By Jack Engelhard
As I get it, people are being tossed from their homes because of some mortgage, or bank foul-up. The original homeowners are now living in tents.
Now these houses are up for auction and you, dear neighbor, are invited to move right on in at about half the price.
I keep reading ads like – Foreclosures At Only $150,000. This means your fellow American loses, you win!
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, and if so, clue me in. As it is – this is ugly. This is obscene. Where is it written – Foreclose Thy Neighbor?
What form of gluttony is this!
Are there people out there really waiting like vultures? Must be. Those ads must be running for some good (and profitable) reason.
Of the mortgage plunge itself, this is something I know nothing about. Someone at the racetrack explained it to me once and I’m still baffled.
Something about people buying homes from banks that had no money. In my day, banks were famous for having money.
Willie Sutton explained that he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.”
No more? Where’d the money go?
Is this what America has come to – we (some of us) live off the misfortunes of our neighbors? Maybe it was always like this. I don’t know.
Or maybe that’s what’s become of us. We’ve become quite heartless. I will insist on saying “some of us” as I am sure most of us Americans love our neighbors as ourselves. Right? I am quite familiar with the repossession of automobiles. A man I know is always offering me deals on cars that were repossessed. I do keep wondering about the people who once owned those cars. I guess they are now pedestrians.
Back when I was in my late teens and didn’t much care for banks or bank payments, I had a car repossessed. One minute my Studebaker was there, next minute it wasn’t.
Now that I’m all grown up, all I do is pay bills. I mean, THAT IS ALL I DO. I live for no other reason. For example, my regular mail carrier, Bob, was on vacation and so the post office shanghaied people off the streets and turned them into substitute mail carriers, subs. These people didn’t know (or care) one address from another and dropped in mail to whatever mail box was in sight.
Despite all that, I got all my bills, but the check from a newspaper I write for never arrived. That check is still floating around somewhere.
Back to the topic at hand —
People (as I understand it) went in and bought their homes in good faith, and then something happened.
I don’t know what happened and my guess is that these (former) homeowners don’t know what hit them, either.
All they know is that someone else is living on everything they left behind.
John W. Cassell and I have been talking about America, how it used to be, back in the 1950s, the Eisenhower years. Or what I call the Ozzie and Harriet years.
Would anyone have repossessed that house, the house where Rickie Nelson grew up? America would have been outraged.
I don’t know what outrages us anymore.
We say “business is business” or we say (and this is new) “it is what it is.”
Maybe I just don’t like what it is.
Jack Engelhard’s latest novel THE BATHSHEBA DEADLINE, now in paperback, places journalism at the center of our war on terror. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel INDECENT PROPOSAL that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. He can be reached (and his Works can be viewed) at his website www.jackengelhard.com.