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Revolutionary response to home forclosure
#1
Man Bulldozes Own Home to 'Make Banks Think Twice About Foreclosure'

"When I see that I owe $160,000 on almost a $350,000 home and somebody decides they want to take it -- I wasn't gonna stand for that so I took it down." -- Terry Hoskins, Moscow, Ohio

and this from over a year ago...

CNN on Staying in Your Foreclosed Home

reminds me of a song...

Johnny Cash- I Won't Back Down
"The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart” - Fritz Lang (Metropolis - 1926)
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#2
I can only have sympathy for people in this situation. Property is theft.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#3
Quote:"When I see that I owe $160,000 on almost a $350,000 home..."
Hell...doesn't that mean he has about $190,000 in equity?
That's a hell of a lot more than I have in mine...and I am still making the payments. He signed the loan documents. And if he is smart enough to read the bulldozer instructions, he is smart enough to read what he signed when he took on the loan.

Sorry, but I saw nothing in this story to tug at my heart strings. He has IRS liens on his business property and a home worth between a quarter and a half million dollars. The bank took a risk that he signed on to.

I wouldn't be in the house I am in if it weren't for a bank that took the same kind of risk on me. They make a profit on that risk and I am benefiting from the transaction.

If I lose my job tomorrow and can't fulfill my part of the bargain that I signed off on, is it OK to destroy what the bank gets in exchange?

Just askin'...
"If you're looking for something that isn't there, you're wasting your time and the taxpayers' money."

-Michael Neuman, U.S. Government bureaucrat, on why NIST didn't address explosives in its report on the WTC collapses
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#4
Bruce Clemens Wrote:
Quote:"When I see that I owe $160,000 on almost a $350,000 home..."
Hell...doesn't that mean he has about $190,000 in equity?
That's a hell of a lot more than I have in mine...and I am still making the payments. He signed the loan documents. And if he is smart enough to read the bulldozer instructions, he is smart enough to read what he signed when he took on the loan.

Sorry, but I saw nothing in this story to tug at my heart strings. He has IRS liens on his business property and a home worth between a quarter and a half million dollars. The bank took a risk that he signed on to.

I wouldn't be in the house I am in if it weren't for a bank that took the same kind of risk on me. They make a profit on that risk and I am benefiting from the transaction.

If I lose my job tomorrow and can't fulfill my part of the bargain that I signed off on, is it OK to destroy what the bank gets in exchange?

Just askin'...
Banks/corporations are not people. They don't live or die. They don't need food or water or clean air to exist. Nor do they need a house. They are a legal fiction and exist only in the abstract. If some one doesn't pay their loan nothing happens to the bank. It will continue to exist as the legal fiction it is. On the other hand if a person loses their home it will result in much serious disruption to all aspects of their life and their families life - food security, health, education, employment, intact family, everything is dependent on secure housing. It can be a matter of life and death. If some one falls behind or stops in their payments what is it to the bank if they continue to remain in the house? Nothing. In fact, the bank will have a better chance of getting 'their' money (another legal fiction and only true wealth can be created by human labor not banks) if people are left in their house as it will not cause so much disruption and dislocation to other areas of their life and they are in a better position to pull through a difficult situation and get back on their feet and resume payments. Losing your house can result in one losing ones family, job, mental and physical health. Once that happens the banks can say goodbye to ever getting 'their' money but in the process of evicting them they have created real pain and misery for living breathing humans and which more often than not has a flow on financial cost which must be borne by the community as a whole.

To me it is particularly obnoxious that some one who has managed to pay 50% of the loan (not even counting the usurious interest) would be treated this way by the bank. He has obviously done the right thing by the bank for a long time to be able to pay half of it back and the bank seems very unreasonable to me.

If people lose their job in these economic times it is not their fault. It is systemic and needs to be systemically dealt with. By making it personal and evicting a family by foreclosing on the property this is just sociopathic behaviour on the part of the bank.

