Desperate Times, Desperate People

Recommended Posts

Methusus This article published on MSN is about the stresses economic downturns can have on people. I'm sticking it here to remind people that we are here to help in what ways we can. If you find yourself walking the path they describe in this article, remember that it is just ...don't do anything foolish.

[by Karen A.

On the morning she realized her husband and son would learn the family was losing their house, Carlene Balderrama, 53, faxed a note to the mortgage company, then went to the basement and shot herself.

"I hope you're more compassionate with my husband than you were with me," she wrote in a suicide note left for the company.

It is a dramatic picture of the worst that financial stress can wring. As home foreclosures and unemployment mount, so do their companion tales of fraud, robbery, arson and even murder. And though suicides remain rare, evidence that financial stress is erupting in rash, often illegal behavior isn't difficult to find.


"A good deed is worth a thousands grand intentions."

Which, makes me wonder about how disconnected and impersonal we have become with the immediacy of the internet, or cell phones or emails, discussion forums etc. etc. - most people seem to participate in these forums to try an impress everyone else how wise and smart they are by quoting history and obscure statistics.

Mental illness is no joke. However after 10 years of consumer credit counseling, I realized a sad fact about Americans. On the whole we are nothing more than by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Just turn on the tv and you don't need talent anymore to be famous. Adevertising is constantly reminding me how incomplete I am as a person until I buy their product, and almost every story on the news is fear based. I haven't watched in many months to keep my resentments at bay, but the aforementioned story is a testament to how brainwashed and apathetic we've all become. Most of the politically active types on this board, can't get off their larger than life a## to do more than try and impress everyone with what they know from history, but the only predictable part about this crisis is how we will react. We'll squabble over what needs to be done, we'll antagonize each other, and in the end some half a## solution will be agreed upon to keep the status quo - oh how I need more of those versitle solutions to modern living to be ok with myself.

I say, let the idiot who killed herself over her house go. I've lost my compassion to anyone that shallow, superficial and materialistic. RIP -

Now if anyone want to do something interesting like a sit in at the Federal Reserve announcing the violent overthrow of the US government (Yates v.s US allows to advocate the violent overthrow of the US government so long as the threat does not include specific acts of violence) I'm all in - let's go tomorrow. Any takers?? Didnt think so - you'd all rather lament the stupid death of a woman who was terrified of money, and not having it - you'd be happier watching porn - SNAP OUT OF IT AND DO SOMETHING MORE THAN VOTE AND WHINE ON DISCUSSION FORUMS - JSTEELE

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Methusus, Goldbug & other real economists help my limited mind understand why, when the eoru was created as a common currency, were all the bond markets kept separate and independent- is it obvious that the valuation of Greece may differ slightly from Germany at any given time? How's a common currency to survive wirhout builing massive deficits for some of the smaller economies??

Link to post
Share on other sites
Methusus, Goldbug & other real economists help my limited mind understand why, when the eoru was created as a common currency, were all the bond markets kept separate and independent- is it obvious that the valuation of Greece may differ slightly from Germany at any given time? How's a common currency to survive wirhout builing massive deficits for some of the smaller economies??

I'd call it a backdoor plan. Time and time again when the people of Europe's various countries have been asked to ratify the ceding of the powers of their sovereigns to Brussels, they have voted the measures down. While some governments have just set another vote some years or months down the line until they got the vote they wanted, others have simply ignored the results and proceeded with the plan.

But to really force matters, nothing beats a financial crisis. And monetary unity without fiscal unity was a surefire method, though one with a somewhat longer time horizon.

One ring to rule them all!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read below that we are all here because we have gotten into some sort of credit trouble, etc - and I agree. What I find the most amazing is the credit trouble that we (as individuals and taxpayers) only funds and forgives the credit trouble that major institutions and governments have found themselves in over recent years.

Do I sit awake at night and worry about college for my children, my medical bills, maybe one day enjoying retirement? Hell yes I do. Do the former executives of AIG, Lehman Brothers, etc worry about that - no - they are protected under the guise of a corporation, and I can safely say their biggest concerns are when the next annuity payment from their 15+ years of compensation will come in.

Financial Stress is one of the biggest causes of divorce. It is one of the biggest causes of suicide. It is one of the biggest causes of many horrible things. I agree - most people want to do the right thing - the problem is that our system is not designed to be used by "most people" - it is not designed for fairness - it is designed to litigate based on the BEST presented case.

