Elizabeth and I were talking about this topic on the drive to LA today. Other than the potential hit to her credit rating, is there a good reason why she shouldn't stop making her mortgage payments? OK, aside from the moral issue, which is quite significant for most people, Elizabeth included.
I think these programs are a bad idea for many reasons, and I would prefer they don't exist at all. But, if they are going to have them, there should be one additional qualification for these idiotic bailouts.
It's simple: you should have to provide a detailed audit of your expenses and income for the previous 18 months. If you have spent over a certain amount on luxuries such as plasma screen TVs, Las Vegas vacations, new cars, and or fancy new wardrobes, YOU DON'T QUALIFY. Period. No appeals.
Elizabeth read this post and added a comment. I figured I'd paste it to the front of the entry, to make it easier to find.
Darn, I don't qualify after all :-( Shame on me for making too high of a- to qualify for help from the government, you must owe at least 90 percent of the home's value.
So let me get this right - If I had saved my $25,000 down payment and instead used it to buy my boyfriend an enormous high definition TV (maybe even two), tailored suits, a $4,000 road bike, and first class flights to his residency interviews - then I would have qualified for help? ...but because I naively believed that one must pay for their own things, I "wasted" $25,000 on a down payment and am now stuck with my mortgage. Lucky I spent hours budgeting for things. Oh - never mind, in this day and age, who cares about budgets! Budgeting is passe. To be financially savvy, the answer is spend, spend, spend ...and then plead to be bailed out. ...and then because you're bailed out, spend, spend, spend again, because you were bailed out last time - why wouldn't the government help you again?
Actually, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but with the value of condos falling (due to problems caused by these "solutions"), you likely DO owe at least 90% of the value.