In the US and some other capitalist countries people are limited in their housing options. There is very little public/social ownership of property and that is certainly not encouraged either. Unless one is lucky enough to inherit a house you either have to rent from some one who already owns a house they don't need to live in or you have to buy one which also requires borrowing large amounts of money. Because a basic necessity like a home has been treated like a commodity in this society the price of houses does not reflect the actual cost of a house which is, after all, just a few bricks, timbers, concrete and other materials combined with human labor. Banks themselves, as we know, have much blame to carry for creating a bubble in the housing 'market' and its subsequent collapse. They are just reaping what they sowed if they make it so unaffordable for many and in the process destabilise the whole economy just so they can make huge profit for making loans out of nothing. The housing market is heavily skewed in favor of the 'owners' - landlords or banks so taking out a loan in those circumstances is a loaded dice in any case. 'Mortgage' does mean death gamble after all. Better the bank lose but they're such bad losers.

I'm with the guy who bulldozed the house. Even if he is a lazy prick. Which I doubt. And I'd be with you too Bruce if you lost your job and couldn't make your loan payments either. It's not like you would choose to lose your job. And the bank can choose not to be a sociopathic bastard in dealing with your changed circumstances.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#5
Thoughtful and earnest responses to the vexing event... Terry's response to a bank's foreclosure on his home and over ten years of IRS audits drove him to drastic and dramatic actions. Frankly, I am surprised he is not in jail for destruction of property since it technically is not his; the bank owns it by virtue of the mortgage. What he did is opt out of a rigged system by basically telling the bank and the IRS, "if you won't stop harassing me and putting leans on me and trying to take my home from me, well, I'll destroy my assets and become worthless to you." I can see both sides of this but what tilts me in his favor is the following:
1. These times are not the times to throw a family out of a home. The banks should be willing to renegotiate loans and come up with a solution. Banks need to re-learn how to lend money, not steal houses.
2. That goes for the IRS, too. They operate in a purely predatory mode through almost unlimited intimidation and fear. If you have ever been audited, you know exactly what I am talking about.
3. A home is a sacred place, a sanctuary. It should not be flipped for fast profit or speculation or as a tool to over leverage debt and then steal. Taking a persons home is similar to taking their life... it is that traumatic. I know first hand of what I speak.
4. His act is non violent and specifically designed to take the value out of seizing his assets. A brilliant and provocative protest against injustice. It is not perfect. He may be jailed... and yet, I don't think that bothers him much... just like others who are victims of injustice.

I think we will see more of this... sincerely I hope so. Civil disobedience is feedback to the system that we are not willing to play along with the charade and that it will sting them to muck with us.
"The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart” - Fritz Lang (Metropolis - 1926)
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#6
Bruce Clemens Wrote:
Quote:"When I see that I owe $160,000 on almost a $350,000 home..."
Hell...doesn't that mean he has about $190,000 in equity?
That's a hell of a lot more than I have in mine...and I am still making the payments. He signed the loan documents. And if he is smart enough to read the bulldozer instructions, he is smart enough to read what he signed when he took on the loan.

Sorry, but I saw nothing in this story to tug at my heart strings. He has IRS liens on his business property and a home worth between a quarter and a half million dollars. The bank took a risk that he signed on to.

I wouldn't be in the house I am in if it weren't for a bank that took the same kind of risk on me. They make a profit on that risk and I am benefiting from the transaction.

If I lose my job tomorrow and can't fulfill my part of the bargain that I signed off on, is it OK to destroy what the bank gets in exchange?

Just askin'...

I think that view would be a fair argument if it worked the other way around. But as we have seen, the banks knowingly lent mortgages to homebuyers they absolutely knew couldn't possibly repay them - and from the profits derived paid themselves vast bonuses.

When those loans went bad, the banks came whimpering to the public to bail them out and save their homes and jobs. And having been saved, they now carry on repossessing the homes of others, and paying even higher bonuses to themselves etc.

Factor into this argument that the banks never had any money to begin with, they only ever and always circulate other peoples money - ours - and then leverage it in the arcade and casino; not caring one jot that if the casino doesn't pay out, it's our money that gets flushed down the toilet And all to satisfy their greed and irresponsibility.

So the question to be asked is this: what's the difference between irresponsible lending and irresponsible borrowing? Why weight one higher than the other? It doesn't make sense does it. But then again, it's not supposed to.

The banks absolutely destroyed their assets the same way this guy destroyed his. They used leveraging and other exotic self-interest techniques. He used a bulldozer. And at least he owned more than 50% of his asset. They, however, never actually own a fraction of their assets. And in the bulldozed house case, the bank was the minority owner- the house owner was the majority owner; in boardrooms and corporations around the world that gives you the legal right to asset strip or destroy the asset as you see fit.

