S.S. system "that doesn't want me or my wife to qualify" even though we meet and exceed "every single condition.."(me for well over a year now). We lost our house. We have been trying to cope with this insincerely run gov't(to be polite) and the economy it has criminally conspired to create since at least the sixties. This governing elite (which this couple unwittingly helped enable by buying its' stock)and its' unregulated as well as criminally operated banking system has done us all in. My advice to them is to stay off of the street as best you can. Try to not get swept up and sent away in the inevitable street protests as this generation attempts to enact change by expressing itself without the freedom of speech we had in the sixties. Make no mistake Max Keiser, this bunch has learned from history and has equipped itself for success this time while we slept. Stay out of any one of FEMA's 800 vacant (for now) but ready for occupancy internment camps as long as you can. Use what you have left as the wife suggests to protect yourselves and your grandkids-until they come for you.

  22. Gabi says the truth:"the one who is hardworking gets what he wants. The one who is not does too."I'd like to add:"Love it or leave with it"-Firesign Theatre.

  23. This is why we must be anonymous: Wasn't it the head of FEMA, some one with Homeland Security or somebody else working with the elite who said, "You've got to be careful what you say these days."

  24. Please let me correct my incomplete attributed quotation: "America: Love it or leave with it"-Firesign Theatre. Ain't it funny how truth, like gold, is where you find it. P.S. The previous 3 "anonymous" comments were by me also and I still can't remember how to spell it. I wonder why.

  25. Thank you, Gonzalo Lira via Max Keiser. Today I found a great source of knowledge which also imparts a great feeling of power. This is something many of us find to be another quality of our lives that has been taken from us. How long will it be until the elite try to take the medium of this power (the internet) away from us by taxing it or simply banning the use of it as a threat to (its') National Security?

  26. Anonymous again,againOctober 7, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    Why have there been no comments for since 3:25? Is everyone looking for documentation on FEMA's 800 internment camps? Youtube-and good for you!

  27. Anonymous again,and againOctober 7, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    See how much WE NEED the Internet in order to at least have a chance to survive? Don't allow this entitlement to be controlled by the elite.

  28. Anonymous again & againOctober 7, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    I hope I didn't scare or offend anybody. But if I did I apologize and ask you "What do you think?" Are you part of the problem or part of a solution to avoid that which is what the elite regard as its' final solution (to the problem you are to them).

  29. Anonymous again,& again, & againOctober 7, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Until I opened my big mouth comments were being made every 16.45 minutes. Since then I'm the only one commenting at a rate of one every 7.5 minutes. No I'm anxiously waiting for someone to either delete my posts, ignore me or make some other unrelated but helpful comments on Gonzolo's story. Help me out here Gonzalo. Did I step too far out of the mainstream?

  30. I think these two are holding more cards than they realize. The only problem Brian and Ilsa have is they refuse to beat the system at their own game. Brian is correct to keep making his mortgage payments, but only long enough to purchase another resident, furnish it, move in, and finally rent out his distressed property. With tenant in place, he now does jingle mail with the keys while he collects rental income for at least two years while Wells fumbles the foreclosure procedure or Obama freezes all foreclosures in the first place. Too bad he tipped his hand with the loan modification that didn’t fly, or I would suggest taking out a home equity loan before simply defaulting. Also, his credit is now red flagged because of the non-compliance according to Wells. At their age, they are probably done with the time payment plan anyhow. Who cares if their credit is shot, it’s a national epidemic. One caveat: the dreaded Recourse State BS. Run this by an attorney, most of them are up to speed on counter actions and advertise heavily in MSM.

  31. Still anonymous, but yet againOctober 7, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    It's been 2 hours and 28 minutes now. What gives? We're all in this together now. Come on, is it "ignore the messenger and the message will go away"? I wish it would, I know it's hard to live with. Be careful with what YOU say Gonzalo. Don't worry though, I'll "glom on" to your blog long as I can. You are needed.

  32. Spot on, spot on. They are finally realizing something that took them decades to finally see. And that is the organs of the govt. and business don't care about you, the simply don't. They care about you giving them money, they care about you giving them whatever they ask for because your polite, you follow rules etc. etc.. So this time they are looking out for themselves and playing by their own rules. They are going to play the system and fight. It used to be these things happen to THOSE PEOPLE, not us. Now everybody is those people and we are finally seeing that the problem isn't the guy across the street but the institutionalized crime spree that the govt. and business uses to not only control you but to steal from you.

    Look around, we are the richest (use to be) country in the world and other countries have better infrastucture and better broadband than we do. It's because they invest in their country and people. In this country govt. and business invest in themselves and everybody is out for themselves.

  33. can post now...obviously????????

  34. This entire system is just one corrupt pile of shit designed by and to protect the rich sociopaths.

    The ignorant oppressed lower classes are so stupid they allow it to happen without realizing it. All our laws are designed to protect rich people and to keep the lower classes rolling smoothly so they keep slaving away.

    My advice for the people smart enough to realize this: buy guns. buy ammo. let people know you aren't fucking around anymore. when you talk to a banker, hint that you might just crawl into his house at night and kill his ass if he so much as even tries to treat you like just a piece of paper in the stack.

    when the rich take steps to hide truths and facts from their consumers, customers, and employees; that is nothing less than an act of war. We are supposed to be a specialized society, where people focus on a particular skill to help advance society. But the rich keep so much information from us that we also have to spend time hunting down the truth about things. Where does our food come from? Who made this product? Does this product have any toxic substances? How much money does this charity give away?

    Our law enforcement community is kept dumb and docile for a reason; so they are fine with chasing down petty criminals and keeping the lower classes scared. Am I the only person that is aware of how ridiculous it is to give idiots who have a community college education (cops) so much power over the populace? Cops are kept dumb exactly so they won't work against the rich elite.

    Our justice system? Broken. So complex it takes a corrupt system of lawyers charging enormous fees to navigate it for people of the lower classes. Besides that, our judges have already been bought by the wealthy. Congress? A joke. I don't think there is one physically fit person on the Congress. Just a bunch of fat old stupid men, disconnected from reality.

    This country is going to crash within the next decade. Stack on top of that the report by the Pentagon which says in this time frame there will be serious conflict over food, water, and land.

    Thank all the rich greedy sociopaths who have led society down an unsustainable path.

  35. More people need to understand how fiat currency, money supply, deflation and inflation really work.

    Do you really really want to hurt em? You really really have to want to hurt em.

    Send em a cashiers check for the balance. That's right. Pay em in full.

    In a fiat based currency, Money is created when you take out a mortgage. Once you understand that, the next step is the understanding of what happens when that mortgage is paid. When the mortgage disappears, the money supply created when you created the mortgage also disappears. As does the income stream from your P & I.
    And when your mortgage is paid, you no longer need homeowners insurance - cancel that.

    Ans while you are at it - stop using your credit cards - they increase the money supply too.

    You wanna go all commando on em. Hit em where it matters - money supply (deflation), cash flow (recurring payments). and income (interest)

  36. I was one of these people who played by the rules. I served in the military, went to college+, saved, lived frugally to own my small home. The economy crashed, jobs disappeared and I needed to move from my home to find work. Now my home is worth 90k less then I paid for it. 10 years of my life is gone.

    I have watched the "to big to fails" get millions of tax payers money. It totally disgusts me and it is clear that "The Republic" in the form the the house, senate and executive branch is nothing but corporate controlled cesspool.

    The banks or mortgage companies will never get another dime of my money in interest payments, 401k deposits,or anything. Good luck bankers, no trusts you anymore.

  37. More of 'us' then there are of 'them' and when the middle class of America finally wakes up and decides "enough, really IS ENOUGH", 'they' won't know what to do about us.

    The big question is this: what can we collectively do about the current economic environment to bring about constructive change without tearing this country apart?

    Leadership appears to be lacking on all fronts. Politicians are NOT the answer, but I don't have a clue what a viable solution would be, except to stand our ground, individually, as Brian and Ilsa are doing. Quiet and deliberate defiance in opposition to what looks like a looming global agenda, speaks volumes.

    The Wall Street pin-striped bandits like numbers, and our government is forever counting something or other, so count us among those who are ready to politely say "Hell, NO" to the bankers and the politicians, until they are willing to work FOR us, instead of lording it over us.

    The simple fact of the matter is that THEY need us, more than we NEED them and it is a numbers game, is it not?

  38. I really said fuckit and walked away from corporate slavery 6 weeks ago today.

    I will pay NO more taxes that fund only evil and Israhell

    whats the difference?

    I would rather sit on a piece of cardboard than support that nightmare again.

    Choke that bobbsy twin yuppified couple with the sweaters tied around their necks too

    Half ass whining about not paying "something" is pathetic.

    Try the only thing that works like I did and LIVE goddammit!

    Every day has been twice as great as the last since I walked awaay from that madness.

    So, sack up americunts.

    Do something, or better yet, nothing that supports this lie. Its obsolete and toxic.

    Or is it just me?

  39. An Old Canadian's Perspective:

    Where have all the "flowers gone?" a member of the generation that wanted a new "day" and marched in the streets to get it...I don't see them anywhere hardly anymore...perhaps sleeping in fields at rock concerts were a "training ground" for what is coming...

    Rise up you fat complacent couch potatoes and get organized and into the streets...million man marches on Washington and massive grass-roots resistance are the only way to stop this madness...or you will be in the streets fighting with live ammunition if this continues.

    Let them play their's time again to just "tune in ....turn on...and drop out" ...only this time... instead of drugs, when you "turn on"..."turn" on Washington...

    Nancy Reagan told you what to do ....."JUST SAY NO!!!"

    Whenever they try and stick it to you...."just say no!!!!"

    Don't comply with the bastards...get some lawyers together and start launching organized "class action lawsuits"....ask everyone to send in $5 bucks to a centre ....start a campaign across the land to raise $5 million as start up costs and sue all those that have been involved in the "rape and pillage" of your country....get organized...start a grassroots movement calling for "treason trials" against those that have done this to you ....

    The lawsuits will go nowhere of course....but it will ignite a "firestorm" across the land to get this type of ball rolling...use it as a "call to arms" save the Republic from the bastards who have hijacked your country.....

    Rise up!!!....the time is neigh...class action lawsuits filing for "TREASON"....this will get "Everyone's attention!"

    It's YOUR COUNTRY....what the fuck are you doing about it?

  40. I really like your post you done a great jobs . Thanks for sharing valuable information.

  41. Yes, they signed on the dotted line, BUT in a non-recourse state the contract says you will pay the mortgage or return the keys to the legal owner. The problem today, however, is the LEGAL owner is very difficult to determine because of all the illegal administrative short-cuts take by the banksters in securitizing mortgages.

    The foreclosure process has come to a screeching halt in several states because judges are demanding proof of legal ownership from the plaintiff in the foreclosure action and the plaintiffs are unable to provide it.

    Why would anyone continue making payments on their mortgage when the payment may not be going to the rightful owner of the note? In reality, a person could make their payments for 30 years to the wrong entity and still end up getting foreclosed on. We've heard of such cases already.

  42. Hi,

    Enough is enough. As Gerald Celente reminds us when people have nothing to loose they loose it.

    It is long time past for Americans to wake up to see what their government is doing. If they do not wake up and stop the government they will for century be treated by citizens of the world as mean evil people who allowed their government to commit stagerring number of atrocities all around the world.

    I am curious if future generations of Americans will come up with a name later on to distance themselves from their infamous past like Germans did by calling the bad guys Nazis instead of Germans. Americans will be saying, yes my dad worked in Homeland security and I am ashamed of it.


  43. I personally have NO sympathy for someone living in a burb on a fukin golf course in the desert... It is a good sign that their house is worth nothing now, and maybe we should not give our tax money to rich golf loving people whose choices only hurt everything around. Maybe they can also learn something in the process and question their choice to start with. Or they can start a farm on their golf course and use that water for something useful (and save some precious retirement money in the process). I am sure that is not what the bank had in mind, but at some very general level I think they deserve it.

  44. HAMP is just a way for the banks/servicers to squeeze all of your savings out of you before they foreclose. They don't do principle reductions, just decrease the monthly payments and add it on to the backend which means you end up paying more. You get scammed once for buying an overpriced product (the house). Then you get scammed again by the servicer who may be the same bank with HAMP with the blessing of the United States government.

    Society hasn't unraveled just yet. This is a form of nonviolent protest, and in a way, it's hoisting the banks on their own petard. The banks don't honor their contracts if it hurts their bottom line, but homeowners are expected to honor such a contract even if it ruins them. This is an egregious double standard and a perversion of basic commerce where both parties are supposed to benefit from the transaction. The first commenter is closer to the truth. People are opting out of a corrupt, predatory capitalist system. But, the society is not yet corrupt at its bedrock. There is still time to fix things. Campaign finance reform will have to be enacted. Lobbyists will have to be barred from legislatures. Money can not be considered a form of free speech. The banks will have to be reorganized, their management replaced, and the debts written off. Homeowners will have to be given principle reductions on the amounts they owe on their homes. If these things are done, American society can be saved. If they are not done, then there will be a very large banana republic called the United States of America.

