The $400 toilet seat has always been the symbol of government waste, but now it is the TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery Program, or, better known as the "bailout") funds that banks are, in my view, squandering. What I personally experienced below is the tip of the iceburg.
- 225 West Lovell, Mahopac, NY: Offer of $225,000 rejected by Countrywide in September, 2008. Home sold for $137,000 by referee in March, 2009. A very nice young couple lost their home and credit in this case despite our best efforts. With carrying and legal costs, the lender squandered $100,000 easily.
- 37 1/2 William Street, Ossining NY: Multiple offers of $270,000-$280,000 were brought to Ameriquest (now defunct-go figure). The negotiator, some guy in California named Rivas, insisted the house was worth over $330,000 because of an appraisal from 2005. They foreclosed, and relisted it in August 2007 for exactly the same amount they were offered when I had it listed. It sold in April, 2008 for $219,000 over a year after they had offers of $60,000 higher. These clients were smart enough to talk to the press about the predatory lending and bait and switch they experienced with the lender in this article. Because the bank didn't accept the earlier offers, they had a nonperforming loan for another year. These are the people to whom you entrust your paychecks.
- 442 Park Hill Avenue, Yonkers: Lender was offered $475,000 short sale in July 2007. They rejected it and later auctioned the property instead in March 2008 for $316,000. They couldn't discount it $25,000 for an owner occupant but did whack $150,000 off for the investors at auction. This is the only house that I didn't lose a commission on, as the investors re-listed it with me. Good for me, bad for my old client.
Our tax dollars at work, folks. We go to work every day and pay taxes to subsidize thousands of stories like the three I personally experienced.
This is a national disgrace. Write your congressman. Make noise. Make government accountable for the money that goes to the lenders, and make those lenders act with common sense. Otherwise, we'll be at the same dance in another 20 years.
Mr. Cuomo, this happened on your watch. President Obama, what are you going to do about this?
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