Friday, October 03, 2008

90-year-old attempts suicide over foreclosure

Jesus:

A 90-year-old Akron, Ohio, woman who shot herself as sheriff's deputies tried to evict her from her foreclosed home became a symbol of the nation's home mortgage crisis Friday.

Addie Polk is being treated at Akron General Medical Center after shooting herself at least twice in the upper body Wednesday afternoon, her city councilman said.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, mentioned Polk on the House floor Friday during debate over the latest economic rescue proposal.

"This bill does nothing for the Addie Polks of the world," Kucinich said after telling her story. "This bill fails to address the fact that millions of homeowners are facing foreclosure, are facing the loss of their home. This bill will take care of Wall Street, and the market may go up for a few days, but democracy is going downhill."


Fuller story here.

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38 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel so bad for her. What she must have gone through... She's not the only one. Why doesn't this government help it's citizens instead of helping lending orgainizations that should never have given this loan in the first place? She was 87 yrs old and taking on a 30 year mortgage!! The bank should have been responsible enough to recommend another avenue to help her if she needed extra money.

Anonymous said...

We (the taxpayer) bail out fannie mae, then they forclose on people? - but we don't bail out this poor woman - pathetic!

Anonymous said...

Why was a 90 year old given a mortage and a 11K line of credit to begin with? She missed payments at least 30 times over the past 5 years. Seems to me she had no intention of paying, and just wanted free money she knew she'd never be able to pay off.

This is why we are in the position we are in. You cannot lay all of the blame on wall street. Main street is just as greedy.

Anonymous said...

I feel for this woman, but I don't understand why someone would give an 86 year old woman a 30 year loan....

LT said...

I think you all need to slow down. You have no idea what the circumstances of the loan or her finances are or were. We'll learn more I'm sure, and it's a tragedy in any case.

Anonymous said...

since ours and her tax money are being used to buy these bad assets that fannie mae/freddie mac hold doesn't she in essence now own the home?

just a thought.

Adam L. said...

The media is ridiculous as is anyone who perpetuates this story as a symbol of the mortgage crisis. Unless someone showed up at her house or called her with an offer for a mortgage that she didn't need or couldn't afford, this is all on this lady.

The article doesn't mention anything about an ARM or predatory lending. I doubt it was an ARM at that rate, seems like the right rate at that time for a 30-year fixed mortgage, especially if her house was already fully paid off (the article doesn't state that, but I'll just assume that it was based on the purchase year). So, that left her with a monthly mortgage of $ 284.61 plus whatever her LOC nut was. Even assuming the same rate, that would only get her to around $ 350 per month.

Maybe she had a spending problem or kids who took her money. No one knows the whole story, yet somehow the whole system is to blame for this lady's foreclosure???

Anonymous said...

IMO, it's not a tragedy. It appears to be a case of bad judgement and poor life planning. The home was originally purchased in 1970. Conservatively, the original mortage would have been paid off 8 years ago. It appears she used the home as a means of financing her life style or her needs. Maybe she had to - due to unknown circumstances. There's not enough information in the story to tell. It's a shame she didn't end her life more efficiently.

But the lesson to learn is: be smart with your financial planning. Save for the future and do not take things for granted (like *many* of those who survived the Great Depression have done).

Life in the US is the most affluent and easiest that it has ever been thoughout history. We truly are at the peak of civilization - so many creature comforts - so much discreationary income. So much freedom to innovate and do well. No one is entitled to anything they haven't earned. If you're poor then give up the cable tv and the cell phone and the new cars, etc, etc. I see so many people bitching about being poor but they're still eating out at fast food restaurants, going to movies, etc...

Anonymous said...

"I think you all need to slow down. You have no idea what the circumstances of the loan or her finances are or were. We'll learn more I'm sure, and it's a tragedy in any case."

The problem is we won't at least not nationwide, but it's being reported on so people can feel sympathy for her. I mean it's pretty darn selfish to kill yourself, but to try and make her a martyr ? Puh-lease
We can't sit by and say the banks preyed on every person, some people like this one should have had better judgement, or some type of insurance, policy or otherwise, that would have covered her. Reguardless if she was getting the money for medical treatments or to feed 10 thousands cats she had to have had an idea that she wouldn't be able to pay back the loan entirely.

joe schwartz said...

If you look up her address at 1127 LaCroix Ave, Akron OH on zillow.com, you'll see that it's estimated value is $58,000 and someone bought it in foreclosure for $28,000. The houses on either side of it are estimated at $55,000 to $65,000.

Anonymous said...

They now gave her the house for free. It’s a sad story. I am pretty sure we will see more of this tragedy….. unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I can't figure this out? I don't even own a home, but it seems that if you shoot yourself after taking a loan out on a home you purchased in 1970 and then make a ton of late payments, the macs and the maes will forgive your loan....how dangerous is this. I can't believe it.

