Letter - Response to sub-prime lending crisis

To the editor:

I recently received a letter from Rep. Hank Johnson in response to a letter I sent him concerning the sub-prime lending crisis, and while I agree with his views on the predatory lending actions of many sub-prime mortgage companies, and their enabling larger owners and partners, I do not feel that our government needs to take our tax money to bail out homeowners who are now losing their homes.

In his letter, Johnson stated that in many cases, "predatory lenders and mortgage brokers forced individuals into homes they knew their clients could not afford."

FORCED individuals? Mr. Johnson, you are referring to adults, not small children. These folks knew that they could not afford these homes.

Many of those losing their homes are living in large houses, with a houseful of new furniture and two or more new cars, often expensive cars, in the garage. All of these items were purchased with credit, most of that credit offered with little or no money down and often with balloon or adjustable rate loans. Very few of them saved up for a downpayment on their home.

Their plan was to sell in a year or two, or re-finance. They were making money from the purchase of homes they could not afford.

Those of us who have lived within our means saved for 10 or more years for a downpayment on our homes. Now, you are asking us, those people who refused to join the party, to bail out those that took advantage of the situation. The answer is no!

These foreclosures and all those who came into our neighborhoods with no downpayments and easy credit have hurt our community, and the dreams we have worked for these many years. These people never intended to stay in their homes, but saw an easy way to make money. They didn't care about our dreams, or what became of them.

Many of us who have saved are seeing our savings dwindle in value because so many borrowed recklessly and spent those borrowed funds recklessly, while our Fed kept interest rates abnormally low for an extended period.

If you and other members of Congress continue to waste our tax dollars on bailouts for those who have actively pursued this reckless behavior, we will vote you out of office, make no mistake.

I fully expect to have to endure a real depression in this country, and my children will have to endure a lot of hardship paying for all the reckless and foolish behavior that has been demonstrated these past couple of decades, particularly the past six to seven years.

No, Mr. Johnson, these are not innocent people, and my tax dollars may not be used to bail them out. There is no free lunch, and I, along with the majority of your constituents, and the majority of Americans, will no longer tolerate our federal government so freely spending our money.


Earl Usry,