Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Murica... Yeah!!!

I know a lot of people who reside outside of the United States of America, and they seem to think that this nation is so grand, so great.  What they do not know is that this old grey mare ain't what she used to be.  Many of us live in a country where your home can be taken and sold out from under you for few things.  The so-called richest nation in the world, and your home can be taken for less than $7.00. 

Yeah, that is not a typo.  A widow, lost her home a few years back over $6.30 in unpaid interests in taxes.  I know a man who says that he is receiving notices that his home is about to be seized over unpaid taxes (I seem to recall unpaid sewer bills), I do not know how true his claims are, but I do not find them suspect.

So back to the case of the $6.30 home foreclosure by the state of Pennsylvania.  This occurred in 2011, at which time the state said she owed a staggering... $235 dollars in taxes in fees, but it was not made clear if said taxes were for the home by itself or other personal property taxes (IE vehicles, homes, boats, RVs, ATVs, livestock, etc).  While she still resides in the home, she is still fighting to keep the home.  But should she ultimately loose, she will recover less than half of the appraised value of the home.  This would put her in the position of having to purchase a new home, likely getting a loan, or otherwise be forced into some pretty lousy situations.

But she isn't the only one this has happened to.  This is a daily occurrence here. A family, with a mortgage, paid the amount due every month, paid it in full, did everything right.  Their loan was sold to a different company, and several months later, a representative from a separate company came along and told them they had two weeks to vacate the property.  Oh yeah, they also had to pay rent for that two weeks.  To find out what had happened they contacted their mortgage company, who claimed the property had been foreclosed due to paperwork not being properly notarized, specifically one piece of paper.  Now, since it was brought to the attention of the media, the company in question backed away from the foreclosure, and the family has gone on to retain the home.  But it could have very easily left this family homeless.

In Arizona, thousands of families lost their homes in questionable foreclosures.  In many of those instances in Arizona, the banks that foreclosed on homes used forged documents to get their way.  This was later proven to be more than just a state problem, but was occurring throughout the United States.  At a whim, your home could be illegally taken from you.  When it was proven, the banks in question were forced to pay $25 billion dollars ($5 billion for each bank involved).  I wish I had some way to compare it, but imagine your child burning down the home(or neighborhood in this case), and you slap them on the wrist, but not that hard.  Making matters worse, the banks themselves insisted that the homeowners not pay their mortgages for a few months, and then call back to modify their mortgages, but at that point, the banks had a legal right to seize a home.  Sadly people were foolish and thought the bank would not foreclose on them.

But this happened everywhere in the US, regardless of the forty state claim.  See while looking into the United States, you see a land ripe with opportunity, where the only limits are the ones you place on yourself.  What you probably do not see is a nation that struggles with corruption in law enforcement, a nation full of xenophobic people, people who are quietly racist or homophobic, a nation where money is power and speech, and if you lack money you lack power, and your voice is muted.  You see a country of freedom, I see a country with a new type of oppression.  One in which corporations own everything, a nation of paid slave labor.  You run the race, because you are forced to.  You play the game, because if you don't you will starve.  Some of us fight, because we are in a corner.  Some of us fight because we see others in a corner.  The majority sits idle, thinking that if they play the game, run the race, it will be alright for them, and that in the end is the major problem.  Every man for himself, and I will assure every American, and every human.  If we do not hang together, we will most certainly hang separately (attributed to Benjamin Franklin) .