    Perhaps no one won the Cold War. Both the USSR and the US ruined their economies. The only difference was that the US had better credit which allowed us to maintain the illusion that our economy was superior to the Russian economy when in fact we were just as broke. Our international credit card finally gave out and the bill is due. Fraud is one symptom of a broken economy and is the ultimate illusion, a deal that's too good to be true. When the fraud spreads to other sectors, the society will likely experience a cascade effect and a collapse ensues.

  45. We need to use a little discernment with this story.

    Here is a fella that bought a home at the top of the housing market in 2005. Are we to assume he was homeless at the time? Doubtful, he is 60, which would have made him 55 at the time. It is safe to assume he sold his former home. So, he sold his former home at the top of the housing market and made a tidy bundle.

    So, in 2005, he has a tidy bundle from the sale of his old home and buys a McMansion on the greens. Lets imagine further. Did he use his tidy bundle as a down payment on his new home? Nope. He probably financed it 100% to the max and put his tidy bundle in the stock market.
    The plan was to live in the house on the greens for a few years, then sell it for a tidy profit and take his stock market winnings and retire at 62.

    The outcome?
    He lost 40% value on his investments in the stock market and can no longer make his payments.
    He lost 40% value on his new home and can't sell it.
    He lost 40% value on the tidy bundle from his old home that he he should have put down on his new home (the guy was within 10 years of retirement if he was following "the rules").

    The guy is a high roller for crying out loud - he gambled and he lost - i'm not even sorry.

    You want a story. OK. Here's one.
    Guy bought his house in 2000 - 100% financed.
    30 days later, gets laid off (dot com bust.)
    Unemployed, broke - no money - no savings - no investments, $5000 a month in bills to pay, single parent with 3 teenagers.
    Before a new job is found credit cards are up to $40K.
    Fast forward to 2010 - this guy is now 55.
    85% equity in his house after the housing crash.
    No credit card debt.
    Adjustable rate mortgage
    - (adjusted to of 3.12 percent this year)
    Mortgage payment of 180 per month.
    Cash on hand $200K.
    Gets laid off again.

    And People say I am lucky - Bull Sh#t.
    It's not luck.
    I followed the rules. I planned. I scrimped and saved. I followed a conservative track and I paid.

    Now, I cannot get a job or sell my house because Brian and Ilsa are high roller and gambled and screwed it up for people that follow the rules..

    Brian and Ilsa did not follow all the rules, They gambled.

    It's time to take some responsibility.
    Stop your whining, take your lumps, and get on with it.

  46. Steven Debra: "Why would anyone continue making mortgage payments on their mortgage when the payment may not be going to the rightful owner of the note?"

    Don't worry. It sounds like Congress has just rushed through a bill ("the Senate came through at the eleventh hour") to force states to accept lower standards for notarizations - but "this is really just a law removing an impediment to interstate commerce". Yeah, right.

  47. To GL: I love your blog. One thing I find helpful if you could manage, are the little thumbs up or down counters for comments. When a blog takes off as yours is and comments start coming in huge numbers, the counters tend to highlight the most noteworthy and enable skimming through the flotsam.

  48. GL, Great information.

    I gotta tell ya, you have a gift.

    You have demonstrated the ability to present the seemingly complicated and to boil it down to understandable simple rare clarity.

    Keep up with your gifted insights and clear way of laying it all out!

    The lame stream idiot machine would never post the truth in such a clear and easy manner.

    Many Thanx 8-)

  49. October 7, 2010 2:21 PM

    Anonymous said... @Capt. A.: “If rule by despotic warlords, pirates, street gangs, criminal syndicates, and Islamic sharia law courts is your idea of "anarchy" and "freedom", you are welcome to go and live in Somalia...”

    TO THE GENTLEMAN whose comment above displays both lack of courtesy and manners, proving once again that even excellent blog-sites such as that of Gonzalo Lira’s—are visited by intellectual dimwits that speak as though they “know” facts on issues, you sir are an example that proves Epictetus’ adage, “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

    I dare say that you might believe you know more about freedom and liberty than I—you don’t! If you did ... you’d be living in a venue such as Monaco! I, actually stay in Monaco and don’t need someone of your ilk indicating where I should or should not live or for that matter preaching to the choir with irrelevant nonsense! But then again my good chap I’d impone you possess neither the ability (the price) nor the intellectual wherewithal to reside in any of the few remaining venues in this world that are exceedingly free! Feel free to “stay” in your statist master’s yoke and feel his lash when you misalign with his wishes, as a good tax slave. You and your thoughts are simply ... laughable!

    NOTE: Thank you Mr. Lira for the use of your site to rebut this ill-mannered ignorant individual who thinks he knows something. He doesn’t.

    C’est la guerre,

    Capt. A.
    Principaute de Monaco
    GMT +2:00 CET

  50. To the poster above at 12:15 pm. President Obama vetoed the bill you mentioned:

    " It sounds like Congress has just rushed through a bill ("the Senate came through at the eleventh hour") to force states to accept lower standards for notarizations - but "this is really just a law removing an impediment to interstate commerce". "

    This one of the rare occasions that I agree with the president. The banks should not be given a pass on this one. Let the existing state laws be exercised in each state's court system.

  51. The overwhelming emotion expressed in this story, and the comments, is anger. I certainly feel this also.

    This country is disintegrating right before our eyes.

    Very few US citizens can imagine, now, what the US will be like in a few years. This will probably happen within 2 years (10 years at the outside).

    Most of the wealthy will be brought down to the level of the average person. However, most of the super-wealthy have already taken the steps to protect themselves from the coming crash of the US dollar.

    God help every one of us.

  52. To the poster at 2:19: Obama did not veto the bill. He "pocket" vetoed it; he didn't sign it into law stating he wants Congress to have further deliberations on it. Meaning when no one is looking, it could still become law.

  53. You know, I think I met this independent financial planner. I might have knocked on their door to offer my services for a flat $500 when they told me to "fuck off" because they "have covered all their basis" and do all their own "investment and retirement planning."

    These people--Brian and Illsa--didn't do all the right things. They simply caved into Greed, and let their vision of ever increasing homes get the best of them....because fuckit, right, "everyone else was doing it."

    This is fucking pathetic. Brian and illsa are pathetic. And anyone else who took out a home they couldn't afford.

    The banks are pathetic, the mortgage banks are pathetic, and our governement is pahtetic.


  54. To the poster at 2:56:

    You are correct in saying that the veto was actually implemented as a pocket veto. My understanding is that this maneuver will have the same effect as a signed veto.

    A definition for pocket veto - "Should the President decline from signing or vetoing a bill that has come before him, it will be automatically vetoed after 10 days should the congress be adjourned or out session."

    The congress is adjourned to solicit votes; so in ten days the bill should automatically die, as if vetoed.

    This particular law is dead. There is nothing to stop the Congress from starting all over again when the return to Washington.

  55. Brian and Illsa may have been greedy, but
    realistically what they did was probably follow
    some clone financial advisor's recommendations
    as how to structure their finances.
    They accepted that things wouldn't appreciably change or that change would be slow. They definitely didn't plan for worst case scenario. I think they were willing to accept things, even as screwed up as they were, until the bank decided to arrogantly play games with them and keep changing the rules with no means of address that they could identify.The
    large banks have assumed the position of screw the retail customer, they don't have to treat
    the customer right, unless they are connected,
    because the government is guarantying the Bank's continued existence. The big banks need
    to go away. Each State needs a State bank and
    a number of local institutions.90% of bank
    originated derivative positions need to go away.
    Banking needs to go back to be a local, staid,
    institution with low margins, small risk,a
    reasonable employee base, a solid linking
    system nationally , and ties to regional national government banks to facilitate transactions between intra-country regions and internationally. the FED needs to go away.
    Congress needs to go back to a solid resource
    backed currency that they cannot inflate.
    We need some credit, but it needs to be conservative and reasonable. Consumerism will have to be a significantly smaller portion of our GDP.

  56. To paraphrase Mister Rogers, "Can you say 'Underground Economy?' I knew you could!"

  57. please...people or sheeple, whatever you or others consider you to be. first of all contracts are 2 way. not what our presently PTB say it is when convenient for them. Fraud is Fraud. The new and improved mortgage tsunami is complete and utter fraud!!..right! its no different than the other dozen or so financial friggin fiascos we have experienced over the past 70-100 years due to ala FED. how many of you own REAL gold and silver? no not the paer to wipe your asses with. METAL is not paper!!
    for those of you that are deciding to not to pay their mortgage(im not condoning it, BTW, and this is not financial advice)should consider taking 1/2 of their mortgage payments per month and buying real metal of silver, gold and maybe some Pb.
    dont feel guilty about not being able to pay. we are not yet fully enslaved by the banksters; not yet. Soon maybe.
    The paper dollar from 100 years ago has 3 cent of buying power. The same paper dollar from a hundred years (which was a silver certificate) ago, if converted to silver is now worth 25-27 bux..

    a gold coin from 100 years ago(20 dollar gold piece is worth 1400 DOLLARS!! the piece of paper of 20 dollars from 100 years ago has 60 cents of buying power.

    the dollar devalued by 97% the metal kept up with inflation and is up almost 7000%

    anyway..think your options through, top buying the propaganda and the toys and crap you are lead to believe you need and buy something that increases in value as time goes on..

    no, not another ipad.

    oh and wake the frig up!! storm is coming..

  58. I suppose I should put some FYI's in here. There are some excellent people who comment on the nature of the GFC and how to fix the problems - William K. Black, Janet Tavakoli, Yves Smith, Calculated Risk, Robert Reich, Dean Baker, Steve Keen, Max Keiser, and others, as well as this Mr. Lira himself. William K. Black, Steve Keen, Ms. Tavakoli, Mr. Keiser, and Ms. Smith have been very outspoken about the Ponzi economy. Black, Keen, Tavakoli, Reich, Keiser, and Baker have advocated solutions. Dr. Black and Dr. Keen are straightforward and get to the heart of the issue. Read this blog and the others blogs' and books so that you can be informed and be a part of the solution. Directed informed anger beats misdirected anger hands down. Remember Shakespeare, "Revenge is a dish best served cold". Justice is best served cold and dispassionately as well. Justice served hot is generally not justice, so much as a mob.


  59. Brian and Ilsa haven't yet figured out how to really opt out of the corrupt American financial system: Liquidate all their paper/electronic wealth and use the resulting cash to buy and take delivery of gold and silver coins and bullion bars. Then store the metal outside the banking system.

    And if they really want to say Fuckit! to the whole lot of 'em, they can borrow as much as possible before stashing their wealth in untraceable metal.

  60. Years of corruption, crookedness and evil set in to American society and government with cowardly Americans doing nothing about it. Now it is all crumbling. What is wrong is now right. What is evil is now good.

    It is much to late to vote this catastrophe right again with the elections systems rigged being crooked and corrupt. We must know make preparations to save ourselves and our families. Stockpiles of water and food make sense. Gold and silver are the only usable currency.

    40 million illegals and 14 trillion in debt no nation could with stand. Most likely in the coming years the union will dissolve with a large portion going back to Mexico and the reminder splintered off to various factions. What is unknown is what the rest of the world will do as the break down sets in.

    If only you would have acted, if only you would have said something, anything.

  61. These homeowners were not entitled to a modification at the expense of the taxpayers. As several others have noted, they signed a loan agreement and promised to repay the note at specified terms.

    The shit only really started to hit the fan for these folks when the government directly got involved (through HAMP, HARP...whatever). Remember, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are owned by the government.

    I know many people will have a knee-jerk reaction and think Wells Fargo was the culprit. While I am no fan of the large financial institutions, we must realize that government distortion of (and intervention in) the markets is the underlying cause of this fiasco.

  62. Thanks for your thought-provoking column. I was going to write to protest the use of the word "anarchy", in its more bomb-throwing sense than in its original "no over-arching authority" meaning, but on further reflection I believe that it's clear that Brian and Ilsa are not about to become bomb-throwers. They are not going to rob convenience stores, run over children, or stop giving of themselves for others they care about. They ARE, however, flipping off "authority" in the form of a giant bank in bed with a corrupt government. They are refusing to kowtow to illegitimate power.

    This leads to a more upbeat thought: "It's over for America" is true in the sense that it's (soon) over for the ossified America which their experience exemplifies. It is NOT over for the America in which individuals make their own moral judgements and demand to be treated fairly in exchange for treating others fairly.