Anonymous said...

what I dont understand and.. forgive me for not having sympathy- is why the heck did fannie mae forgive her of her loan just because she tried to end her life and lived! Is this going to trigger a rash of failed suicide attempts just to get the banks to forgive us of our debt! I think Fannie Mae has put out the wrong message here. They should have atleast gave an alternative reason for forgiving her loan.. like.. they were the dummies to begin with for giving her the money in the first place! UGH!

Doug said...

What this tells me is that all of you out there who took cash out on your homes and made stupid mistakes to get us as a country into this situation, should go shoot yourselves and everything will be alright.

Pam said...

I'm just waiting for the next one. Is this going to set a new precedent? Overextend your credit, face foreclosure, shoot yourself, get your house for free? Scary!

Myst said...

Dear God. Well, out of the 3 - animal, vegetable, mineral - humans are certainly animals. And for everyone of us who either prefer science to faith or at least accept science along with our faith, then what a happy day this is. Evolution is confirmed. We are most assuredly animals, and becoming more so by the second. The culling has begun. For everyone in cyberspace consigning this woman to the trash heap, you are all 1-6 paychecks away from making the heap higher on your own. Try not to knock one another down on your rush to judgement. I'm sure she spent the home equity line on hats, not a new roof, or HVAC. So what? Is that it? She was just a leftover from the generation that trusted people. No big loss, right? The only loss is to our humanity. It will not take us long to cull others, will it? Our behaviour and UNINFORMED GUESSES are disgusting and shameful. Watch that you and your beloved are not next in line for such comments. For those of us who prefer our faith, God needs simply to reach out and tilt this planet on its side, and send us all sliding into the void. We are not worth His heartbreak.

Anonymous said...

How does a loan officer justify giving a mortgage to a woman of her age?

Anonymous said...

At first I thought, wow you have to shoot yourself in order to get loan modifications now.

Then I read on, and found out it was a fixed 30 year mortgage at 6.375%. No predatory lending, nothing strange here, just a standard loan at a damn good rate. She then, unfortunately, misses multiple payments that causes her home to be foreclosed on.

We can make discussions on our care for the elderly, and our safety net (social security, etc) however this would have happened credit crisis or not. This had nothing to do with the drop in value of her home, or an ARM payment spiking up. Nothing more than just plain and simple she didn't have the money, OR even chose not to make the payments.

Sad, but not relevant to the current crisis.

LT said...

Thanks, Myst.

Jeff said...

Fannie Mae had good intentions to give up the mortgage. However, I fear they might have done more harm then good. I will not be surprised to hear stories of people threatening to end their life unless their mortgage is closed. Or perhaps going through with it in an attempt to unburden their successors. That will be a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a bad decision to forgive her loan. This is setting a bad example. About to lose your home? Shoot yourself and maybe it will be forgiven! That's the message this sends.

Anonymous said...

No question it is very sad case. But this is no different from borrowing $60,000 (mortgage plus the line of credit) and defaulting on this loan. Why should I pay any money to bail this person out?
People are missing the big picture. Why are we bailing out EQUITY HOLDERS who made bad bets? Did we confiscate their huge capital gains over the last 10 years?

Anonymous said...

Many of you are forgetting, or aren't aware, that she is a senior citizen on a fixed income that has been considerably strained by changes in Medicare, George Bush's pharmaceutical-company friendly drug supplement plan, and in the rising cost of living. Easy to say she should have planned her financial future better, but she is of a generation where the husband was the breadwinner and planner. She may of course be an exception, but it's not likely. And the reason the bank gave an 87 year old woman a loan is because they thought they could make money, pure and simple. It's the only reason banks exist.

SUE said...

Are you kidding me?! You really don't think a NINETY year old woman attempted suicide over a friggin house do you?! WAKE UP! She was born in 1918. She was 11 - 17 throughout the great depression. She was 28 when we nuked Japan. She witnessed the rise of communism in Vietnam, Fascism in Korea, tyrannical suppression of property rights in China, Russia and Cuba! The broad has seen a lot worse than a foreclosure! Who shoots herself in the chest?! TWICE!!!! AT NINTY! How many ninety-year-olds do you know who can lift a 'long-barreled' pistol? What about with a point-blank gunshot wound in the chest?

Better wake up and smell the ovens warming. MMMM, freedom.

Anonymous said...

You people are retarded

Anonymous said...

Aside from Myst, what an insensitive bunch you all have become. You know nothing of this woman's situation, yet you take the time to blog your opinion. I wonder if you took the same time to write your congress representative before they gave $700,000,000,000 (count them zeros) of your tax dollars to bail out Wall Street?

I'm with Myst. Time to meet our maker.

Kenneth said...

