Profiles in Foreclosure
"House of Cards" paints a sad picture of two people who allegedly followed all the rules yet are still in jeopardy of losing their homes, but I'm short on sympathy [March 9]. My grandfather had a rule, and it was to never spend capital gains on disposables. In other words, don't cash out of real estate to buy junk you don't need. Paula Stevens refinanced three times so she could spend freely on "clothes and gear for her girls"? Are you kidding me? Sorry, but while there certainly are legitimate cases of distressed homeowners, many refinance-based dollars got spent on things people really didn't need and couldn't afford. There may not be a law against that, but they still broke the rules. Will Pattison, DALLAS
TIME's article on foreclosure was heartbreaking. How is it that some people pay more to pamper their dogs than other people pay for their mortgage? Also, how does one pay $800 a month for health insurance yet still owe $15,000 in medical bills? I think this story uncovers another part of the financial industry that has contributed to the economic meltdown. Thank God we finally have a President who gets it. Bonnie Huggins, CENTENNIAL, COLO.
My wife and I, both professionals with college degrees, are raising five children in a 2,400-sq.-ft. home. Most people we know live with less. Perhaps if Stevens had shot for the American dream instead of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, she'd be in better shape today. Nick Kasoff, FERGUSON, MO.
Welcome to the SEC Circus
I was incensed after reading your article on the lack of accountability and oversight at the Securities and Exchange Commission [March 9]. Thousands of hardworking people lost their jobs and homes as a result of the incredible nonfeasance, misfeasance and probably malfeasance of Christopher Cox and friends. Those responsible, from government to local banks and mortgage brokers, need to pay for this bailout. If we don't get legal justice, we need to take it to the streets. I did not serve 20 years in the military for this. James C. Byrk, PLATTSMOUTH, NEB.
Help for Homeowners
I can't figure out how far into his cheek Joel Stein had his tongue while writing "I Bought a Bad House" [March 9]. My house is paid off, but for my own benefit, I support a bailout for my neighbors. If my neighbor's house is foreclosed on, the value of my house drops and I suffer. I can pay additional taxes and help, or I can agree with CNBC's Rick Santelli and say, "Screw them, they made a mistake." I'd rather help my neighbor. Bob Connelly, MILFORD, DEL.
A homeowners' help plan, fairly implemented across the country, would save millions of Americans their home investments and allow them to spend money again. This would in turn actually stimulate our economy and not just add another event to the spa calendars of the idiots who got us into this mess. Oh, and we'll pay back our loans too--which is something the AIGs of the world will never do. Steve Goodwin, DISCOVERY BAY, CALIF.
Who You Calling Nuts?