Fri, Oct. 18

My Turn: Foreclosure hits hard-working people

I was furious after reading Jim Barber's Letter to the Editor last Sunday, Feb. 22.

In his letter, Mr. Barber states that "In over 45 years of marriage, my wife and I have worked hard, struggled to raise our kids, went to school while working to do better. We have never failed to repay a loan, never missed a rent or mortgage payment. Now, somehow, people who could not afford the lifestyle they wanted, bought homes and goods they couldn't afford, are being told they are victims and shouldn't have to pay what they agreed to pay."

I am a real estate agent. I talk to people who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. I talk to more and more people every day. Let me tell you what I know about them.

These people who are facing foreclosure are good, hardworking, honest people. They are not deadbeats. They are not scammers who have figured out a clever way to beat the system and get a free house at taxpayer's expense. They would love to be able to "pay what they agreed to pay'" but because of this economy, they can't.

I talk to people who work for car dealerships in a world where nobody is buying cars. I talk to restaurant owners in a world where nobody has the money to go out to eat. I talk to our school teachers in a state where the education budget has always been abysmal and is now on the chopping block. I talk to people who work in retail stores in a world where nobody is buying, I talk to people who worked at Home Depot or Wal-Mart or our grocery stores, I talk to contractors and their crews. I talk to your family and your friends and your neighbors. These are people who believed the American dream. These people are frightened about how they will feed and protect their families if they become homeless. This situation is not their doing and it is not their fault.

Instead of looking down our noses at the people who are losing their homes, we need to be rioting in the streets for timely government intervention. We need to be writing and e-mailing our legislators, demanding immediate help for our neighbors and their families.

What's the alternative? Let them get foreclosed on. Then the Verde Valley can have thousands of vacant houses and tens of thousands of homeless people and all of our property values in the toilet.

If we allow this to happen, don't worry, Mr. Barber. You can continue on your sanctimonious way, collecting your regular retirement check and writing self-satisfied letters to the newspaper.

I'm sorry, but I don't think that's much of a plan.

Carol Anne Warren is an associate broker for Arizona Adobe Group in Cottonwood.

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