  63. Interesting article and comments - read every single one! Even though I agree with the Capt. from Monaco, his last offering was a bit officious; but thankfully, learned a new remark by Epictetus...will have to use that one in the future.

    Our society, dear ones, has been dumbed down since the early 1900's. It's the result of a planned endeavor by those who would enslave the world. (Not altogether your fault to not be able to write the King's English properly, and although it is hard to accept reading poorly spelled words, I admire the spirit with which it is written).

    I, like the rest of you, am also up the proverbial Shit Creek without a paddle. Being a fairly recent widow, I no longer have my other half to commiserate with so I haunt pages such as these to hear what my beloved might have said. Thank you all!

    By the way, try being almost 76 and still working full time.


  64. Hopefully the people at large see by now that banks in general are not here to help, but to fleece. Banking should be outlawed, starting with the Fed. I paid a thirty-year mortgage off in less than seven years because I am tired of giving banks free money from my hard labor. My lender would have received twice the amount back if I paid over thirty years. Forget it. They make enough profits through overdraft fees, numerous other fees and closure costs, ATM fees, etc.

  65. Washington DCs message to the American people:

    "Sit down! Shut up! Pay your taxes!"

    The stupid, lazy, tee vee addled American sheeple will do just that.

    As awful as the Taliban may be, they are nobodies sheep. They fight like hell against the Feds (and are winning), we could learn a thing or two from them.

  66. Who did they vote for in last election?

    Who did they vote for in 2004?

    If either republican or democrat, they are getting what they deserve!

  67. Who is John Galt?

    Time for civil disobedience.

    This isn't about rich vs. poor. It's about those who conduct themselves by the rule of law being fleeced by the politically connected elite, corrupting the rule of law.

  68. The Backbone of America??? Be careful how you're painting these people. The truth is, Brian & Ilsa said "Fuckit" the minute that they applied for the program that allows them to lay off 40% of their losing investment on the American Tax Payer. If they really had the "follow all the rules" integrity that you painted them out to have, they would continue paying off their original mortgage (a binding legal contract), or sell the house and take the loss from their poor decision making. Instead, they chose to try and lay that loss off on someone else so they could continue to play golf in their luxurious, gated community.

    Oh, wait... I guess that is the backbone of America after all. That's why this country is going down the tubes.

  69. Seems that we, collectively, are feeling pain which peoples all over the world have felt for eons. Most are easily led by the person(s) who pick up the political reins and crack the whips. We've had it good, but these nice times only last for so long. It's ending here as such good times have ended throughout history and we, collectively, aren't happy.
    Too bad but that's the way it always seems to go. As a person who has worked in his own one-person business for decades, I think that I know what to do at this point. - - And what to do is to not cling onto fading institutions.

  70. The baks get $4500 from the government (taxpayers)every time they send out a HAMP application, no approve, just send out. Tha is why so many people aplly over and over having their applications rejected time after time, only to be sent a new one - how is that for a screw job

  71. Regarding the self-righteous bank-bots who parrot " signed a note, a should pay...", take a look at the ENTIRE agreement.
    It says, and I paraphrase here, " make the payments and some day the house will be yours; stop making the payments, and some day the house will be ours...".
    Why is it somehow "bad" to live up to an agreement (the WHOLE agreement)?
    In short, buyer and bank made a deal, one of the provisions of which is that the buyer can stop paying for a bad investment, cutting his/her losses, just like any other bad investment.

  72. Thank God for sensible people like this who have STOPPED FEEDING THE BEAST.

  73. Wow, nothing about the jew banker media mafia that is responsible for this situation. This Gonzilo guy must be censoring the comments.

  74. So if I'm reading this right, the problem we have here is that people will stop following the rules and regulations of a corrupt society- and thus said corrupt society would fall. Where is the problem? Why the hell would i want a corrupt society to keep standing, I want it to fall. So by all means more people need to stop giving a fuck, buy guns and ammo, and take a look at the bill of rights and constitution so they have something to follow when the corrupt society falls.

  75. Serious question here. Did Brian and Ilsa not take on the mortgage back in 2005 knowing full well what their mortgage payment was? What does the present value of the house have to do with whether or not they can afford to make the payments----those are two separate things.

    Back when homes were going up every day and everybody was either a home filpper, trading up, or taking out home equity, people like Brian and Ilsa saw purchasing their dream home as doable because they felt the value would continue going up and likely that they could use that equity to live large. Whose fault is it that the market has turned south. Seriously, it HAS NOTHING to do with whether they can make the payments or not, because when they bought the house they said they could make the payments and their situation has not changed.

    So, in the end, what this boils down to is Brian and Ilsa see that other people are "getting over", so they want to get over to. Totally pathetic.

    I know this will sound crazy, but back 2003-2007 I would literally get sick to my stomach seeing all of these people making money flipping houses, use equity to finance a lifestyle they could not afford, using their house as an ATM. It really made me sick because I am responsible and refused to play along knowing full well that it would end badly. Why now should the responsible be punished for irresponsible people, and people like Brian and Ilsa who can afford to make the mortgage, they just want a handout since everyone else is getting one.

    The aforementioned is the real reason why we will have anarchy. If Brian and Ilsa were playing by the rules as they contend, they would accept that they bought at the wrong time and deal with it, provided they have the means, which clearly they do. If you use the logic that since their home's value has dropped they should get a bailout, even though THEY KNEW they were buying in a bubble, then why shouldn't everybody get bailed out anytime any deal (stocks, CD's, etc) goes against them. Its called risk, and I am sick and tired of seeing all of these people expect to be bailed out because they made a bad decision. I could have bought more house back in the bubble to "leverage up" gains like all of these people, but I chose not to----why should the responsible be punished.

    Brian and Ilsa, I hate you and everything you stand for. You can afford the house, you just don't like it because the market went against you----deal with it.

  76. BTW, Gonzalo Lira, I TOTALLY agree with the intent of your article----people are getting tired of seeing other cheat and not play by the rules to get ahead. I just don't think that Brian and Ilsa are good example of that. In fact, it is BECAUSE of people like Brian and Ilsa that I don't want to play by the rules, because they are scum bags----if the value of their home had gone up, they would not be complaining. Its called a "market" for a reason----they bought the dream home that others were afraid to buy, and now, because the value went down, they want to try and "cheat" and "Break the rules" to get relief----relief they would not be asking for if the value of their home went up. It has nothing to do with cash flow, simply the value of their home.

    Again, great article and great points, just not a good example unless your intent was to show why honest people would want to break the rules---BECAUSE OF CRIMINAL DIRT BAGS like Brian and Ilsa. Think about it----no, really think about it!

  77. It's time that "We the people" took back our country. If every tax payer would not file on April 15, then that would send a message. If you think the IRS will do anything? they won't. To many of us and not enough of them. We need a tax revolt that will shake up DC. One of such magnitude, they will be shaking in their shoes. If you agree, then pass this message on to all of your friends. And have them pass it on as well.

  78. First of all these people bought at the top of the market. They made a bad business decision and now because their house is worth less than what they paid for it they believe that they are throwing a hissy fit. Buy a house to live it in. NOT as an investment. They made a bad investment and what happens when you gamble? You wither win or lose. Suck it up everyone that overpaid out of sheer greed.

    I could have bought a house during the boom but most were garbage for the prices being asked and even today sellers need a reality check. Here's to hoping housing prices go down another 40-50%!

  79. @Capt A,

    Your way off base. It's a question of culture.

    Re: Somalia... 
    Doug Casey addresses this very country and chaos:

    L:  Most people are brought up to be decent, and the people you tend to attract have a certain moral fiber. In other words, the event was governed by a culture of voluntary and honorable cooperation.

    Doug: Just so. It's like when people form lines at movie theaters or ski lifts. There doesn't have to be a cop with a gun there to make everyone take turns. Everyone knows that if they take turns, it all works out better for everyone – and they are brought up to act that way, so they usually don't even have to make that calculation.

    That's clearly the case in Somalia, but it's also true of the people stranded in New Orleans, who were primarily those with no money to flee – in other words, the inhabitants of government housing projects. It's not politically correct to point this out, but those people had, on average, a distinctly different culture from that of the average American.

    Actually, ex-police states are the most dangerous places – like Russia in the early '90s, the Congo in the early '60s, or Haiti today, because they have a culture of repression that's like a pressure cooker. When the lid comes off, it's a mess.

    L: I seem to recall a flood in West Virginia in recent years that wiped out half of a small town. Instead of raping and robbing each other, those not hurt helped the victims. They housed them, fed them, and even helped them build new houses. And no one made them do it. It wasn't a case of better government – it was just their culture to do so.

  80. gated community, country club , retired, golf all the time, nice clothes, and they don't want to pay their bills.

    hang 'em high

    and of the 81 comments above me,there's maybe two or three who recognized that.

    you're all a bunch of drama-queen socialists blaming a "corrupt system" when this is nothing more than two people spending money they didn't have on things they didn't need

  81. Regarding these comments by Anon: "In there quote "We follow the rules". If you followed the rules when you took out the mortgage, look at the note and there are the rules laid out. You made a bad investment, if you gambled on the stock market and you lost money no one is there to bail you out, your house should be treated, just the same. You lost and you need to "follow the rules" when you signed your loan documents. No pity from me."

    You shitsack! What would it take to get pity from you? Don't you know most of these mortgage contracts were out and out fraudulent? Filled with punitive hidden interest clauses after 3 years of honeymoon rates? Aren't you aware that the whole housing market bubble was contrived by merchant banks with the collusion of governments? And forced to fail when Bear Stearns decided to test the market by pricing their mortgage backed securities openly, with the resultant collapse and failure of trillions in mortgages?
    Don't you know the banks were giving mortgages to everyone with or without assets or jobs? Good people were dragged down by the collapse of the mortgage backed security market, which brought down the housing market, which is why banks quit lending, and the Fed prints e-money to bail them out, which makes everything worse.
    Open your thin pea brained mind and see what's happening before painting everyone with your myopic brush. MORON!

  82. The problem is this real estate bubble, along with other bubbles we have experienced recently have not just happened on their own. The were engineered by the banks and the government, another form of pump and dump. Like inflation is created on purpose by the Federal Reserve, the intent is to transfer money from the middle class to the wealthy. Anyone caught in this scam has every right to tell the scam artists "Fuckit and fuck you."


  84. Most of you people do not have a clue about moral fiber. These people were living the American Dream. They were going by the Book on how to live, decent hard-working people. They were paying their mortgage, it was just a little too high, so they decided to re-mortgage. They got CAUGHT in a BIG MORTGAGE SCAM, not of their choosing, and WERE paying their MORTGAGE. Lo and Behold, so many months into it the bank says they DO NOT qualify. They continue paying.

    NOW, WHAT makes them bad people?

    Nothing...They did ALL the right things, but some of you want to put them down, because of jealousy, of what THEY Achieved.

    United We Stand
    Divided We Fall.

  85. Anarchy without the blood running in the streets? I believe this couple has an Authority higher than a puny state, Who is guiding their action.

    Perhaps these "J-Crew" anarchists" would understand what the Rastafarians are talking about. "Come out of Babylon!"

    And if blood in the street is as poor at wining friends and influencing strangers as I believe and preach, and if it is true that what we RESIST only persists... perhaps this just 'drop out of Babylon' is the most powerful of all possible ways.

    waltinseattle and out

  86. Just read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion completely and objectively, apparently this "Golf" couple didn't. -- CSR

    Yeah, Israel Did 9/11 and the USA is Bankrupt because of it:

  87. Your friend Brian should stop paying. He should, for one reason.

    Banks see absolutely no difference between underpayment and non-payment in terms of "consecutive months missed resulting in foreclosure." He won't get any credit for his underpayments. He's just throwing his money away.

    If he wants to put any pressure on the bank at all he should listen to his wife and pay absolutely nothing.

  88. It's about you people woke up.

    Taxes, 911, Pearl Harbor, the Federal Reserve, JFK, RFK, Lennon, Wallace, the 2000 election, the 2004 election, Obama's Birth Certificate......

    It's about time you people woke up.

  89. Money is computer keystrokes, "digits." Fraud was sold to Americans, computer digits traded and exchanged (NOT disclosed-transparent), FOR REAL PROPERTY.

    Wars to own world riches are expensive and the One Worlders as they're called, lost the war.

    War on Americans has been since the beginning of the One Worlders' (Michael Hudson's words, btw) idea about this time (2012, or thereabouts).

