Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just Another Foreclosure

It brings a tear to the eye - the economy has finally touched Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Wall Street Journal reports his childhood home in Dillon, SC, was sold for 83 thousand dollars to a local bank officer. The buyer was suitably respectful of the historic nature of his purchase.

"It's just a great sense of pride to know that one of the greatest leaders we have in our time period walked the same floors I walk," said Travis Jackson, who said he may put up a plaque honoring Bernanke.

The house was sold by the Bernanke family ten years ago. It was then sold again to a national guardsman and his family for $123,000. They lost it when they couldn't keep up the payments.

I won't even comment on the irony.

I've been doing a lot of investigation into the foreclosure issue. Evan Wagner, director of communications for IndyMac Bank, tells me in most cases his bank's hands are tied. It doesn't own a good 80% of the loans it services. And the agreements it has with the banks who do own those loans specify that it can't negotiate with borrowers until they've missed at least two and sometimes three payments.

So people who know the wolf is at the door and try to talk to a bank before it's too late don't have any options if their loan is with one of the giant lenders. Local really is proving to be better.

There's word that the Obama administration has some plans to alleviate the foreclosure crisis. It's certainly not part of the big stimulus. And without it, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that we're just throwing good money after bad.

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