Strange how the rules always favour business and never the individual citizen, who remains the vital central core of all businesses and without whom no business could possibly prosper or survive.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#7
Magda, I hope my response to this hasn't upset you...I do understand and appreciate your points here. I am no banker nor a capitalist however, I have used banks and willingly signed the papers that allowed me to, over time, own vehicles that I would not otherwise be able to own and live in houses that I would not otherwise be able to live in.

When I signed the papers I understood that I was entering in to an agreement where I would have to pay back something like 300% of the actual price and I understood that if I was even a day late on the required installment, the bank had the legal "right" to take back the vehicle or kick me out of the house. Yet I agreed anyway.

David, Erik, your points are well taken as well. But there is no way it would exist at all if it were a "fair" system. Casinos wouldn't exist if they operated under a "fair" system. Governments are the same way. Nothing "fair" there.

I am free to live without using banks and their unfair system, and so was Terry Hoskins. But if I chose not to, I must choose a different way of life. There are many people who live not far from me in the rural midwest USA who do just that. You see trailers, shacks and even relatively nice homes in these areas that are being built piecemeal as the individual can afford to. (with the caviat that even though they may owe no one for what they have, if they don't pay the government -imposed annual property tax just for the privilege of "owning" their own land, the government, not the banks, will take it away)

Apparently Mr. Hoskins did not opt for that kind of lifestyle. Instead he opted to sign the promissory notes where he agreed to the unfair terms and then when the going got rough, decided to change the terms on his own. To me, that is not honorable.

I much more respect the person who says he or she won't enter into the agreement in the first place and adjusts his lifestyle accordingly, as those folks whom I mentioned living out in the country are doing.

I am as angry (I think Smile) as you are about the banks and what they have done in collusion with our government. I agree- they changed the rules too. They are not honorable. And I work hard and make my promised payments to them none the less.

I would appreciate your input as to what a good alternative would be to this whole system. Because the only other thing that seems to be on offer elsewhere in the world is a state-controlled economy where everyone gets a decent chance at achieving mediocrity. Gray state-owned high rise housing units come to mind here. And government assigned jobs. And a very dull kind of existence.

Thanks for the discussion.
"If you're looking for something that isn't there, you're wasting your time and the taxpayers' money."

-Michael Neuman, U.S. Government bureaucrat, on why NIST didn't address explosives in its report on the WTC collapses
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#8
Absolutely no disrespect intended whatsoever Bruce, but I disagree with you on several points.

The first one is that you are free not to use banks. Once upon this was true, but it is virtually no longer true. Believe me, I tried for several years. This is the crux of the matter because, de facto, one is a captive to the banking system

If you have money you have to have a bank. I could go into all sorts of examples here but I think a brief reflection will prove this to be the case. It is also intended in the future for there to be a cashless society. Government are committed to this as a way of outlawing the black market and this to ensure everyone pays the taxes they are due to pay.

I also disagree on the question fairness. The banking system is undeniably unfair, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s just that the rules are written these days by a tiny but highly influential minority, to suit their own interests and pockets. The rest of us are increasingly being forced to accept a “worker ant” participation in this system, with no say whatsoever.

It has only been in the last 20 years or so that the casino operation has come into banking. I was there when it happened. For hundreds of years prior to that, caution, conservatism and prudence were the keys words used in regard to bankers, who were the trustees of other peoples money. Reagan and Thatcher changed all this with their ridiculous “free market” philosophy. The much vaunted Thatcherite phrase that “free markets regulate themselves” is complete nonsense. They do not such thing (the recent banking crisis showed the futility of this myth). The words “free markets” is simply a cipher for a monopoly - which is illegal under our system of democracy.

I also would not do what Mr. Hoskins did, but as I pointed out in my earlier reply, had he made himself a business - and not a person - what he did would have been completely legal.

And while Mr. Hoskins and millions of others signed an agreement which incorporated unfair terms, those selling him the loan knew full well that they were mis-selling the product in order to generate profits for the current year so that they would receive nice hefty bonuses. Thereafter to hell with what happened.