    1901, or when the technology fooled the idiots into believing god's work belonged to the manufacturers of computer keystroke money. Bondage to computer money for real wealth, labor, and of course, life-liberty and-the pursuit-of-happiness disposed of in the taking of our DUE PROCESS OF LAW. The couple need to sue in the U.S.D.C. I have and it is the most important lesson we learn as Americans.

    Book: MORTGAGE WARS, by Iris Martin.

  90. I said "Fuck it" and threw in the towel 10 years ago. The government and big business encourage us to work our asses off and buy into the dream just so they can take advantage of us. And look at what's happened in just the last 10 years. In the end, it's just not worth it.

  91. Does Russell Furman think that retired peopel do not have a right to own their own home? One shoudl be able to have a mortgage no matter how old.. Russell Furman, you are a stomped idiot.

  92. I'm a libertarian who was dumb enough to let two credit card companies lure me into $35,000 debt. How can one say no, in case emergencies strike? But then necessities become emergencies. And minor emergency piles up on minor emergency - and then one's job goes down the drain and no one wants to hire a chubby 63 year old whose just had major surgery. And you end up saying - wait, why do these people act like they are my friends when they loaned someone who admits to a $25,000 income $35,000 - on the threat they'll destroy my credit if I don't pay up. Fuck them. I won't be their slaves. I won't pay - and I can't anyway. Unless I want to give them my WHOLE social security check (for as long as it lasts). BAH! Lender beware... you can't make us your slaves, so stop trying...

  93. The whole usury scam is against god's laws. The criminal act is charging interest on money that don't exist. Pay off the loan but no interest on the unpaid loan as it is wrong to the core. You can't charge interest on something that dosn't exist greedy banksters are not just happy with the gains thay have on the price of the home but want more money on the balance of the loan. Why? They made their markup on the sale of the house. The house is colateral to protect their loan. You see the greed in usury? You see why Jesus through the bastards out of His church. You see what is killing our nation greed I sold my house and carried the morgadge with no interest. I made my money on the sale of the home the balance was paid with no usury to a bank on something that did not exist. Usury is killing our nation as the banksters hit the buyers comming and going. Home sellers lets not get into the banking industry of usury Sell you home and carry the balance at no interest as the home is collateral enough. Take the greed usury out of the real-estate industry.

  94. Ilsa is right and the rest of you Stockholm syndrome apologists need to stop too. Moral hazard?!? These Financial Terrorists (Thanks Max) on Wall Street have robbed and screwed the world! They’re still free and running their rackets and making us all pay. The system is abusing savers and the next 3 generations of taxpayers and it needs to STOP. I own my house free and clear and have absolutely no problem with them defaulting. I wish the rest of you would do the same then these too big to fails will crash as they should have in 08.
    Then we can get on with fixing this and throw the real criminals in jail (one thing I’d be willing to outsource to Mexico).

  95. Nobody real owns anything when you think about it. Today - FEAR rules: What Is that Sound

  96. "As the elitists in DC fight to retain their lordships and stick the working class (except the unions) with the tab, as everyone gets bailed out but the middle class..."

    Republicans hate the Working Class.

    Democrats hate the White Working Class.


  97. Ilsa? Sounds like a foreigner to me....

  98. Remember what Ghandi said, that by paying taxes in compliance with a corrupt government system we also become corrupt through our cooperation with that system. Same with all of the corrupt systems. The best way to kill a cancer is to starve it of its nutrients, and then keep it from returning through building a very strong immune system. It is time to weed out the corruption in all government, globally, and to weed out the corruption between corporations and big government. Most importantly, we need to identify and starve out the globalists who enjoy running the show with their control of money, food and energy. We won't survive unless we stop being "useful idiots".

  99. It is responses such as Herbalpagan's that fill me with absolute despondency. What hope do we have as a society if we are unable to grasp and accept that it is completely plausible for our government and banking system to be rotten to the core?

    If this story is completely accurate, these people did nothing wrong and proved by their actions they were perfectly willing to pay for the promises they'd made EVEN THOUGH THE ONES THEY MADE THE SAME PROMISES TO WERE ABLE TO COMPLETELY CHANGE THE RULES IN THEIR (the banks) FAVOR. Not only did they go back on their "word" to these people but they also used OUR government to rob the American taxpayer.

    Further, I really loved the insinuation that your "opinion" deserved some sort of special merit because "We don't spend money on frivalous stuff (like golfing)". (It's frivolous by the way). So just because they love golf and perhaps spend some of their money on something they love they deserve the treatment they got from the banks? Maybe you didn't come out and outright say it, but the insinuation is certainly heavily pronounced. Answer this... do you think any of those "higher ups" at these banking institutions are cutting back on their time at the golf course??!! Wow... I mean... WOW... I'm nearly speechless at the naivete of the majority of your response to this blog post.

    Are we really THIS lost as hard working Americans that we will make any excuse whatsoever for the greedy actions of not only the "banksters" but also our own government? Are we really buying into the idea that we as citizens aren't smart enough to take care of ourselves and we should leave all our decisions to the same overlords who got us into this mess in the first place?

    To sum up what this post is pointing out:

    1. If you follow the rules, you get screwed the hardest.

    2. Our "American" society has become fragile BECAUSE the people who HAVE followed the rules all their lives are deciding IT ISN'T worth it anymore. i.e. THEY are tired of always getting stuck with the short end of the stick!! Do you not understand the frightening implication here? (Q Jaws music).

    It doesn't matter WHAT name you slap on it... chaos, controlled chaos, anarchy, minarchism, lawlessness... the end result would appear to tend towards something resembling (or possibly becoming) anarchist in nature (no laws). In other words, it won't matter how many millions of laws we have on the books IF THE PEOPLE NO LONGER ABIDE BY THEM!! Get it? Is it sinking in now?

    Why is this so hard to comprehend?

  100. A good article, and there will be many more middle-class people, who will be joining the lower classe, in the coming future. Many of those middle-class people, who think, they are better off, than, those, who have less, than, they do will wake up one morning and find, they are in the same situation or worse, than, those people, who, they were talking about. I see, this, happening to many teachers, state employees, banks clerks and police officers, etc. when, they, become one of the many unemployed. The bankers had Congress to change the bankruptcy law because they knew what was coming down the road. And now, the bankers are trying to get Congress to pass a law that will help them to be exempt from (foreclosures) laws of the courts. How many people will be left with good credit scores to purchase homes? How long will it take for the economy to recover? When, there are so many people with low credit scores? You people. who are in the middle-class, better wake up, soon or you will find yourself here with me in the lower class. If you think, you can protect yourself, by, buying gold or silver, you will find it very hard to hide your property from debt collectors,and the IRS, because, they have the law on their side to confiscate your property, if it have any value and you have a debt. Banks are allowed to write off bad debts and they get tax relief for the bad debt, and they sell the bad debt to debt collectors for penies on the dollar, and it is okay with the IRS. So, what do you think is coming down the road...?

  101. Having re-read some of the "dissenting" commentary, I found I had more to say on this matter.

    There seems to be a reoccurring theme along the lines of "these people made a bad business decision"... "stop whining and pay up, you signed on the dotted line"... etc.

    Question for you all: Where are your claims PRIOR to the bust, that the housing market would collapse and therefore it is obvious making an investment in real estate was a bad business decision?

    You must have been amazingly smart if you saw the writing on the wall that MILLIONS of Americans failed to recognize. I recall only a small handful of economists and financial advisers who were sounding the alarm about the "real estate bubble" prior to the bust.

    The following video exemplifies the sickening "hubris" of the so-called experts. Anyone claiming major trouble ahead in the housing sector was outright laughed at and ridiculed. In one clip the count is 3 to 1!! Maybe it's no wonder so many people were "duped" into believing their home was a SAFE "investment".

    A vitally important statement in the above clip is where Art Laffer says "...there is NOTHING out there that tells us.."

    Did you catch that? Other than people like Peter Schiff, the MAJORITY of financial advisers agreed, real estate was a good investment and home prices had nowhere to go but up.

    Real estate bubble?... Bah humbug!...Crazy talk!

    At 3:44 in the above video the so-called "experts" are so amused by Schiff they begin laughing OUT LOUD at his predictions for the housing market.

    So you are contending, after watching multiple clips of Schiff making dire predictions and being outright laughed at by other "experts, that Brian and Ilsa "had it coming to them" by purchasing a home the MAJORITY of "experts" were telling Americans was a safe and lucrative investment?

    You're saying Brian & Ilsa, and other home buyers like them are solely to "blame" for their "bad business decision"?


    Further, it wasn't just the MSM and their "experts" claiming real estate a safe and rising wealth building haven, but also the very politicians supposedly "in charge" of the mortgage industry.

    Now, certainly there are more than a few home buyers who took full advantage of the "system" and are deserving of our scorn. But if you're looking at this whole mess from a realistic and logical point of view, isn't it obvious that this was probably one of the largest scams ever carried out in the history of the world?

    Not only were ordinary people duped... Hell no... entire NATIONS were duped into buying worthless "papered" wealth as well!

    So, while it is easy to look back now with full "20/20 vision" and place judgment on others, you have to remember (and thanks to YouTube we can easily do so) what it was like during the frenzy. We should keep reminding ourselves of what was being said at that time in history. Frankly, shouldn't we look back at the ones who got it "right" and pay more attention to what they were saying and why they were saying it?

    Rather than engage in useless "class" warfare, we should all be getting hopping mad because we were ALL LIED TO OVER AND OVER!!!

    I encourage each of you to challenge your assumptions. Don't just read the point of views you agree with, read those in opposition to what you believe. But, only do so with a more open mind than has been displayed in some of the commentary here.

    For an excellent overview and easy to understand lesson in economics, I highly recommend "Economics for Real People" by Gene Callahan which is available for FREE from (

  102. Mr. Lira:

    I have been following your writings for some time. Indeed I have even promoted them to my own loyal readers at Overall, I have found your ideas and writing style, although packed with prognostication, to be consistent with my own and generally on-target with my perceptions of the collective American financial psyche, but now I have a problem.

    There's a point when information, especially speculation, goes from being reasonably possible for consideration and tips over into the area of being manipulative as in the case of sources of disinformation such as we experience in daily outpourings from our own Central Intelligence Agency.

    Your profile of Brian and Ilsa is so on-target, so timely and so incendiary that I question its sincerity. It reminds me of some fo the interviews that I have listened to on King World News of Jim Rickards which sound like they were perfectly integrated with strategies such as Cloward-Piven (see, but now from the much more impactful demographic of the middle class American.

    I have one question for you? What's your motivation? Either you're some sort of genius with an ideological calling or prophetic gift, or you're working for the government. Does that seem like a paranoid statement? Let me put it to you this way? How many people do work for the CIA? Do any of them write blogs or contribute to influential sites such as,, etc? Can you name one?

    The way see it, it might as well be you (Chile, Dartmouth, Filmmaker, Soldier of Fortune, video game - you fit the profile) I have a load of anecdotal information and personal observation which is completely consistent with your findings in the case of Brian and Ilsa. I agree with you entirely, however you know a little bit too much for me to say that I trust you. Treason is a fine line, I would suggest that you keep a careful eye on that line even if it appears vaguely drawn in the sand. What percentage of the citizenry of the United States know the meaning of "misprision of treason" much less that it is a punishable offense?

    Dave Harrison

  103. I read through every comment here and what a lot of people who are condemning this couple have missed, or chosen to ignore, is the fact that at the same time their housing investment was headed south, so too was their retirement account. Extrapolate that into the future and I'm sure the couple could see that their current mortgage payment would be unsustainable given the losses their retirement investments were taking.

    Also, corporations default and unload their unwise investments and reorganize their debts all the time, I don't see people all up in arms about corporate irresponsibility.

    We did everything right for 20 years too. We had to file BK, I had some guy snark me the other day about my "having lived it up." Um, no. I've never owned -- nor will ever own -- a big screen tv/iphone/expensive car/jetski/prada bag, etc. Our incomes crashed. We reorganized. What's so freakin' hard to understand about that?

    To those who lack empathy: Every dog has its day. Yours is coming...

  104. We need to collectively choose not to live in their system. We need to collectively choose not to use or recognize their fake money that has stolen our wealth and transformed us into indentured servants of a debt that is mathematically impossible to ever be paid. We need money that represents real value so that you are encouraged to save and have the confidence of knowing that the money you save is not being stolen by inflation; the hidden tax. It makes me laugh that Americans get all bunged up when the criminal mob known as our gov't is going to raise the illegal income tax a point or two, but they don't care that the money is worthless. We have been conned by the banking cartel and the wealth is gone. The real wealth of our country did not disappear, it just changed hands in the most unbelievable theft in world history, and left the sheeple clamouring for even more. Please big brother print more money, print more money! The good news is it could all be cleaned up overnight if we could find just 535 honest people out of 300 million + and the collective IQ of the people could be smart enough to elect them. Until then, I am stocking up on everything I will need in a world without money. It is a miracle of God that you can still trade U.S. Federal Reserve Dollars for real things, do it while you still can, time is short! As far as Brian and Ilsa are concerned, they borrowed money that is 100% illegal by nature of our constitution. The money was created out of thin air which means the bank really did not have any consideration in the deal, so to coin a phrase, fuckim. They are evil. Take the money you have left and buy real things before they steal that too. Live free, it is what God intended for you!

