Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Scare tactics and anti-news.

My heart is supposed to go out to Patricia Guererro, because she went from $70k a year to food stamps, and now can't figure out what she's going to do.

She's already burned through her savings to help make ends meet, and is drawing unemployment checks. She has had to take extreme measures to pay for her interest-only mortgage of $2,500 a month. In fact, her mother moved in with her to help pay the bills.

You know what? I am disgusted. Disgusted that she can't do the math, suck it up, and sell the house. No equity? Ditch it anyway. If she moves into a $1000/month apartment, she saves $18,000 a year, right there.

It doesn't say what industry she was in. It may be that the same necessary market correction that's dumping people out of their sub-prime mortgages is also popping the bubble on the west coast that has uneducated security guards making better than $50k.

CNN ran this story, nationwide, as news.


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At Thursday, March 27, 2008 8:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out what she was doing that got her 70k a year to start with?!?!

At Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:49:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

"I was like, 'This is really where I'm at?' " she told CNN. "I go 'no way.'"

I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that it probably wasn't a field in the linguistic arts.

At Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:12:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

"A former loan processor, Guerrero knows all about that, although so far she has been able keep her house."


I imagine she got the job prior to those two children and last 80 pounds, if she's like most young women in the 'loan processing' field around here. That might also be a reason if she was out the door first. I'm sure she could, with her career skills and educational backgound, find something lucrative in the housekeeping or food service industries. Or, she could maybe be a day dancer. Maybe.


At Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:29:00 PM, Blogger Don said...

It's a zen koan, you cultural illiterate:

I was like.
This is really where?
I'm at.
I go no way.

Her cup is empty. She possesses true "no mind." She goes no way. In going no way, she goes all ways.

At Thursday, March 27, 2008 11:47:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Oof. Rabbit steppin' up with the sex-stereotypes!

If she was worth $70k/year, it would stand to reason that she could manage to find a job for $40k a year, right? If you slip off the mortgage, that's a living wage. Not great, mind you. Add in the child support, and she's set.

Why do I suppose that she's:
A: Not going to find a job for the same money she was making, and
B: Not going to find that $35k to $40k is a living wage.

Gwinny, we don't know nuthin' bout no koans around here. But lemme try one:

If the water is brown, I will not drink it. If the water is clean, I will turn it brown by boiling it and pouring it through a "filter" full of coffee.
(Koanical filter.)

If you nose is running,
Why do you catch it with Kleenex?


It barked. I barked. It growled. I growled. It bit. I bled.

Hey, this is fun!

At Friday, March 28, 2008 4:39:00 AM, Blogger phlegmfatale said...

What I want to know is that if she worked in that obscenely exploitative (look up "usury") industry which rode high on the sub-prime and zero-interest loan market, then how's come she was dim enough to go with a zero-interest loan her ownself? She had to be certified to process loans, and therefore can not claim ignorance as an excuse.

Another thing I'll add is that in many places in California, a $2500/month mortgage will yield little better than a lean-to. An idiotic member of extended family paid half a mil for a shack that would collapse in a good stiff fart, and he still had a commute of 3 hours daily to/from San Francisco.

Yeah, it's really hard to feel sympathy for some people.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 5:00:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

When I run it through the loan calculator, she's got a ~$250k to $300k house.

News flash: families who budget for two-person incomes will have to cut back when the marriage ends and the job dies.


I'm mostly just cranky that CNN saw fit to treat this as news. It's manipulative.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 7:01:00 AM, Blogger Murphy said...

Stories like this make me thankful that it must be a slow news day.

Koans... Heh.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 8:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of those subjects that just irritates me to no end. It grates on me like fingernails on a chalkboard, or eating utensils scraped across a dinner plate.

These people were 'stoopid' enough to get into a house too big for their needs, getting a loan that does nothing to suit their financial needs, and can't figure out a budget. And we're supposed to feel sorry for them?

My wife and I didn't buy a house that was too big for us. If anything, it's just slightly too small, but that's the result of having kids. We were prepared for that, and our house still serves our needs. We could have bought one of those 3000 sq ft monsters; those houses existed, but we looked at what we could afford, not what the Jones' were buying.

We didn't get a loan that we couldn't afford, or a loan that didn't serve our needs. We could have; they existed, and the mortgage broker tried hard to get us into one. We refused.

When my wife got handed her walking papers a year after we bought our house, we cut back on EVERYTHING. Didn't need it to live, it went away. Cable? I can live without TV. In fact, I prefer it now. Candy, soda, junk food, expensive steak dinners, dinners and lunches out? All of that went away, and surprisingly, we still lived through it. We grabbed the bull by his horns, and wrestled his fat a$$ to the ground, because we knew how to budget. We knew what we could afford, and what we could not.

We got our feet back on the ground, and my wife got employment again. Funny, though, we never really went away from our basic budget.

We don't carry debt, if we can avoid it. We keep a modest amount in savings, "just in case." We plan ahead. We hope for the best, and plan for the worst. We spend money as wisely as we can, knowing that it could all go away tomorrow. To me, it's just common sense.

I am so irritated with these "sob story schmo's" who don't have enough sense to come in out of the rain, or pour pi$$ from a boot before putting it on. We're supposed to feel sorry that they're stupid?

One of my senators has recently authored some legislation that was supposed to help out these idiots, and he couldn't understand why it received no support. He lamented that it garnered no support from either side of the aisle.

I sent him an email doing my level best to explain to him that it was an insult to the average American who worked hard and made smart (yet often difficult) financial decisions. He couldn't grasp that rewarding bad financial decisions was going to lead to more bad financial decisions.

He kept talking about property values, and quality of life. He just doesn't get it.

They made their bed. Now they get to sleep upon it.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 11:50:00 AM, Blogger BobG said...

If she was making 70K, why is she out of work now? You'd think she could find something that would bring in a bit of cash.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just did a Coldwell Banker search for Altadena, CA. The lowest priced property on their listing is $339K for a 1500 sq foot, 2 bedroom, one bath.

Do you know how much house you can buy in Central Louisiana for $339K?

This chick needs to sell her house and get out while the getting is good.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 2:23:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

I was all set to write a diatribe, but Shrimp said it MUCH better than I can, thanks Shrimp... The only thing I can say is

Call the Wah-amulance... CNN preys on this kind of story and puts it front and center without covering real news.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 5:43:00 PM, Blogger Rogue Medic said...


He's in congress. Fiscal responsibility has been outlawed there.

As for CNN (not pronounced koan) they have been very irritating lately. I usually ignore them, but they have run two stories about brain-dead people who were not brain-dead - only the reporters appear to be brain-dead.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 5:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I run it through the loan calculator, she's got a ~$250k to $300k house.

In the Bay Area, that's going to be an old shack, not a new McMansion.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 8:45:00 PM, Blogger EE said...

A) How do you blow through life savings in that quick of time?
B) I hate people who think they're poor when they really aren't.

At Saturday, March 29, 2008 4:25:00 AM, Blogger KD5NRH said...

Yep, $70k salary is about what my wife and I make together, pre-tax, and we're way short on savings, but I'm pretty sure we could make it more than a month on unemployment/severance/vacation payments without even cutting back our lifestyle all that much. Trimming everything back to bare minimum expenditures, we could probably make it six months on Ramen and Ranch Style Beans.


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