I don’t understand.
ABC News just ran a story about a couple who are tearfully struggling to pay their mortgage and have had to take steps like canceling their phone service and borrowing money from their kids.
Their mortgage has gone from 9% to 14%. Their current monthly mortgage payment is $2,015. Their combined income is $80,000 a year.
The phone’s been turned off; Mike’s truck has been repossessed. They fill up $10 at a time.
“I can’t even afford to get gas so I can go to work, make money, pay the bills,” he said.
The Walkers are so afraid of losing their home and uprooting their three sons that they pay the mortgage first even when it cuts into grocery money.
“We had the electric company come in here to shut off our electricity,” Susan cried. “It’s so embarrassing.”
By my calculation, they’re probably taking home $5000 a month, leaving $3000 a month after they pay their “high” mortgage. What the hell is going on here? Couldn’t ABC find a family who are in real trouble? This is not the example I’d use if I wanted to point out that things are bad for ordinary people. They sometimes borrow money from their sons, who live with them. I can only assume that they aren’t asked to pay rent despite at least one of them being 19. What in the hell are they spending all that money on?
If I made $80,000, not only would I be able to pay my $3900 a month mortgage on a tiny bungalow, but I’d also likely never have my electricity turned off for non-payment.
Without going into specifics about my financial situation, let’s just say that I make less than half what they make. My mortgage is nearly twice what theirs is. I’ve never missed a mortgage payment in more than 2 years, I’ve never had my electricity turned off, borrowed money from a relative, nor had to turn off my phone.
So, I have to wonder: is the problem with the mortgage, or with the financial responsibility of the borrower?