  105. Brian and Ilsa never broke the law (except for an illegal U turn). They played by the rules and expected life to be a bowl of cherries. And it was until they fell victim of a scam artist. Now they want heads on a tinfoil platter. But not all banks are evil, and not all politicians are corrupt.

  106. I almost never post comments on my blog, but I have to in this case:

    As regards Mr. Dave Harrison's query at 8:37am on Oct. 10:

    I am not a government agent, nor an agent for any intelligence or clandestine service. Furthermore, I have never been in any government's employ in any capacity, either directly or indirectly.

    (Though you realize of course that, if I were, that's exactly what I would say.)

    "Brian" and "Ilsa" are pseudonyms, but their story is accurate in all of its details, details which I've been able to verify independently.

    (Though again, if I were making up their story, that's exactly what I would say!)

    Also, I am fully human—my DNA can prove this.

    (Again, something I would say, if I really were not fully human!!!)

    Furthermore, I am not, and have never been, an alien from another galaxy, sent to this planet in order to study earthlings, and see how suitable they are for slavery and/or as food-supply.

    (Though once again, that is exactly what I would say if I were part of the advance scouting operation from the planet Nehudyiu(click!)zenry!!!!!)

    I swear that I am just a poor lonesome blogger with too much time on his hands, and too many silly thoughts running around in his smallish skull. I swear! Honest!

    So don't succumb to the silly paranoid fantasies that the banksters and the government want you to swallow whole.

    (And if you keep on doubting my identity, I will be forced to visit you with my Nehudyiu(click!)zenry ray gun and de-moleculize you in a nano-second!!! So watch it, buddy!!!)

    Paranoid cheers to all,


  107. Quote: “Not even a police-state with an armed Marine at every corner with Shoot-to-Kill orders can stop such middle-class anarchy.”

    An armed Marine at every corner is child's play. How many of his own people did Joseph Stalin kill? 3 million? 10 million? 20 million? And how was that accomplished? Not even Wikipedia knows the answers.

    And then there was Chairman Mao: his policies and political purges are believed to have caused the deaths of 40 to 70 million people.

    What kind of society will it be after one or more of the larger cities have been so efficiently vaporized that there will be no need for mass burials and there won't even be a smell of death in the air?

    Soft boomers with their golf clubs and one ounce gold rounds will do whatever they're told.

    Happy Sunday!

  108. Centralized compulsion does not order make. Decentralized cooperation does not chaos make. Compulsion, whether centralized (as perpetrated by criminals in the employ of the State) or decentralized (as perpetrated by freelance artists) is inherently disordered. Anarchists oppose the State not just because they favor personal freedom: they want to give order a chance. The State institutionalizes chaos.

  109. --
    "Decency, security, and liberty alike
    demand that government officials shall be
    subjected to the same rules of conduct
    that are commands to the citizen...
    If the government becomes a lawbreaker,
    it breeds contempt for law;
    it invites every man to become a law unto himself;
    it invites anarchy."
    --Justice Louis D. Brandeis

    "The government is the potent omnipresent teacher.
    For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example.
    Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker,
    it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law
    unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies
    the means -- to declare that the government may commit crimes
    -- would bring terrible retribution."
    --Justice Louis D. Brandeis

  110. You've all missed the point.....powers that be want the system to implode, to turn upon it's self in a frenzy destruction. They will remove them selves to a safe distance and return to pick up the pieces, when all is done. They will be called saviors & heroes and place the blame on us... this has been repeated again and again, thru out history, call it war or insurection. You can try and prepare for it, but you will not be. They are the Scorpion to you the Frog....they will destroy the system, before they give up their power. You can rant pro or ney for this couple, as to whether they got what they deserved or not, They want you to take your angest out on someone, cause the true banksters are ghosts and with your anger you are easier to your energy and reread Lord of the Flies as we will return to our animal nature quickly in a true crisis.
    Are you mentally prepared to do WHATEVER is needed to survive and I don't mean prayer.
    America must destroy itself, so that the ideals that it was based on can be dissmissed by so called scholars of the future. We go as Rome went...a foot note to a One World Govt.

  111. What Would John Galt Do?
    I invest in my own education. Studying Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin. I know alternative medicine.
    I have gold stored in an off shore account. Any posessions I still have are fitted into a 10X5 storage room at $55 per month. I live in my small, 45mpg, car. How cool is that?
    Being Female,Gay and partially disabled I have been seeing and planning for this chaos much of my life.
    The one who dies with the most Joys, wins.

  112. If this couple's house appreciated instead of being devalued they would be bragging to their friends about what geniuses they are to buy when they did.
    Anarchy is not listening to "experts" or "everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't I?"
    Everyone bought because "real estate only goes up!" nonsense. They can walk away because now,again, "everyone else is doing it". Like sheep, lemmings.
    I recognized where this was going years ago, that's why I rent. This mess is just beginning to unravel.
    Anarchy is not chaos. It is living with no other states above you. If they were true anarchists, they would not be in this situation.

  113. Now is the time! Right NOW!

    The middle class is being aqueezed out of existence, and it's by design. Our career politicians are only interested in maintaining their place in that top 1% while the rest of America falls to below poverty because of the preditory methods of the ruling class.

    Like the sound of that; "Ruling class"? I hope you do, because that's what they call themselves, and you better get use to it.

    Or, Revolt! Stop obeying all laws, fuckit. Lets burn this house down, bring it down on top of them, Burn THEM out of house and home with force! NOW!

  114. It is amazing when people say: "They knew what they were getting into when they signed the papers."


    They signed the papers,followed the housing and banking rules to the letter...and then poof! The mortgage companies and banks start mismanaging and looting everything around them, change the rules as often as they like and still penalize the people trying to follow the rules.

    People only care about a situation when it affects them personally. They sneer and mock others until the boot comes to kick THEM in the backside. Their secure job is outsourced, there is a grave illness in the family and their medical insurance suddenly won't pay...whatever it is THEN other people want to be heard while ignoring their peers.

    This is exactly how big businesses in all forms get to rule. As long as one person says:"I have mine and I don't care about my neighbor" do not be surprised when big business sees how well the person is doing and comes after them.

    It doesn't matter if it's a 20-something, 40-something, 60-something or retired person.


    For those talking about stockpiling ammo, gold, and guns...if it helps you sleep at night do so. But be darned sure of who your "friends" are. The guy that sold you those guns and ammo knows you have those guns and ammo. If he later wants to steal them back using bigger and better weaponry-he knows where to find you.

    The same goes for the gold dealer or anyone else you've told about any "survival methods" you are using. If you buy grocery products in bulk your cashier knows it-especially if you're doing it in your won neighborhood.

    How do most houses get looted? By neighbors. Or by neighbors with unfortunate family or friends.

    It can be a wife, brother, neighbor,or your best friend that can undermine you. Everyone has a breaking point. A person can be betrayed by anyone.

    So isn't it better to stand together in the greatest numbers possible and stare down the government and big business arenas rather than sniping at each other?

    Rather than waiting for a neighbor to fall to "Take what they've got" why don't you crash the system and rebuild it to EVERYONE'S benefit?

  115. Two British comedians talking about the sub-prime crisis, and the markets in general. Was made prior to Behr-Sterns collapse.

  116. iam no financial whiz, but from reading, u are telling ppl to invest in gold at today prices, then who will you sell it to for goods and services, when russia fell, a potatoe farmer traded his potatoes for expensive trinket worth a lot of thier currency, but it took that just for a sack of potatoes, can u use this gold at walmart to buy goods>>??

    but i do know that the only thing keeping the mortgage business afloat is the ppl that are still paying, and all the mortgage businesses have is a signature that u agree to pay??

    thanks for letting me post here Mike

  117. When most of the people refuse, leviathan is paralyzed. An example:

    Get 100K taxpayers together, each pays in 5% of their INCOME as a tax, domicile the remainder of the "assessed" taxes in an offshore entity and then sit back. If one or more are charged for "evasion" or other similar bureaucratic enabling misspeak, the remainder of the 100K loudly admit they have done the same thing. In essence, challenge leviathan on taxation (it's very lifeblood) issues.

    Each of the 100K taxpayers puts up $100 for a defense fund when the inevitable takes place. A ten million dollar war chest would hire a lot of good lawyers for a long time.

    The case: is not "evasion" or "non - payment", money (5%) having been paid as tax, but, rather, a demand for what is essentially "fair taxation". The withheld funds represent the amount of unfair taxation of the 100K protestors. This is particularly true since over half the working people in this nation pay no income tax. How is this fair to the others that work and must pay? The short answwer: It ain't.

    When the "news" of what has taken place hits the streets, more will join the suit. What can leviathan do under this circumstance? Their own rules prevent putting all in jail for this will result in "overcrowding", violating the rules of leviathan itself. Attack one or more of the protestors? How would they like 100K or more people in the streets protesting this move?

    In the end, we have a choice: fight or be screwed. Fighting takes several forms. One such mechanism of fighting is outlined.

  118. Some commenters state that if you gamble and lose that you should still play by the rules. My answer to that is if the game is rigged in the first place in favor of the house and you are unaware of that fact then you do whatever you can to save yourself from further thievery.

    Most people are unaware of the degree to which banking is a rigged game. Prior to the American Revolution King George was taxing the colonists with interest on money that could only be got from the crown of England. The colonists rebelled resulting in the revolt. The colonies even issued their own money at no cost to the settlers. Imagine that. The people could use the money without debt being attached to the USE of the money. I know it is repellant to the mind that money would cost nothing to use but think about it. Money is a medium of exchange. Because you use money you don't have to take your bale of hay to town to trade for your dozen eggs. Because of money you can rely on credit to help pay a mortgage for instance. But isn't it a bit much that you would pay for your house three times because whoever owns the money charges those exhorbitant rates thus impoverishing everyone worker who enters into their ponzi scheme? Who owns the money in your pocket? Better find out now. What does that money cost you? see moneymasters.

  119. Obeying the "rules" has nothing to do with
    morality or doing the right thing, it's about the
    risk calculus. Rules and laws are just the tools
    the ruling elite use to control the rest of us,
    they certainly don't obey them. Obama is a
    murderer by authorizing the murder of American
    citizens, is he in prison?? You don't not rob a
    bank because it's wrong, you don't because of
    the risk or getting shot or going to prison.
    America has become so corrupt that it's really
    every man for himself. You can't worry about
    the banks, they aren't worrying about you. You
    have to look out for #1. If you can get away
    with ripping off the bank then rip them off..

  120. Russell Fuhrman said...

    It is absurd that people past sixty even take out a mortgage period!

    YOUR A DICK Russell Fuhrman!

  121. Anarchy is just the radical idea that persons don't own people.

    Given what we see in Washington and Wall Street, it is obviously a viable alternative.

  122. This couple should not be upset that they aren't getting help. They should be pissed off that anyone is getting help. Since when is it my responsibility as a taxpayer to pay for anyones bad choice in investments or any poor choice an individual has made in their life (ie:single parenting, drug abuse, unheathy choices etc.). I had to sell a house that I took a heck of a hit on. I blame the banks and the govt. for lowering lending standards and creating a bubble. The entire system is corrupted. Instead of crying over not getting a free lunch, tear down the system and rebuild it so that working people can take care of their own again. The young people don't stand a chance of having what the older people have enjoyed.

  123. Prophets have told the world for thousands of years of what is coming. Wake up people...the game is ending.
    Repent for the Savior is nigh!
    Oh...too blind to see it happening right before your eyes...
    Just wait then and it will all be explained to you.

  124. We are missing the root cause of all of this. That Western Civilization is a matriarchal institution. This takes the authority away from the men, and grows government. As Elder George (Mensaction.)explains in his new book, A Geneder Handbook for Western Man, the government operates as fiefdoms, where the survival of the fief is mandatory, and the welfare of the serfs (us) is only attended to just enough to keep the fief intact. Totally impersonal.

    All forms of government are matriarchal, the government takes care of things. Until you change back to a patriarchy, the rule of the ethical male, this will only continue down this path. Unfortunately, the Western citizen has no idea and continues to rage at the barrage of issues as though solving any one of them will changes things for the better.

  125. The only remedy to the crisis is civil disobedience, not anarchy. This goes beyond the law, it is a crisis of confidence in the social contract.

