I saw this segment of 60 Minutes last night on the sub-prime mortgage crisis and it’s just scary. I think we’re going to see more pain than what we’ver seen already.
It’s pretty clear that a lot of lenders are at fault for chasing after buyers who couldn’t really afford mortgages, but there is a severe lack of personal responsibility of individuals in taking a loan that they can’t afford.
An excerpt from CBSNews.com: House Of Cards: The Mortgage Mess
But Matt and Stephanie Valdez say they knew exactly what they were doing when they bought a small two-bedroom for $355,000. They could afford the initial payments and planned to refinance the mortgage before the interest rate jumped to 11 percent. But they couldn’t do it because the value of the house had fallen below what they owed on the mortgage. They say they can afford the higher payments, but see no point in making them.
“The house keeps going down, payments keep going up. Where’s the logic in that? And how can we fix it? I mean, that’s what this whole thing’s about for us is how can we fix this? And if we can’t fix it, then what do we do?” Matt Valdez asks.
“Why pay a $3,200 payment on a 1200-square-foot home? It makes no sense,” Stephanie Valdez adds.
“That’s what you agreed to do when you bought the house,” Kroft points out.
“Fine. If the value is going up. But we’re not going anywhere. The price or the value is going down. It makes no sense because we will never be able to refinance and get a lower payment. There’s no way,” Stephanie Valdez replies.
“You’re saying, essentially, that you’re going to stop making payments on it? You’re just gonna let it go into foreclosure?” Kroft asks.