If someone did not pay back a loan to me, I would get mad at them. Imagine someone directing anger and hostility towards me because they did not pay me back!
In my post from April 2008, I'm Mad at You Because I Didn't Pay You Back, I discussed the absurd spectacle of the national outpouring of hostility directed at banks because many mortgagee's couldn't pay their loan backs. This recent article describes a particularly egregious example of this phenomena where a janitor was evicted from "her" home for not paying her mortgage but then, in a supposedly ironic twist, found herself cleaning up after the CEO of the bank who foreclosed on her.
In our culture today, this story is held out as a prima facie example of twisted moral irony wherein the poor helpless janitor, evicted from her home by this perpetrator of evil, must suffer the double injustice of now having to serve her feudal overlord. As the article states:
The Service Employees International Union, of which Gomez is a member, could not resist the opportunity to draw attention to the soon-to-be-evicted woman cleaning up after one of the bankers taking her home away. [emphasis mine]
I have an alternative take.
The bank loaned her money to buy a home which she did.
In 2006, Gomez said she and her husband went to Chase for a refinancing. Gomez said she thought they'd gotten a fixed-rate mortgage and they were shocked to learn in October 2008 that the rate would adjust. The monthly payment would jump by $100, and then it would jump again in six months. Gomez said that she and her husband stopped making mortgage payments last year. They filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May.
First, the home is not "her home" until she pays for it. Until then, it is the bank's home. That is why it is called a mortgage contract.
Second, I have sat through about a dozen home closings in my time. When one enters into these contracts, you must sign about 10,000 documents in quadruplicate attesting to understanding every single page. Yet, she was "shocked" to learn that she was entering into an adjustable rate mortgage. Despite that, she simply stopped paying. Some people would break her legs for that, but, in America, you just declare bankruptcy, and all is forgiven.
But, evidently, it got worse for her. After not paying the bank back, she then had to suffer the indignity of being employed by the CEO. Oh, the injustice - he provided a job for her to earn a salary. Do these evil CEO's ever stop?!
Imagine that. She had to move to a one-bedroom apartment which was within their budget. When I was a kid, I lived in nothing but apartments, including a stint where we lived in my mother's car. I was happy to have a roof over my head.
Gomez said she was glad she'd won the postponement, but she and her husband have already rented an apartment. She said they hope to move back. In the meantime, she said the transition has been tough on her family.
"We have a boy and he used to have his own room," she said. "It broke our hearts to tell him we're moving to a one-bedroom apartment because that's all we can afford. The bedroom is for us and you have to sleep in the living room."
I have an idea. Perhaps, Gomez, in addition to not paying back the loan, could accept her paycheck and NOT do any janitorial work. Then she could be really, really, mad!