Saturday, October 4, 2008

Addie Polk and Fannie Mae

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Addie Polk and Fannie Mae sound like two sweet little old ladies. Right? Well, one is, and one isn't - or at least wasn't until recently.

Addie Polk is ninety-years-old and has lived in the same two-story house in Akron, OH, for the past thirty-six years. In 2004 she took out a $45,620 mortgage with the now infamous Countrywide Home Loan Company along with a line of credit for an additional $11,380. Over the next couple of years she began missing payments on her home. The mortgage was eventually sold to Fannie Mae who sent the local sheriff out on several occasions to evict her. Last Wednesday as the sheriff was pounding on the front door, Addie laid out her car keys, pocketbook, and life insurance policy where they could easily be found. She then laid down on her bed and shot herself twice in the upper body. A neighbor heard the shots and put a ladder up next to the house to gain entry to her second-story bedroom where he found her soaked in blood and barely conscious.

Amazingly Addie Polk lived and quickly became a poster girl for the severity of the housing and home loan crisis. Her case was discussed on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. After her story became emblematic for the nation's fiscal crisis, Fannie Mae, the mortgage holder, became a bit of a sweet little old lady herself and cancelled Addie's debt.

Score one for the little people, but don't expect loan forgiveness to become a habit of Fannie Mae or any banking or lending institution. People should borrow responsibly, and banks and loan companies should lend responsibility. If people bought only what they truly could afford, and if lenders didn't try to entice people to borrow or refinance with with questionable methods and blatant dishonesty, then America would be a much more solvent place today.

Buy gold and bury it!

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