The woman was 90 years old. Regardless of the credit crunch or not. She lived there since the 1970s. Could they just live her alone so she could live her life out in peace. The lenders knew she was going to pass in 10 yrs or less, but the would lend money to her. even if they let her loan slide, it would not have hit America hard. So what if Fanniemae decides to let her loan slide now. She shot herself and may die. The woman probably had no place to go. If i was 90 with no place to go, I would shoot myself to

Anonymous said...

While many of the comments, complaints, etc voiced here are valid to varying degrees, I think everyone is missing a bigger picture. This story is tragic, and quite dramatic in it's tradgedy - that's why it was reported, nationally. It is however symptomatic of a much bigger problem facing the country.

The government has committed 700 billion dollars for the purchase of BAD assets that are clogging the financial system. That number represents about 8 times the amount needed to bail out AIG, and approximately 3 times the amount to bail out Fannie / Freddie.

I just a few short days, Washington has committed to spend about 1 TRILLION dollars of our money to bail out a system that was being artificially inflated and manipulated by the big lenders on Wall St. Now their "good thing" has gone bust, and they're taking us all down with them.

There were thousands of mortgages written for people without credit checks, income verifications, etc. EVERYONE knew the deals were bad - the lenders, the insurance companies, and your local real estate agent are all dirty as hell. As long as they were getting their fees, they were all willing to look the other way. (FYI - the bonuses on Wall St last year were about 33 BILLION)

The government could have stepped into this mess, and forced the financial people to re-write the payment schedules so that the effected (and by no means not guilty)homeowners could repay.

Rather than spend the money outright, The 700 billion could have been used to underwrite (insure) the deals, and over time the paper would be "good" again. We would have had to endure a recession on the short term, but eventually the markets would become sound again at much lower cost to the taxpayers.

Instead, the whole mess is wiped off the books like it never happened (at OUR expense), and it's business as usual come Monday morning (ther was an add in TODAY'S NY Post by a lender offering mortgages with NO credit check, NO income check, and 103% of purchase price).

There have been NO regulations re-instated, NO oversight (at least until January), and NO real plan of where - as a nation - we go from here. The reps on both sides of the aisle have screwed us severely, and they KNOW IT. If the deal wasn't a sham, they wouldn't have had to add all the PORK to get it passed.

Next year, when it all goes up in smoke again, do we give up another TRILLION ?? November 4th is coming up fast. I for one plan to vote "none of the above" on EVERY ballot.

Sharon said...

My heart goes out to the lady. Writing a loan for 30 years to an 80-something person, the thinking probably is, if the homeowner passes before the thirty years is up, any unpaid portion of the loan will be handled either by proceeds of life insurance or sale of the home.

At the age she was when the loan was written, chances are she had some bit of dementia setting in. That is only further suggested by not paying the bills, not answering the door, and her most desperate act, which made the news.

Therefore, this particular case may not be an instance of predatory lending on the bank’s part or trying to get something for nothing on her part, but rather a loan officer trying to help an old lady have some cash in her last several years, not realizing she wasn’t quite able to follow through on that commitment due to mental deterioration. Her better option might have been a reverse-mortgage in spite of the high fees associated with those.

Sadly, many of you are probably right to suggest that this will play out again.

Anonymous said...

many things wrong with this.

who approved a 30 year loan to a 90 year old person. but not only that, why would they "forget" the loan just cause she felt she needed to shoot herself?

that is the best way to get your house. everyone who is a homeowner should just shoot their leg and get their names in the press. this is bullsh**

let her lose her house. she was dumb.

Anonymous said...

The bank should have given her a reverse mortgage. This loan probem was caused by the government with the CRA act. Banks were forced to follow this stupid act and groups like ACORN harrassed banks than did'nt. The CRA act was intended to get low income people to own a home, but low income people can't always afford a home, thats why we have low income housing projects for them to live in.

Anonymous said...

So, Fannie Mae decided to "set aside the loan of a woman who shot herself." They will, according to news reports, forgive her outstanding balance and sign the property to her. Am I alone in thinking that this will set off a rash of self-inflicted wounds to win the sympathy of mortgagers? I'm sure it won't be the last of desperate measures.

Anonymous said...

America has gone amok. Help the corporations...add the pork...forget about the little person. Where are people going to live? What about their families? What's the future? What about individual retirement plans? These are the issues the bill does not address yet. Perhaps we will get some answers soon!!

Anita said...

RE: Forgiving the loan -- I think it's a fantastic idea.. and a very humane thing to do in this situation.
However -- widespread reporting that her mortgage was forgiven? That's something else right there.

Anonymous said...

drama queen should have put the gun to her head, now taxpayers have to pay that mortgage.

Venkatesh said...

I've blogged about this story as well, so if you get a chance...

http://wingtowing.blogspot.com/

Thanks,
Venkatesh.

LT said...

The number of people willing to judge this situation while knowing next to nothing about details is depressing.

W.C. Varones said...

Good thing she survived. She would have been number 46 in Greenspan's Body Count.