    As I wrote to a friend a couple of days ago.

    "If you're part of the system, you're part of the problem...."

    Opt Out....!

  126. to make a contract such as a mortgage legal both sides have to put up in legal terms consideration. the homeowner does this with collateral of land and the home. the bank on the other hand, issues a bank ledger, putting up nothing. the fed reserve then prints money from thin air in the amount of the mortgage. however the interest owed is never printed, therefore when the banks decide to quit loaning money, like is the case now, the loans cant be repaid, and the banks steal everything.

    1969 minnesota case jerome daly vrs first national bank, proves banks have no consideration, thereforein legal terms there is no contract that requires you to pay back the mortgage.

    dont beleve it? google jerome daly vrs first national bank. 1969

  127. Great story. I live in Ireland where the anger is near boiling point. The anarchy is on it's way very soon!!

  128. It appears that this couple made a fool's bet on the value of their house. If they double down and don't make their morgage payments, their situation may be even worse. I am not sure that I see an upside to your so-called middle class uprising. This couple may be middle class by California standards - but if you speculate in the market or with houses, you will likely get stuck. Many of us stayed with smaller houses and paid off our morgages. This couple is now looking for the same government bailouts that we should all condemn. It's an uprising with a hand out.

  129. It's not that they followed the rules that did them in, it's that they followed the sheeple.

  130. I can't believe the number of posters who are blaming these people for their predicament when the malfeasence by the Bank is beyond question. Maybe I'll just hand you the keys and you can lock yourselves in the cell, then give the keys back. No wonder America is falling to shit. You've lost your balls as a nation and they just walk all over you laughing.

  131. Cry me a river, FBs. These old fools are the epitome of the self-absorbed boomers who blindly follow the herd, stampeded along by the MSM border collies, then bleat that they are "victims" when their own poor decisions - individually and collectively - catch up with them.

    No one forced Brian and Isla to buy at the peak of the market. No one held a gun to their heads and compelled them to sign a mortgage. Now these deadbeats try to masquerade as rebels when in truth they are amoral, rationalizing zombies like most of their generation. The true victims here are the taxpayers and future generations who will be stuck with the tab for the fecklessness of Brian and Isla and their ilk.

  132. "I can't believe the number of posters who are blaming these people for their predicament when the malfeasence by the Bank is beyond question."

    Hey, I rented during the housing bubble, and I still am thanks to asshats like Brian and Isla who drove up housing prices beyond all logical limits. They bought into the Wall Street- and REIC peddled snake oil that housing only goes up, and made their gamble using borrowed money. Now they want to get more favorable terms for their mal-"investment".

    HAMP was a scam from the beginning, dangled by the TBTF banks in exchange for the biggest swindle of Main Street by Wall Street in US history, courtesy of the corporatist puppet show called Congress and this Administration's "economic advisors." I have no doubt that like the good serfs they are, Brian and Isla voted for the corrupt, sleazy, politicians who let the banksters perpetrate their frauds with impunity, and continue to shield them from any consequences for their sociopathic actions.

    This pair are not "innocent victims." They are dupes and zombies who are reaping their just desserts. The universe has a way of setting things right, after all.

  133. This comment is by a different fred, but I don't have any of the IDs needed to tag it.

    It is in human nature to speculate. Boom and busts have always plagued societies, the governments have just institutionalized this one so that it will be far more pervasive than any in the past.

    People everywhere DEMANDED the Ponzi schemes that are now coming unraveled.

    There are far too many dependent people in the world, especially in the West, for anarchy to rule for long - the wheels of industry must turn or millions will not eat. The anger one sees expressed above is witness to the fact that people will eventually be ready for a "man on a white horse" to solve their problems.

    The Purse Seine
    by Robinson Jeffers

    Our sardine fishermen work at night in the dark of the moon;
    daylight or moonlight
    They could not tell where to spread the net, unable to see the
    phosphorescence of the shoals of fish.
    They work northward from Monterey, coasting Santa Cruz; off
    New Year's Point or off Pigeon Point
    The look-out man will see some lakes of milk-color light on the
    sea's night-purple; he points and the helmsman
    Turns the dark prow, the motorboat circles the gleaming shoal
    and drifts out her seine-net. They close the circle
    And purse the bottom of the net, then with great labor haul it in.

    I cannot tell you
    How beautiful the scene is, and a little terrible, then, when the
    crowded fish
    Know they are caught, and wildly beat from one wall to the
    other of their closing destiny the phosphorescent
    Water to a pool of flame, each beautiful slender body sheeted
    with flame, like a live rocket
    A comet's tail wake of clear yellow flame; while outside the
    Floats and cordage of the net great sea-lions come up to watch,
    sighing in the dark; the vast walls of night
    Stand erect to the stars.

    Lately I was looking from a night mountain-top
    On a wide city, the colored splendor, galaxies of light: how could
    I help but recall the seine-net
    Gathering the luminous fish? I cannot tell you how beautiful
    the city appeared, and a little terrible.
    I thought, We have geared the machines and locked all together
    into interdependence; we have built the great cities; now
    There is no escape. We have gathered vast populations incapable
    of free survival, insulated

    From the strong earth, each person in himself helpless, on all
    dependent. The circle is closed, and the net
    Is being hauled in. They hardly feel the cords drawing, yet they
    shine already. The inevitable mass-disasters
    Will not come in our time nor in our children's, but we and our
    Must watch the net draw narrower, government take all powers
    -or revolution, and the new government
    Take more than all, add to kept bodies kept souls- or anarchy,
    the mass-disasters.

    These things are Progress;
    Do you marvel our verse is troubled or frowning, while it keeps
    its reason? Or it lets go, lets the mood flow
    In the manner of the recent young men into mere hysteria, splin-
    tered gleams, crackled laughter. But they are quite wrong.
    There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew that
    cultures decay, and life's end is death.

  134. If you really want to know where all this is going check this out:

    This is what comes next or there won't be a Next!

  135. A Jubilee was declared on your behalf, over a year ago:

    If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

  136. sad story. Lots of folks can relate to this and many (like myself) have lost darn near everything (except my family). And its not easy.

    I just don't get it though. I and many others have been preaching for years that the people need only do several small things to change things to our advantage. Yet people do nothing because either (1) the impact of the fraud has not affected them, thus they live in ignorance or (2) they just don't give a shit and think we are powerless.

    Listen up. Its simple to me.

    1. Close all bank accounts at the large banks also known as primary dealers (and their affiliates). Here is a list of primary dealers. These are the crooks that receive gov loans for 0% interest and our taxpayer bailout moneys. They rig the stock market for gains. They create collapses and benefit from them. They payoff Congress to let the fleecing continue....

    BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
    Banc of America Securities LLC
    Barclays Capital Inc.
    Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
    Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
    Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
    Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc.
    Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
    Goldman, Sachs & Co.
    HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
    Jefferies & Company, Inc.
    J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
    Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
    Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
    Nomura Securities International, Inc.
    RBC Capital Markets Corporation
    RBS Securities Inc.
    UBS Securities LLC

    Oh and by the way, they're all either bankrupt or insolvent. Thus the accounting standards ruse, capital infusions and coverup by Congress and the President of the United States of America. These banks are also stakeholders in the Federal Reserve.

    2. Stop shopping at the large super stores like Walmart, Giant Eagle, Safeway, Target, Lowes, Home Depot. Support your local businesses. Yes it will cost you more now, but down the road things will improve.

    3. Turn off the TV. Its all lies and BS. Get your news from the internet. Just turn it off. Studies have been done that show the electromagnetic waves emanating from TVs is conducted at a important wavelength such that portion of your brain are affected. In essence, it puts you into a trance like state whereupon your mind is more acceptable to the bullshit they spew out.

    4. Start community groups for everything so you can cut out the middle man. This may include farming/gardening, home repairs, energy generation, health care and the like.

    5. Stop buying useless crap for yourself and your children. Stick to the basics and avoid the plastic nonsense gifts and toys.

    6. Stop taking out loans or using credit cards. Use cash whenever possible. They track your expenditures using your credit and debit cards. To hell with them, pay cash.

    7. Lastly, just ignored the criminals including the government. Start living your life in peace and harmony through others with the same mindset.

    We can cut them off in a single day. All of them. The government, the banks, the mega-corporations...everything. People just need to give a damn before something bad happens to them.

    Well good luck. I hope things change for the better.

  137. What I see here is the attitudes of this couple and that of many others reverting to those prevalent in most parts of the world, i.e., that the government is really not legitimate and that it should only be obeyed because of the power it wields. You can find the same attitudes in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, basically everywhere outside of the developed countries of the West, and perhaps also Japan and South Korea. For a European example of this attitude, you only need to go to Italy, where tax evasion is a national sport. The people basically don't see government as legitimate, and therefore they are under no moral obligation to obey. This is a very, very key issue. We're reverting to a third-world society right before our eyes.

    About fifteen years ago, I was telling anyone who would listen that we had become a third-world country philosophically with our paganism and nihilism; it was only a matter of time before we became one in all other ways. It's not possible for people with a third-world outlook and mentality to create a first-world society and economy. Not possible. Ideas really do have consequences. We're seeing the consequences of those ideas being played out right now.

  138. Here are some rules for nice middle-class suckers to stop following:
    Rule 1: We have to defend Europe against a Soviet Union that no longer exists.
    Rule 2: We have to defend a prosperous South Korea and Japan.
    Rule 3: We have to do ANYTHING for Israel. Stealth Fighters, $3Bil for Israel, $3Bil for Egypt not to bother Israel.
    Rule 4: We need to police the world, Africa, genocides, or anything else outside North America and our two oceans.
    Rule 5: We have to pay through the nose for education. Wrong! For $10/hour, smart and knowledgeable people will educate you and your children. They are called graduate students.
    Rule 6: We have to pay through the nose for the "war on drugs". Wrong! The penalty for drug addiction is being an addict.
    Rule 7: We have to pay through the nose for the "Warren Terr". Wrong! Get out of the middle east and no more "Terr" except false flag ops by our own government.
    Rule 8: We need a huge military. Wrong! Starve it into submission.
    Rule 9: We need income taxes. Wrong! Follow the first nine rules and forget income taxes.
    Rule 10: We need the Federal Reserve (The FED).
    Wrong! Free market in money!

  139. You torturing,drone driving bastards deserve all you get.Rot in hell you subhuman scum.
    Ivan.New Zealand.

  140. “I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.”
    -- Thomas Jefferson

    “History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance.”
    -- James Madison

    “The inability of the colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the international bankers was the PRIME reason for the Revolutionary War.”
    -- Benjamin Franklin

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations which grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
    -- Thomas Jefferson

    “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution - taking from the federal government their power of borrowing.”
    -- Thomas Jefferson

  141. You plagiarized this! I read it yesterday on another site. You need to attribute it to the author, you can't just post and profit!

  142. Anarchist ?? NONSENSE ... there are more than realized that is disturbing at what is going on that DOES NOT NEED SOME RIDICULOUS ANALIZATION what is going on. It is high time that the baby boomers take on their responsibility for the complete stupidity of those that would rob us of our retirement, and happiness.

  143. Seen a few comments to the effect that they signed a contract and so are committed to it. But contracts are defaulted on every day, and the mortgage companies are happy to when it is in their interest to do so. A "debt of honor" would be a 0% loan between friends, a loan made for profit is a plain business deal and holds no more moral obligation then any other. If the costs of leaving a bad contract are lower then staying in it, then no business would. If they did it could be taken as not serving the interests of their shareholders ( leaving out how seldom that really seems to matter ). The dawning realization that the companies are playing by one set of rules and trying to convince the debtors that they are duty bound to use another set, may have allot to do with shifting attitudes. To quote and old friend "Turn around is always fair play".

  144. My children and myself would like to thank Brian and Ilsa and their ilk for losing their houses to foreclosure. We will soon be able to pick up those houses at two for the price of one. I've taught my children that there are idiots who'll follow the other idiots off a cliff, and that they can take advantage of the misfortunes of these idiots. Yes children there is a sucker born every minute. Oh, Brian and Ilsa, the company gives you free money to put your money in a 401K, you can't lose. Ah ha ha ha.

  145. To the anonymous poster at 1:43 am, Oct. 11, who claims I plagiarized this from another site:

    Check the date when I first published this. Click here for independent confirmation that my piece was up on Oct. 7.

    Someone else plagiarized me.

    It happens—but check your facts before claiming plagiarism.