What has happened in the last 20 odd years is to deregulate banks. Illegality in them, on the rare occasions it is discovered and dealt with, generates a fine -- often a large one. When criminality in a big bank takes place, you can be sure that it is known about and overlooked if it is profitable or could be profitable for the bank. In those cases, if things go wrong, the proverbial muck starts a fast descent from the executive suites to an underling.

The solution is simple. And it’s not the greyness of communism (I traveled through East Germany and East Berlin at the height of the cold war and I am definitely not one to favour that institutionalized drabness and crushing out of the human spirit)

What needs to happen is to heavily regulate the banks internationally. It’s not a lot to ask for the duty of care to be policed and exceptions punished. Have criminal punishment - imprisonment not fines - for the “guiding minds” of banks for the worst excesses and criminality - not fined to peaople who can afford to pay it and still live a sumptuous lifestyle (thanks to the sweat of you, me and everyone else). Surely if the executives expect to benefit in good times, let them pay the cost when things go horribly wrong because of the lack of care- or just plain greed. If under these conditions the executives stood to go to prison, believe me, the incidences of illegality and casino-type risk transactions would be largely reduced over night.

Discussions are taking place internationally for banks to be split into two parts. The casino type operations will be owned by the management and those who wish risk their money (and not other peoples). If they screw up they suffer - not someone else. And they will not be bailed out by the taxpayer. The other half, the deposit, savings and high street banking part will come under strict regulation - as of old. This, if it happens, and if it happens as intended, is probably the right balance.

Thanks for your input too Bruce. It’s always good to discuss matters from different perspectives.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#9
Thanks, David,

I am very willing to seriously consider what you and Magda and Erik are saying. I am sick over what our "system" has become and I am more than willing to applaud civil disobedience when appropriate.

I have had some severe paradigm shifts over the last few years and the members of this forum take credit for no small part of that. This may be the start of another one Wink

From my Traditional-Conservative-Christian upbringing (indoctrination) I believe I have come a long way, but I still have visceral reactions to any discussions that suggest the answer includes criminal sanctions imposed from a global authority of some sort. But you all make compelling arguments that the traditional approach has been corrupted and the model I have believed in for so long just isn't what we have been told it is.

...much like the shattering of what I had always been taught about Representational Democracy in America.

Again, I appreciate you all and the ongoing education you provide.
"If you're looking for something that isn't there, you're wasting your time and the taxpayers' money."

-Michael Neuman, U.S. Government bureaucrat, on why NIST didn't address explosives in its report on the WTC collapses
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#10
I too have found all the points in this thread extremely compelling, being pulled in both directions. My initial instinct caused me to agree with Bruce. I might just add that two wrongs do not make a right. The banks are soleless slime but I too have had the benefit over many decades of home ownership, in different locales, that I would not have been able to accomplish without a bank to lend me the money for a mortgage. As for people who get into huge homes they cannot afford and then the value drops, I have zero sympathy for them. I would love to live in a nicer neighborhood, a nicer home but I am not stuipd enough to get in over my head. A friend's mother in law did this a few years back and it is clear that in very short order my friend's family will be paying that mortgage. I would NEVER put my family in this position. In fact I missed out on many a vacation in order to get my mortgage paid off before my 60th birthday. So then I can work the next ten years and save for retirement. Lots of things in this life are not "fair". The banks are in dire need of regulation and the mess that occurred over the last two years is STILL occurring. In fact I recently learned that they are now employing a new trick: I know someone who got in over her head four years ago on a mortgatge in Boston. I warned her at the onset that she could not afford a half million dollar home. Now two years later with no martgage payments she is STILL in the home. Banks are keeping this sort of thing on the q t in order to continue to sell toxic debt. Madness. I don't agree that the banks rates are unfair. A loan at 6% seems pretty fair to me. Now credit card interest is another matter altogether. I agree that when a person loses his or her job that the bank or IRS or whomever needs to works with this person; stealing one's home is tantamount to murder as far as I am concerned. As Walt Brown so "graciously" mentioned on these pages a couple of years back, I did have some IRS problems decades back and had to fight not to lose my home. That was terrifying, but never would I have resorted to any type of violence, be it burning down the home or flying a plane into a building. Instead I remained calm and and presisted in a resolution that saved my home and settled with IRS.

Many people I know believe that property ownership is per se evil, but I have read enough about places like Cuba where home ownership is illegal to perfer to live where there is the choice.

Regulation IS the answer. Violence never is.

Dawn
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