Via belle waring, yet another tale of foreclosure, this time on a home featured a while back on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.   

(From the Wall Street Journal, increasing evidence that the milk of human kindness is skim:


Rather than criticize this family, you should be thankful that you’re not in a situation like theirs.

Or rather, I am thankful GOD gave me the means and the ability to not be in a situation like theirs. ….

But I never planned to be poor. I always had it in my mind that I would take care of myself. Am I saying the poor planned to be that way? In some instances, they have. Alot of it is in their culture. It’s the only way they know to be. Of course I am speaking of society as a whole and not about this particular couple. Personally, I wouldnt have mortgaged the house, let the medical bills pile up, as far as I know, they cant take your house because of past due medical bills. 

This reminds me of the joke where a yokel lusting after his neighbor’s wife (or his neighbor’s wife’s ass) goes to talk to his pastor, who tells him to find his moral guidance in the Good Book, and the man picks up the Book, prays, opens to a random verse and reads about David’s affair with Bathsheba.    He can’t believe it, so opens it again and opens to a random verse which says  “Go thou and do likewise.” The man is shocked, so prays again, and opens to a random verse which says “Put not the LORD thy God to the test.”

This dude apparently follows the same school of biblical criticism.  I thank thee LORD, that I am not like these other men… Next, he’ll play dice for his neighbor’s goods….But I digress!)

So I remember this family from my days of watching the show, because this episode was nifty.  The show usually finds some deserving poor family and remodels their house into something on which they cannot afford the property taxes (that’s not part of the draw, but often true), but in this case, the family itself had needs which presented some significant design challenges. *  

The mom is deaf.  The dad is deaf.  Their youngest son is blind and suffers from autism.

So the team did all sorts of things to make the house better suited for them.  Things like creating a more open floor plan (clear lines of sight for sign language), waist-high picture-rail-like strips on the walls (so their youngest son could navigate the house more easily), and lots of little things to try to make life easier.   It was one of the few shows that didn’t increase the size of the house.

 And then the dad was laid off, so they took out a second mortgage on their fancy new house so they could pay for the youngest son’s therapy and medical bills.   So their property taxes went up.  So far, so good.  And then their mortgage was re-sold three times.  And now their mortgage rate is 11%, and their monthly payment has more than doubled.  And they’re looking at losing the house.

It’s this last bit I don’t understand.  I’m guessing maybe that they took out an ARM, and there’s a loophole that allows the rate to jump whenever it’s resold?  Is that right, and if so, is there a reason that’s legal?

They’re not alone, of course.  Between universal default, rising medical expenses, and ARMs coming due, this country is just a gigantic usurious mess.   Surely there’s a way to regulate this, right?  Didn’t we used to have laws against this nonsense?

*The reason the show isn’t all that good:  the nearly  unlimited budget.  It’s like playing with all the cheat codes enabled.