Am I the only one completely frustrated right now? All this talk about the 'inevitable' government bailout of Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) is making this red-head crazy. The bailout is so far unfounded but the smart money says it'll likely come to pass. You can't let these mortgage behemoths fail because they're pretty much the only ones writing mortgages out there during this time of fear.
Okay fine, I get it, make us all feel guilty for not rushing to put a pillow under Fannie and Freddie's'fermischt'fannies. But they, along withmany peoplewho willbebailed out by the housing billwill begetting the biggest financial 'do-over' ina generation.Lenders who signed off on mortgages they had no businessgranting, homeowners who signed on the dotted line of totally inappropriate mortgage loans they could never keep up with, and companies that allowed it all to happen are getting cozy, comfy pillows thrown under them instead of forcing them to suffer for their sins.
Save for a tiny percentage of people who were victims of predatory lenders, most of these people happily pulled up a chair to the roulette table, gladly took the free drinks and began gambling away. Shouldn't they have to swallow the bitter medicine now of having made a bad bet? When I signed my mortgage nearly 5 years ago, my stomach was in knots, my husband and I did a full work- up 7 times over of our financial health just to make sure we could afford the house, and on top of it, had to provide so much paperwork and proof of income we broke the copy machine.
My late, great brilliant father Dr. Morris Claman always told me, "You must never be 'house-poor'." Meaning, never buy a house you can't afford. Never live beyond your means. We were sure to cross all t's and dot all the i's. It was a complicated process but we forced ourselves to read all the fine print. Why then will we, along with the millions of honest, hard-working American homeowners who haven't defaulted on their mortgages, have to pay out of our pockets to help those who blew it? Believe me, I have no problem helping out those of lesser means, those who perhaps got the short end of the societal stick, folks who try but need the extra help from the rest of us Americans. That's what makes our country great... we are a society that takes care of each other. I'm grateful for that. But this?
I want to scream. Anyone who signs a mortgage begins at the same starting point as the rest of us. Some of us are running a fair race while others pulled a Rosie Ruiz and have tried to take the shortcut. If this were a marathon, Congress and the Bush Administration would be putting medals around the necks of those who got caught taking the shortcut. It's those of us who ran the honest race who will limp home with nothing but our own integrity...andmortgages paid on time and in full. Do I have this right? Let me know what you thing, gang, and thanks so much for watching. I'm so grateful you've joined the Fox Business team.