And now I turn political.

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.

About Katie White

believer. wife. mom. friend. life in transition.
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2 Responses to And now I turn political.

  1. Just Shireen says:

    I agree with what you’re saying to a degree. However, what I took away from the occupy wall street video is this, these banks? They’re not ever going to look out for you. So yes, as a consumer you should be responsible and do your homework and not take out a loan for more than you can afford. But not everyone will do that. And the banks, hell any big business, is always going to look for a way to make money. Whether or not it’s detrimental to society as a whole or not. They are always going to look out for themselves. So I think, and again this is just what I took away from the video, sending back the mailing is in the same vein as the peaceful protests. It’s not harming anyone, it’s not costing money (for the most part) it’s simply about standing up saying, “No, the way you operate is not okay. And I may not be able to do much. But I can get your attention and make you aware that we all know this isn’t okay.” Because yes, everyone should be accountable for themselves, and make smart decisions. But the reality is that everyone won’t. And even if everyone did, these big businesses aren’t going to change the way they do business unless someone makes them.

    That’s just my two cents. 🙂

    • Katie White says:

      Agreed. But the government gave incentives to big banks to lend more, so why wouldn’t they? They are a for profit company. My whole thing is that if you make enough money to purchase a home (whether it’s a $75k home or $500k home) you have basic resources available to you. Shoot, even the poorest people know how to go to a library and use the internet and even more so can figure out how to get on TANF. I don’t feel it’s the bank’s responsibility to educate the individuals who bought a home without doing their homework – it’s the community’s – INHP, HUD, local non-profits, parents, schools. So don’t do business with them and use your time and energy to support those organizations who are trying to educate consumers. Because you’re right – big business is not going to change the way they do business. Unless they don’t have enough customers to support their greediness…

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