Friday, March 14, 2008

Desperate Times and Desperate Measures!

Ever use the phrase "Cut off your nose to spite your face?"

Do you know where the phrase comes from? As best as I can determine, the phrase originates from an event that may/may not have occurred on or around 870 AD when a group of lusting Vikings landed in Scotland. After learning of the Viking's impending arrival, the Mother Superior of a monastery urged the nuns to disfigure their faces and thus make themselves unappealing to the vicious pillaging Vikings. One of the nuns allegedly cut off her nose and upper lip. Many of the other nuns followed suit in varying degrees in hopes of preserving their virginity. When the Vikings arrived, according to the legend, they were so disgusted at what they saw that they burned the buildings to the ground and left without assaulting the nuns. The nuns were left with all of their virtue plus their mangled faces.

Today, we know that people in record numbers are facing foreclosure on their homes. That's no joke. I'm saddened by the transfer of wealth from so many to so few and the struggling US economy- but that's a different subject. I'm also very sensitive to the plight of those who face losing their homes and stability to foreclosure. For some the thought of losing their home has forced them to take drastic measures..... Watch below:

" The February 11 “Good Morning America” introduced a new dire consequence of the slowing economy: “cash-strapped homeowners” committing arson."

“We have news this morning on the home foreclosure front, word that cash-strapped homeowners are taking desperate measures,” ABC co-host Diane Sawyer said."

The tragic reality for those that get caught burning down their home to avoid losing it to foreclosure is: They will have a nice cozy home behind bars for the next few years - Guaranteed and paid for by the government and the tax payers.

These are desperate times!


josey said...

i'll admit i'm not well-versed when it comes to things like real estate, the housing market, economy and all that stuff. but i have heard about (and witnessed where i live) all the foreclosures and wonder how people get themselves in that situation. it's my first instinct to blame people on poor budgeting and understanding of their finances and how much debt they can really afford. ive known more than one family who goes bankrupt, then somehow gets a home loan within a few years, only to lose the home. its so horrible to see unfold.

but then since i'm a bit uneducated in the subject, it makes me wonder if the system almost sets folks up for failure because companies are all too willing to loan people money. it just seems like the whole issue should be way more complicated than that! what are your thoughts?

btw, i couldnt get the vid to play, so if it answered some of my questions--sorry bout that! i went directly to youtube and it wouldnt play there, either. bummer!

josey said...

im back :) i noticed i couldnt get ANY youtube vids to i rebooted and all is well. hehe.

anyway, i know i probably shouldnt be surprised, but deep down i still am shocked that people will do something so desperate as to burn down their own home. and then most likely NOT get away with it! its terribly sad!

intrepidideas said...

Hey Josey, Thanks for the dedication in trying to get the video to play! :) I happen to think that it was a little bit of both.... The system was broken - allowing people to borrow more money than their homes were worth either by allowing up to 110% financing or through inflated appraisals. And naturally you have to blame the people for in some cases, biting off more than they could chew. Let's hope it gets worked out soon. Otherwise, go to the store and get some marshmellows. Could be a nice bonfire near you!

josey said...

LOLOL!! i literally laffed out loud reading your reply! HA. i expected a heartfelt plea for those poor people who are losing their homes (but NOT for the ones burning them!).

instead, off to buy marshmallows it is! maybe some choccy bars and graham crackers as well. might as well live it up!


intrepidideas said...

Hey, don't get me wrong - I'm sensitive to the plight of those who are in such a dire position.

But if they are nutty enough to "Burn down their House", we'll help them out buy selling hot S'mores on the corner! What do you think? Great idea on your part with the chocolate and grahams..... LOL

Jane Turley said...

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who just aren't that bright and that is why banks and motgage lenders should be responsible about how much and to whom they lend money to. If you see no light end the end of the tunnel burning your house down actually might seem appealing regardless of the consequences.

The situation in the UK at the moment is worsening. House repossessions are on the increase again. It is a situation I deplore because the cost of housing here is astronomical and way beyond what is morally acceptable. It is riduculous situation whereby economic forces cause prices to go beyond what is realistically unobtainable. My husband and I bought our way out of negative equity after the slump back in the early ninties by hardwork and frugality; it set us back finacially for more or less 10 years and indeed still does; we have had to cash in savings plans and stump up for failed endowment policies too.

In the early slump days banks and building societies hadn't actually got policies to help people out of these situations. They were difficult times for many homeowners and many people who weren't so fortunate lost their homes. Yet many hadn't made any rash or hasty decisions; the government was actually advising people to get on the housing ladder back in 1988!

I should be pleased that 9 years on our current house is worth nearly 200% more than we paid for it in 1999 but I'm not. The slump this time isn't anywhere near so bad as last time but I wouldn't wish on anyone the financial strain we've been put through whilst having to raise three kids.

In the UK there is an ethos of home ownership which regrttably forces more people into the market who should not be there. Banks & building societies encourage home ownership and now they are encouraging interest only mortgages!

There are going to be a lot of very unhappy people in coming years.

Hmm. you hit a sore point there Mr I. Now for something less serious... I am seriously worried you are modelling yourself on Bono. Please no shades and no deep sincerity about the plight of small defenceless slugs victimised by giant garden snails. Oh and avoid a post about Sting too or I might really get vitrolic.

intrepidideas said...

Miss Jane, welcome back! I see you're slowly making your way thru my posts. You bring a delightful perspective to things and are appreciated. I haven't given much consideration to the housing market in the UK but I'm aware that housing costs are outrageous. Especially relative to the weakened US dollar. On the Bono thing, I love the music and have just recently realized the extensive political influence. I've considered a post on Sting - but that will have to wait. Can I count on you to read it when I do? (Ha, ha....) Thanks for the visit. See U soon!

Jane Turley said...

Oooh I luvvv being called "Miss Jane" Why it makes me sounds positively...single! Oh what joy that would be! Free of the shackles of children and pots and pans.....

Oh well... if I must I will read a post about Sting, though I warn you any comment I make may be a little repetitive, a little repetitive, a little repetitive.....

Now I have a liitle competition running on my site and as your name is Intrepid Ideas I feel YOU above all should be able to come up with a suitable answer.

Oh by the way, that golf scenario was so amusing I nearly teed off!

Well, it is Friday night.....

intrepidideas said...

Thank you my dear Miss Jane! By all means, be as repetitive as you like. Be sure to look at the golf scenario in my "What's in a Dream" post. I've given your competition a shot. Let's see what you think.