  146. SO let me get it straight.....

    A Couple, well to do(as you write) Sixty something Boomers are complaining that the EXPENSIVE HOUSE they paid too much for is underwater and they can't afford to live.
    BOOO frigging HOOO....
    Your in your 60's and took on a large mortage and say why pay..Well because you were stupid.
    People, Hello Earth calling......You lived beyond your means and spent and spent....
    I want to golf , I want to travel, basically I JUST FRIGGING WANT EVERYTHING....
    You built up debt and used all your money to have fun and enjoy life.Spent it all basically.
    Now you want to walk away because YOUR GENERATION drove the prices sky high all the while building HUGE DEBT....Now the bubble you blew up burst and you got caught red handed.
    Suck it up Princess...........
    Debt man come a knocking. You would be cashing the checks if the bubble kept going.
    I am sure you would share that around also. NOT!
    At least you had a job.......The kids nowadays can't even get one that pays over mininum wage.
    Pensions.....Forget IT! ...
    You guys screwed that story up also.Everyone in.
    Now everyone CRY !
    WHAAAAAAAA......... Boomer wants more ..

  147. I sypathise with the couple but a home is a home, not an investment in which YOU reap the upside reward and us taxpayers cover the losses if the price goes down. Stop whining and pay your damn bills like honest people.

  148. Some states, after forclosure on a property, permit the lender to sue the borrower for the deficit or loss the bank incurred after the property is resold, adding a lot of lawyer's fees, interest and penalties to the sum. Therefore, it is imperative that the borrower first ascertain their state's position with regard to deficits, and the possibility of their ultimately having a deficiency judgment against them, before deciding what to do.

  149. anyone who took out a mortgage after 2004 was given phoney money that didn't really exist. This pushed prices up, up and away. The banks have been bailed out with more phoney money but the mortgage holders are held to the terms as though it were a real money debt all along. At the least mortgage holders should get either a write down of principal or a rollback to much lower interest rates at the current market rate. Then people could spend more in the economy. But No its all about getting the banks whatever profit they can get and screw the rest of the nation.

  150. Call me old fashioned or financially stupid, but we bought our home to live in and raise a family that would have roots and a homeplace. We bought two acres of land in a rural community, paid it off, then built our home. House payment $282/month. Property tax $650/year. We did things slowly as we can pay for them and now our place is not only beautiful but it is also a wonderful place to live . Hell, we don't even have to lock our doors. I have no sympathy for all of you greedy fools who treat your homes as a casino and your children will have a half dozen places they knew as home rather than community roots and life long friends.

  151. Great article, and my full sympathy to the couple in this article and people like them.

    I have stopped paying credit cards, I don't own a home, I have an apartment and that is the only thing I pay. Car is paid off, and I simply threw in the towel. I am a full time student, went back to school but there was no ease from any credit company even though I paid everything on time. It's been over 9 months since I made a payment, screw it. I will declare bankruptcy. I have nothing to lose, I don't want to own a home, why? It's a burden, look at the housing market, look at what just happened. I didn't want to do what I had to do but look what we're faced with. It's time for the "effect" part from the cause. Banks caused this, now we will show them the effect.

  152. I like Mr. Lira's disclaimer at the bottom of the comment section. He will not purge a comment unless it's blatantly obscene?

    The profanity that he routinely uses in his own writing is blatantly obscene.

  153. I never read blogs, don’t even know where to find one, but one of my children sent me a link to this blog and when I read it I had an OMG moment! Brian and Ilse are us! Or just like us and probably a lot more couples. I hope they are doing well because the criteria set by the Government to qualify for help under the HAMP implies you have had a life shattering problem, not just that your 401K is loosing money, it also means that you owe more than what your house is worth, that you are old, and it also means that you have had gigantic out of pocket medical expenses or some other horrendous problem that has cost you a lot of money. I am bringing this up because I read a lot of comments that were negative towards this couple, and I am wondering what awful thing happened to them to bring them to this point.

    In our case it is very simple, we bought our home in mid 2007, we were happy because we bought below the market, and we put in 25% down. Our mortgage payments were the same as the house we had sold after retirement to move closer to one of our children, everything was going according to a very carefully laid out plan, which had been implemented for more than 40 years. We even bought in a golfing community … a semi-detached very cute little house, the cheapest in the development! Then came 2008, and as everyone else, we lost at least 30% of our savings, not in the stock market but in very conservative investments, with very reputable companies. Then came another blow in the form of cancer, which I am certain most people are aware how expensive it can be if you still do not qualify for Medicare, and we had to spend an obscene amount of money, and still do … I would have rather bought a Mercedes Benz convertible!

    Then, surprisingly (or do they have access to our private information?) we started getting mail from realtors, banks, etc. offering us an enormous variety of bail-outs, refinancing, short-sells, one of them outlining the Government list to qualify for HAMP. We contacted Wells Fargo, where we have our mortgage (initially it was Wachovia) and were given the ran around for over 7 months, submitting enormous amounts of paperwork, several times as they claimed they had not received our information. Then Wells Fargo offered us to attend a HAMP workshop, which we did, and were promptly approved for a modified mortgage, extending our mortgage period by 7 years and lowering the interest rate to 2% (from 6.125%). We waited there for about an hour and were told that yes, we had been approved and that we only had to go through the formality of making the new payments for 3 months, and if we were able to meet this schedule it would become permanent, which of course we did. We were so happy and relieved we splurged and went out to dinner.

    Ha, ha, ha … what a joke … two months later they said we do not qualify because we “do not meet investor guidelines” (???) and we owe interest and penalties on the unpaid balance! Is this a scam or is this a scam!!! I think Mr. Lira is right on the button! I write this comment in a way to justify Brian and Ilse, as I want to justify ourselves, what did we do wrong?

  154. no wonder Obama wants to ban the internet, these are the people the government really fears, a few years ago in the uk a 70 year old ww2 vet was thrown in jail for not paying a portion of his council tax for 2 months. it amounted to £80 which was the portion that went to pay for the police(there had been numerous burglaries in the area and the police didnt respond to call outs on time and sometimes at all. the judge told him if i dont jail you it will effect the fabric of society. the judges admission showed the man was more feared than armed terrorists, if pensioners uk wide did the same the socialist fascist labour government would be finished and have to do what the people want instead of enslaving them with taxes and bureaucracy etc. this article is spot on, this is why public opinion is so important to the gov-co when they loose credibility,they will loose forever and many of them will go to jail

  155. The United States is a Constitutional Federal Republic.
    The rules are simple; the government has very few enumerated powers; the citizens are sovereign; police are unconstitutional, and the state may not prosecute.
    The essential rule of law is Anarchy! Anarchy is a moral choice. Only people of highly developed character may live under such a system.
    Anarchy is not a country without government, but rather a country where the individual has the right, and opportunity to resolve differences, be they felonies or minor disputes. That is how this country essentially operated for more than 100 years. Police, and even the sheriff could not freely arrest less they suffer strong retribution by both the victim of questionable action, and the community in general.
    We live in a society devoid of moral character and so people, such as the Brian and Ilsa become victims of the system, which most people appear to love; the hell with your neighbor.

  156. having a mortgage after age 60 is absolutely foolish. Having said that I would stop paying completely. There is risk on both the lender and the borrower when a mortgage is signed so the borrower was also foolish to lend at the peak of the housing market.

  157. The game is rigged. Get a really good lawyer.

  158. These STUPID bailout programs have created a generation of monsters. Now, everybody thinks they DESERVE a bailout.

    And when house prices inevitably decline, the owners and the banks will expect a bailout. "Sure, I bought at the top of an obvious house price bubble, but I'll be gawd damned if my house price should decline. BLOODY MURDER!"

    What about those of us who weren't dumb enough to buy a house in the bubble? We're screwed - the govt. is doing everything they can to keep house prices high, and meanwhile we get no bailouts. I deserve a bailout too.

    Actually, it's our kids that really deserve to be bailed out. Gawd help them.

    This is what the Tea Party is all about. Too bad the Republicans are so fixated on religion that their economic views went on the back burner. And if the tea party becomes clogged with religious topics, another tea party will rise up. Because it's about the wasting of our kids' money, not about gay marriage (c'mon, who really cares about that, really?)

  159. To those who blame the couple for trying to make a quick buck. It is not the bankers who were bundling these mortgages (MBS) as AAA using their back-door rating agencies and knowing that they were garbage. Then, they insured these MBS using insurance policies with what's called Credit Default Swap (CDS). The agent for providing these insurance policies was AIG. When the real state market crash, of course AIG failed and then the government step in to bail out these crooks to tune of at least 13 trillions. By the way, by paying these insurance policies through AIG. The Banks should have followed the rule of capitalism, and should have died.But no they're surviving on the tax payers money to continue their gambling and even using that money to fight us with it. It really makes your blood boil, when you really understand what happens!!!!!

  160. The Southwest is in the process of being overrun by immigrants who are definitely NOT "white semi-upper-middle-class couple". Time to cut your losses and get out! Suggested direction is north of California to the Northwest States of the US. When the new country Aztlan is constituted you will understand the wisdom of getting out of Dodge while the going was good.

  161. I don't know that I'm angry with Brian and Ilsa, but it leaves me shaking my head that someone would spend that kind of money at that point in their lives. I was in my late 30s/early 40s in MD (not one of the extreme bubble states) and I just couldn't justify buying a home at the prices earlier in the decade. Everyone I knew was telling me to buy a home. Thankfully, I didn't listen to any of them. Brian and Ilsa brought a home in the "Southwest" (AZ?) at the height of the bubble. What were they thinking? When does common sense kick in? Unfortunately, even those of us that avoided the insanity were hit with the shrapnel of its aftermath.

    Assanp Kined

  162. I am so glad these people are telling their story! It is so inspiring to those of us who are also being HAMPed into foreclosure and losing our homes over a few missed payments just so we could qualify for help from our Government!


  163. I just found MERS name on my mortgage. I am not sure I am going to have clear title, if we can pay off our house. I will have to go to the county recorder's office and look it up. If it looks the lease bit fishy, I will look into hiring a real estate attorney, and setting up a trust fund to make payments until the mess can be straightened out. I don't want to stop making payments, we are not underwater and our house is half paid for, well, maybe not. Not sure what the true market value is anymore but the bubble here was not near as bad as the bubble states like FL, AZ, CA, NV.

    see for more info.

    KC KS

  164. I too have a Wells Fargo mortgage, but I did not buy overpriced and did not stretch my budget to get in to a house that I could only marginally afford. I have nice six figure income, but chose to buy well below what I could "qualify for" on a loan. In short, I used common sense, something this couple apparently lacked. As a result, other than for their medical concerns, I have no sympathy for this couple. THEY bought overpriced, over-extended themselves and AGREED to their APR. Now they are learning a valuable lesson in Finance 101. Time to pay up or shut up.

  165. there are public relations firms that post to stories like yours on behalf of the banks. I doubt many of the outraged comments above are genuine.

  166. I'm one of those lame strategic defaulters, and here's why; I have an 80/20 conventional loan that I'm underwater on that I took out in 2005 against a property that I bought in 1999.(a cash out refi to do a remo and pay off some other debt) Obviously I'm underwater like everyone else I know now too, and have been paying my mortgage etc anyway like a good little boy. My original refi note has been sold 3-4 times at least, BofA is the current servicer.

    I went in to BofA to see the loan people about lowering the interest rate on my note to the current rates on a 15 year (that would lower my note rate 2.5%) and basically rewriting the paper work so I could continue paying and get out of the mess sooner. They said "sure, we'd be happy too, just come in with $100K and we'll do it today."

    I told them they could have the keys or we could do a short sale or they could retype the paperwork. A Realtor pal of mine talked me into the short sale vs taping the keys to a brick and tossing them through the window.

    Personally I think it's time to rent for a few years.

    just my thoughts.

  167. I got laid of (Mfg. Engineer - job outsourced to Singapore in '03.) Soon knew we needed to leave our home and buy a cheaper one to buy time. Nobody would rent to us because I was unemployed. So we sold and, with profit from our home sale, we bought the cheapest house in our town. 960 square-foot fixer, figuring we'd fix it later. I got re-employed for 9 months. That job outsourced to Malaysia and laid off again. Went through the 401K, paid half of it in penalties. Wife has a medical condition and, due to no insurance, paid out of pocket. This time was unemployed for about a year (worked as a handyman to supplement.) During this time, we refied to an adjustable to stay in our house.

    During this time, both of my wife's parents got cancer at the same time and required caretaking (still do to this day, as the cancer has been treated, and returned, treated and returned.) A side note: Father in law worked for AT&T. A year before he retired, AT&T was bought by Lucent. Lucent won rights to terminate his wife's medical insurance, so he pays a fortune out of pocket monthly.

    In the course of all of this, we are now in our 960 SF fixer 60,000 upside down.

