I can’t believe I’m going to write this. I never thought I’d write a blog that would contain political thoughts, but here goes nothing…
Yesterday, I watched this video supporting Occupy Wall Street. You should watch it (especially if you want to really understand my writings below). It really is creative.
But I don’t agree with the statement it makes: Send back stuffed postage paid envelopes to cost big banks money and piss them off. Because big banks caused the current economic crisis by approving mortgages that were above and beyond what the consumer could really afford.
I agree that
big banks – no, all banks approve absurdly high mortgage amounts for consumers. I have been a HUGE advocate that banks NOT be allowed to do this – that they be held accountable for telling consumers they can afford more than a feasible mortgage payment.
But here’s where I stray: Consumers are responsible too. Just because a bank approves me for a $300k mortgage doesn’t mean I should actually have one for $300k. And that’s where it’s MY responsibility to do my own homework. To look at my income and all expenses and determine what size mortgage will feasibly fit into my budget.
BANKS ARE FOR PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. They want you to have a higher mortgage because their fees are a percentage of your mortgage. Obviously, it’s in their best interest to give you the biggest mortgage they think is possible for your income to support.
But only you know your true expenses. It is YOUR responsibility to determine what your final mortgage should be. NO ONE signs your name on the mortgage docs for you. You do that all on your own.
There are even non-profit organizations that help people determine a reasonable mortgage for consumers and help guide them through the entire purchasing process. There are FORTY just in the state of Indiana. (You can find them on HUD’s website here.)
Here’s my other issue with this call to send your stuffed envelopes back: Those banks? Well, they’re just going to pass along that extra cost to the consumers. They’ll increase your bank fees, mortgage origination fees, late credit card payment fees, etc. And they’ll increase them whether or not YOU participated.
To me, it all comes down to taking responsibility for yourself. And that starts with parents teaching their children to be responsible for his/her own actions. If it’s always someone else’s fault, then those kids will grow up to be adults who continue to make bad choices and blame the consequences on others.
Take charge of your life. And own your decisions. And if you’re unsure about something (like whether or not you can afford a mortgage), ASK FOR HELP.
Any polite conversation? I’m game to hear your thoughts and discuss, whether you agree with me or not. Seriously. But I am NOT game for nasty comments. So don’t leave them.