Transforming a Mortgage Deadbeat is Harder than You Think

June 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

I have “mortgage modification” fatigue. More specifically, I am tired of reading about government attempts to magically transform a mortgage non-payer into a responsible credit user.  The basis for my fatigue is that these attempts mostly fail. Recent data confirms this.

The TransUnion credit score people (I don’t like them either) reports that more than half of the folks who actually received mortgage modifications had fallen behind on their new and improved mortgage payments within 18 months.

TransUnion – being in the business of favoring consumer debt – laughably tried to spin this bad news in a positive way. It said that even these persistent mortgage deadbeats continued to pay on credit card and car debt they obtained after the modification. That shows – according to TransUnion – that these borrowers were able to handle new credit because of the mortgage modification.

Are you kidding me?

Why are these folks running up new debt anyway? Just because they can? Isn’t having to default on – then modify –  a mortgage sending an important signal about whether new debt for these people makes any sense at all?

Mortgage default is a financial felony. In comparison, credit card default is a misdemeanor. I am not encouraged by repeat felony offenders just because they commit fewer financial misdemeanors.

Here is a link to the article. 

The Sad Decline in Personal Net Worth

June 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

The Federal Reserve does at least one thing well: Finding economic bad news and sharing it with us. This week’s bad news is about personal net worth. As you probably guessed, it’s down – way down.

Read more…

Police Repel Moronic Sneaker Buyers

February 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

It is hard to decide which is more stupid – paying north of $200 for sneakers or rioting to be the first in line to do so.

Is there much hope for an economy that continues to be based on wanton consumption when events like this still happen?

These shoes are marketed specifically to provoke over-the-top consumer reactions. It’s like iPhone junkies on steroids.  This is the best news that Nike could ask for.

At some point (if it hasn’t happened already), the legions of low-rent lawyers will spring into action against Nike and the retailers for negligently marketing shoes in a manner likely to cause “rush the store” injuries to their pathetic clients.

Orlando police disperse rowdy sneaker seekers.

Obama Gets an “F” in Tuition Economics

January 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Economics

The vote buying season is in full bloom, manifested by President Obama’s speech decrying the rising cost of a college education.

The President is a smart man. Why does he embarrass himself this way? Read more…

Credit Cards are Bad for Your Financial Health: It’s Science

November 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Debt and Credit

I am one of the few credit card haters among personal finance bloggers. Most of my blogging colleagues advocate their use to gain cash back “rewards.” Many bloggers go beyond mere use advocacy – they promote acquisition of new credit cards because they are paid to do so.

Read more…

Black Friday Sanity v. Consumer Craziness

November 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

An entire mini-industry has been constructed around Black Friday, our newest national holiday. Much more is written about Black Friday deals, leaks, strategies, and other craziness than is written about the origin and meaning of Thanksgiving. Now some some stores are opening at midnight (Target being one of them), forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving. It is all so pathetic.

Read more…

Obama Buying Votes instead of Prosecuting Fraud

October 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Economics

A sinking President Obama is trying to buy votes from those who are already underwater. It is a waste of valuable government time and resources that could be better used.

The federal government has never accepted that all of its attempts to “rescue” the housing market are fruitless. Bad loans and unqualified homeowners are a sad fact of the real estate bubble. Nothing that Congress or the White House says or does can change that.

Read more…

Businesses that Should be Taxed into Oblivion

October 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Taxes

My general view of government is that sticks its bureaucratic nose into too much of our personal business. There are exceptions, one of which I was reminded of during a recent visit with my cousin in Chicago. I would like to see the government use more of its taxing authority to drive universally bad businesses – well – mostly out of business.

Read more…

Is Consumer Stupidity Incurable?

September 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

I saw this headline and had to comment: Banks continue to rake in huge amounts in overdraft fees.

Wait – it gets worse when you read the specifics: Banks and credit unions received $30.8 billion in overdraft fees in just the first 6 months of 2011.

That’s $30.8 BILLION! Read more…

Do Bored Economics Professors Deserve Tenure?

August 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

The U.S. has too many unprepared and unmotivated students attending too many lousy colleges. (I use the word “students”  loosely because being a student implies that there is actual “studying” involved. A more accurate term would be “attendees” because so many college attendees place studying well below drinking, partying, and hooking-up on the list of must-do college activities.  But I digress. Read more…

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