    I've been re-employed for the last few years, but we've never recovered from the layoffs, the family illness/caretaking, and housing decline that took place during them. We've made every payment. Our banker won't work with us, of course. Meanwhile, we've watched people walk away from homes they bought for $550,000, get cash from family and buy bigger McMansions for $350,000.

    We've never owned new cars and the ones we own are paid for, for "vacation" we tent-camp for a weekend, we eat chicken and hamburger, wear our clothes into the ground and supplement with second-hand clothing (Goodwill, etc.)

    I can't speak to the couple you've written about. Golf would be out of the question for us, but I don't enjoy the game anyway. I can only say that we're starting to question why on earth we keep paying our mortgage when we're watching others making far more or supplemented by family(I've taken a cut with each layoff)walk away without a second thought.

    So, yes, to quote you, we feel like saying fuckkit.


  168. The bank bailout goes beyond just TARP.

    The banks have received:
    1.) Favorable tax treatment.
    2.) Hundreds of billions in tax payer loan guarantees.
    3.) Free Fed money.
    4.) And they have had their toxic assets purchased by the Fed.

    ...all the while the American people are getting played like suckers for continuing to play by the rules.

    The only rule in all of this is that there are no rules.

  169. post script: We had no idea we were buying in or near a "bubble." I wonder if anyone did. We'd never heard the term. We just figured housing prices were going to continue to skyrocket until even a fixer was unattainable, never to come back down. Minus a crystal ball, we thought we were doing the "right" (a term I'm seeing here)thing.


  170. I feel you are spot-on in your analysis. The government is foolish to bail out the banks on the backs of honest, law-abiding people such as Brian and Ilse. I do not know these people, but I feel for them, and I hope there is a happy ending for them. They have tried to do everything right, and are being punished for it.

    I don't condone stealing, except when someone's survival is at stake. If survival means Brian and Ilse (and others in the same fix) jump on the home-squatting bandwagon, then more power to them.

  171. Amazing. This EXACT SAME SCENARIO happened to us!! We were instantly approved by phone for the HAMP program -- without one shred of documentation. I never sent the paperwork in for the program because one factor is your ability to make payment and I had no consistent income. Therefore, I would have been rejected even if the paperwork had gone in. We missed the last payment (a 4 month "trial") by 2 days and were immediately kicked out of the program. Then I had to catch up almost $8,000 in payments!! AND now I have a mark against my credit via good ole Uncle Sam!!! Now here's the clincher. So now I've got to put my house on the market (I've considerable equity in the house, unlike others.) I'm fretting over what we are going to do, Trying to make the original payment, but won't be able to much longer, and I get a phone call from Wells Fargo. They automatically put me into a "level 2"?? HAMP program. What? AND I'VE BEEN ACCEPTED!!?? I never sent in one single paper, no documentation at all. (Hmmm, this is what got me in trouble in the first place: a no-doc loan!) My loan has been modified to 2.8% for 4 years (I think), 3.8% for 1 year and then 4.8% for the life of the loan. Go figure. I'm not complaining, but this is ridiculous. Who in the world put these people in charge of our money??

  172. Excellent article.
    FUCKIT! I agree absolutely.
    The revolt is coming...

  173. I just have one thing to add/clarify, if they truely refinanced, they would have closed. Then there would be a new note and deed. If they did not have a closing, then they have no legal document stating the new terms of the loan. All of the other modification products, such as DURP and HASP, were treated like actual refinances, allowing up to 125% LTV. As such, the borrowers closed on the new terms and signed all new documents. The lender cannot override a recorded note/deed, which has me thinking that this couple did not do an actual modication refinance.

  174. I agree with GL's sentiments here, but there is a test that needs to be applied for unfortunate situations like this.
    Was this Greed, Laziness, or Ignorance?
    This couple looks like they were ignorant to the housing bubble (as were many), which has led to these circumstances. If you look at the Madoff victims they were probably guilty of one or more of the test criteria. I'm not claiming to be free of these issues as it is a constant struggle not to fall victim to any one of them.

  175. The bump in traffic was probably from (where I came from).

    This couple should follow the lead of the banks if they are in a non-recourse state. Stop paying, get foreclosed on and rent a house in the same neighborhood for less. A mortgage is a contract, nothing or less. There are things that happen when you break a contract (lose your downpayment, foreclosure, etc) but it's all business. This is ZERO moral consideration to be made. It's a promise to pay.....OR the bank will do certain things. Let's not forget the MBA did the same thing with the building they "owned", they walked away when it no longer made financial sense. There's nothing to feel guilty about, it's just business.

  176. I think this is a great piece. There is a lot of conversation out there about collapsing prices due to credit collapse, but not much conversation about the complicating factor of the huge generation gap.

    I'm 30, which puts me right between Gen X and Gen Y. People my age, to a much greater degree, have been socialized with the belief that following the rules is a sucker's game. It's not something we have to slowly come to realize one person at a time... we start from the assumption that we're being hosed. A lot of us literally wore "fuckit" t-shirts in our teens. When we do work with the system, it's under duress; we feel like captives, not participants.

    Most of us are burdened with huge education loans (most of which are turning out to be lousy investments), credit card debt, and high un(der)employment. Something like 40% of people between 25 and 35 would be below the poverty line if so many hadn't been forced back into mom's house. This isn't great for your credit score. Read "Strapped" by Tamara Draut. It's short and sweet.

    Most of us can't afford any kind of mortgage, even for a starter home -- thanks to credit, debt load, and a lack of savings. Those few friends I've talked with who do have the means, are not being suckered into buying at anything close to bubble prices. It makes no sense to buy a starter house when the value is dropping faster than you can accrue equity.

    When Gen-Y can't buy starter homes, Gen-X can't sell and trade up to Boomers' empty nests.

    No one is going to buy those empty nests except at fire sale prices, even if loans were negative 5%.

    My suggestion to all the people out there my parents' age is to stop thinking about your home as your retirement fund. You're not going to be able to sell to us, even a decade from now. Default today and start your retirement fund under your mattress with the cash you save.

    We'll appreciate your help in lowering home prices to the point that we might actually be able to establish our own households in our 30's. Can't make any promises about keeping Social Security around, but we're a very sentimental bunch; we'll probably be more than happy to move you back in with us when you're old and broke. That is, if we have a place.

  177. I played by the rules and stayed as a renter for the last several years. I could never understand the concept of buying a home with no down payment. Now I continue to pay rent to my landlord, while my neighbors freeload and don't pay any rent to the bank on thier homes. They either plan a strategic foreclosure or want a modification. They won twice, first by getting the nice house they bought and now to live in it rent free while they get a modification or get thrown out after 18 months of living there free. I am the backbone of America and I say fuckit too. My attitude has changed and so has many others I know. This thing is far from over and could ruin the country, and I don't care about that anymore either!

  178. I think anarchy/chaos is ALREADY HERE. Its form is never ending bailouts+ perpetual ZIRP.

  179. The Taliban isn't going to allow themselves to lose to a bunch of people who readily surrenders their lives and property to the Jews, so let's stop kidding ourselves.

  180. As long as we let them the rich, too big to fail banksters will continue to fleece us and get richer because we continue to "play by the rules". I say we should peacefully stop playing by their rules and take up a battle cry! "Fuckit"! Hmmm, has a nice ring to it.

  181. Know what? The government has put a program in place to help people who can't make their mortgage payments.

    As could be expected, this creates a moral hazard for people who would like to take advantage of the program not out of dire need, but simply to preserve their own wealth.

    Now you have people who COULD make their mortgage payment as agreed, but simply choose not to.

    It's not quite as clean cut as presented here. Sorry, but you have to remember who is paying for these mods - other taxpayers.

    The housing market is like any other market. It can go down as well as up.

    People who bought stocks whose value has dropped would probably like someone else to absorb those losses as well.

  182. "Her cities have become a horror, a land of drought and a desert, a land in which no one dwells, and through which no son of man passes." - Jeremiah 51:43

  183. Anyone harping on this couple for not following "the rules" is just a programmed robot of the state. If the rules makers have the power and desire to make and enforce the rules, and then do not follow them themselves and in truth aggregiously violate said rules, then the subjects should not have to follow the rules they did not create in the first place. In fact, they should all walk away from this madness while there is still anything resembling order. Many of us, myself included, have no person or corporate entity whose views and ideas are in any way shape or form aligned. I own a business, work 70 hours a week, attempt to correctly pay taxes and still cannot get ahead or purchase a decent home. We live in a socialized corporatocracy.

  184. Much as you would have your dreams of anarchy, what will typically happen because these people are Middle Class is that some bureaucratic trigger will happen and they'll be bailed which point they'll stop carping and go back to arguing with the gardener, the grocer and the plumber about their "high prices:

  185. my own opinion is that 3/4 of the politicians, 3/4 of the 'functionaries' and 3/4 of the corporate honchos in this country should be hung from the light poles in every town, so the ravens can eat the flesh from their filthy bodies.

  186. Death to the DictatorOctober 13, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Stamp your fiat currency and any bill that you pay. I have self inking stamps made some of which have the following statements: Always thinking of new ideas too. Fiat currency has massive volume and the messages are viral. Rise up America and fight. PS: Fighting government is not for pussies!

    "End the Fed!"
    "Vote the Bastards Out!"
    "Bloated Government, Expensive and Incompetent"
    "Politics versus Gold, Gold Wins!"
    "Got Gold?"
    "Got Ammo?"
    "You Can't Fix Stupid!"
    "Nobody Owes You Anything"

  187. How many of you have read the small booklet:
    "Billions for the Bankers-Debts for the People"?
    It explains why and how to come out of captivity.
    Just Google it.

  188. About anarchy, any form of government can be, and eventually does become a tyranny. Banking? Banking has always been a great way to do many things to many people. We can talk about it all we want, but will anybody do anything about it?

  189. Death to the DictatorOctober 13, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Speak Out! Make the banksters proove it up.

  190. What will you do when you can no longer get due process? What is your recourse? Seems like this couple found theirs.

  191. Yes, but a house is an investment. Investments can increase in value or decrease. People believed that their houses would increase at a steady rate because that's what they wanted to believe. There is no reason why houses should appreciate. And they can very well depreciate because the market changes and the perceived value of the house decreases. It is the way investments work. So I do not feel sorry for the two people profiled in your blog. Since you don't use their real names, I suspect that they are composites. Are they? The federal government was not created to bail people out of their own bad luck. No one needs to get a mortgage. Or realize that it's your responsility to pay your debts even if it's hard. It's like if you buy a sure-thing stock on margin and then the stock doesn't go up. You can't expect the brokerage firm to give you a break. Let's all be adults.

  192. TRUE STORY: I once asked my bank if I could see my signature card (the original document I signed when I opened my account), they said, "No. It is our policy not to show you your signature card." Then I said, "May I see your policy book where it states that this is your policy?" And they said, "No. It is our policy not to show you our policy." So I don't care if bankersters taste like chicken or not -- man, they sure look good on a skewer!

  193. ....nothing new under the sun

    "They are, all of them, born with raging fanaticism in their hearts, just as the Bretons and the Germans are born with blond hair."

    "I would not be in the least bit surprised if "those people" would not some day become deadly to the human race."

    (Lettres de Memmius a Ciceron, 1771)

  194. go for it, brian and ilsa!

    the only option you have been given is conscientious objection.

    it's fast becoming the only option for many of us. my aunt used to tell me "don't feed the beast"- good advise! i am on the short track to being debt free, at which point i will never participate in the lending market again. wash your hands, walk away, let it collapse.

  195. The revolution is not here yet.

    This couple is only a very early warning. The revolution is not here yet. A huge majority of americans still get their meal ticket from the government, and as long as the money flows, the revolution can start another day. I'm not just talking about government employees and people on welfare, unemployment, and social security, but also every doctor, lawyer, general contractor, middle manager, etc. Government money flows are supporting virtually everyone these days. Too many people are bought-off at the moment. Critical mass is a long way off.

  196. Nazi's knew how to deal with bankers

  197. I send back every credit application sent to my house stamped "GFY" for "Go Fuck Yourself"
    When it comes to the couple in the article and those who claim they "knew what they were doing, therefore should pay, blah, blah, blah..." Just who do they owe money to? What person did they borrow from? Borrowing money created out of nothing by a legal fiction might entail some legal requirement to repay, but imposes no moral obligations at all.

  198. The reality is that the mortgage contract is a contract and if the bankers are allowed to not play by the rule of law then why should anyone else? Businessmen strategically default all the time on commercial property so why is that OK and not OK for us citizens? I would like to see every American say GFY to the bankers, stop paying all mortgages and all credit cards.


Whether you agree with me or not, thank you for your comment.

If you liked what I wrote—or if it at least made you think—don’t be shy about making a payment. The PayPal button is there for your convenience.

If you have a question or a private comment, do feel free to e-mail me at my address