Now, after just the few weeks of wrangling that I have gone through, I can see how one would get frustrated. After decades of hearing "only deadbeats file BK" or "You spent it, now you pay for it", there is a huge emotional and self-worth toll that doing those things can have on an individual.

In my honest opinion, 99% of people want to do the right thing. That number declines dramatically when they see what their bosses and their bosses bosses are pulling home every week. Not to say that they did not work hard for it, but just to say that the disparity in how the system treats the well heeled and treats those of us just trying to fix things is different.

This forum has provided guidance, and I am of the school of thought that you cannot lie down to a business that posts record profits year after year, answer their phone calls and apologize, or even worse, be a victim of this mess. You can, with some help (thanks to all of the posters on here), learn a few things that can help empower you to start to rebuild. Some advice is worth it, some is flippant and rude, some is just plain wrong, but at least it is a place where we (as debtors) learn what are rights are and can be proactive in clearing them up.

Perhaps if the people who took their lives, and distorted the lives of those around them, could have had support of this nature, instead of 40 pages of applications to modify a debt or settle a payment, or an advocate instead of a bank sponsored credit counseling agency, or even a widely available consumer advocate versus widely available societal norms about "deadbeats" - perhaps they would still be here, paying their debts, and enjoying their lives with their families and children.

Enough of that for now - I made my mistakes, and probably will make more- but the last things that I am going to do is admit that I owe more to any bank, creditor, lawyer - anyone, more than I can give my children.

Simply said, pick some of the advice here, follow it, and it does work surprisingly well. Then, when everything is fixed (mine is not yet, and I have a long way to go - but can see how effective some of these procedures are), get involved in local, state, and national politics, and start letting your voice be heard on how the system itself has created the situation - and also has the power to bail those folks out who are the same ones calling between 8 am and 9 pm to collect your credit card debt.

Done soapboxing. My heart goes out to the families and friends of people who were in so much need that they could no longer deal with the pressure.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In Mexico in the mid '90s, distressed debtors had a movement, called 'El Barzon' that effected a lot of changes, including upending the longtime ruling national party.

The movement was named after a song ... our closest analog would be "Sixteen Tons."

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK we need to be compassionate for people who are mentally ill but why is so much compassion given to people who were comfortable facing being less comfortable vs the poor who have struggled their whole life possibly?

It's amazing that someone needing to go from a owning a home to an apt is seen in bad circumstances but the poor who can't even maintain rent in an apt aren't given 1/100th as much compassion from the public.

I agree, to me there is no shame in bk, then again i went from making great money had the world by the B**ls about 20 yrs ago and lost everything, money, cars, home due to some addiction demons, been sober over 12 yrs now but to go and off yourself over losing your house or money is absolutly insane - i dont understand that - ive lived in my car, been homeless, had a hooker girlfriend who would go out and do sex acts to get us money and drugs and i ended up in jail for over 6 months and that is where the light bulb went off and got sober back in 2000, now im married almost 9 yrs to a great woman, have 2 boys 5-7, have a almost 100k a year job and yes we are in financial difficulty due to our poor spending and lack of saving bs but we will get through this, ive been throug worse - whats the worst that can happen, lose my house, cars, house is upside dwon 80k, ill never see that money - if that happened , move into apt, take public trans or get $1000 beater car and survive. the way the world is going we are all going to be "JUST SURVIVING" pretty soon - hopefully not in a DHS confinment camp! Life is too short to worry about obtaining bigger houses, finer cars, clothes, appliances! - I know it sounds crazy but the most at peace and personally most satisfied with my self and spirituality, meditatin and calmness was when i was young and in the army and when i was in cook count dept of corrections drug rehab program as i focused on being positive, didnt participate in negativity, work on trying to improve myself everyday as to be a better human being and share with others, in jail i was one of the very few that had a college degree and i would volunteer my time to help the ged teacher with the fellow inmates for ged classes, so many people in there that were illiterate and we would help them learn, i would write letters for them to their wifes, G?Fs, kids and i must say the giving aspect of helping a fellow human being learn and watch them grow was inspirational - thats when i learned that life is too short for all of this rat race crap. As long as you have your health and family and their health -you can ask for more - i know im on a diatribe but it works

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.