By Katie Olson
I always wanted to write a "Dear John" letter so here it is.
I am six years younger than you are; I am a "war orphan" whose Dad died in 1945 at the Remagen Bridge. My wonderful stepfather, who served under Patton, came home to marry my mother and raised me as if I were his own child. I know about war and I know that men like you are hard to find today.
I am a registered republican but have voted democrat a few times. I want to vote for you. However, I am worried.
This latest banking thing is serious and I am sure the bailout is necessary. HOWEVER --- the real issue is how we fix it!
This is a cycle and it needs to stop. I know first hand what happens to families. I was the “Asset Liquidation Manager” for a bank when the last crisis came. My job was to get rid of the huge portfolio of bank-owned properties with the least amount of expense and loss. Each time there was a bank merger, I had to compete for my job as each of the merging banks had a "man" doing the same job that I was doing. I was lucky enough to get through several of these mergers and stay employed.
I am now retired and working part-time for a Title Company. I am not management. I prefer the easy "stuff": scanning, copying, back-up etc.
Back in the fall of 2004, I could see this bank failure thing coming again. I happened to notice a file where the buyer was making $2040.00 per month (gross), purchasing a $135,000.00. Ouch! That house was worth $89,000.00. In addition, there was a second mortgage involved. OMG - this cannot be a " Fanny" deal! I knew right then, that I could go back to work as the "OREO LADY" and make the big bucks again. Two things were wrong with this situation: 1) Borrower was not qualified-income wise; and 2) The property was inflated beyond a natural progression of inflation.
A few months later (as part of my part-time job), I began filing Alert notices from Title Insurance Companies and soon I needed to go to a three inch binder to hold the notices. I had three sections. a) Counterfeit Bank Checks, b) Fraudulent Transactions, and c) Bank/Mortgage Company funding warnings. This was much worse than what I was seeing back in the early 90's. Many of those folks were victims of layoff, wage cuts, downsizing, and jobs going overseas. People were out of work, could not sell because they owed more than the property was worth, so they were stuck! We did many workouts.
Now, the reason for this failure is corruption. Homeowners looking to fulfill the dream of home ownership were getting anything they wanted because the focus was on high commissions, bonuses, and large salaries. Nobody cared that these young people would eventually go bust. I notice that some of the current foreclosures are homes owned for only a few months.
Unless we stop this cycle, it will happen again. The reform needs to start in Congress. That is where both you and Obama hang your hat. Are you prepared to take on drastic change in Congress? Someone needs to reform salaries, benefits, and job requirements. This group is running amuck and heading in a course that will not help me. I need a group that is dedicated, focused on the tasks that will improve my life, and willing to make the tough choices.
Right now, Congress is a group of wimps looking for "what's in it for me". If I had the power to kick them all out and start over, I would. However, decisions do not trickle down to grass roots.
I know that Sarah Palin is willing to take on this huge task but my question is; Are You? After you clean-up the over-spending on salaries, benefits, and job performance, there will be cutting out frivolous pork items, and balancing the budget. In addition, there is the job of kicking out the grifters in government. (I mean the self-centered do-nothings)
I am broke. In addition, for the first time in my 66 years of life, I am nervous about heating my home this winter. I have a four family home. My husband and I live in one apartment, single Dad’s who are raising a child each occupies two apartments, and a 75-year-old woman occupies the last apartment. If the tenants cannot afford rent and heat, they will move. I will be responsible for the heat for the whole building and I will not have the benefit of rental income. I pray a lot these days.
Therefore, here is what I need from you. Hope and positive thinking! If you give me that, I know that the future will be better than my life today. Can you stop spending money on negative ads and start telling me that you will look forward. I do not need promises, I need to know that you will listen to my problem (it is an American problem) and assure me that you will work outside the box in any way that is necessary to re-build our Country. Do you really mean "American First"?
Jaffrey , NH 03452