Near Philadelphia, the situation of Jay and Bonnie Silverstein [ www.npr.org/2012/30/145995636/freddie-mac-betting-against . . . ] exemplifies the problems millions of us homeowners are facing. Their story of hardship is similar to mine.
summarize, the NPR story explains how the Silversteins had to "short
sell" a home long after purchasing a newer home around the time of the
economic crash that began in 2007. Their mistake, they admit [i.e.,
buying a second home before their first one was sold] cost them most of
their retirement savings when they had to drain their 401(k) to make two
mortgage payments for over two years. But their other mistake, which
so many of us are guilty of, was in having an overbundance of confidence
in our financial institutions and the real estate market - obviously
highly manipulated by the insiders.
Like me, the
Silversteins have a modest pension and have been making timely mortgage
payments despite being squeezed hard. They, as I, have been unable to
secure a re-fi which would lower their interest rate and, thereby, save
them about $500 a month. This is the amount I need and would receive if
I were successful in securing a re-fi or modification of my mortgage
through a lower rate of interest. For me, it would mean paying only
half of my income toward housing, not two-thirds, as I am doing now.
The Silversteins are in financial limbo because of a Freddie Mac rule that restricts people with a short sale in their history from refinancing for up to four years (after the short sale).
In my case, a Fannie Mae underwriting rule prevents them from considering income I receive from renting out rooms
from time to time. But this is the only income source available to me
for supplementing my pension and social security benefits - which
together total less than $3,000 a month. My mortgage payment is
slightly under $2,000 a month.
All of these struggles
are continuing for us while the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae CEOs are
earning millions of dollars a year in compensation. Aren't you
outrageous? Isn't it time to do something?