A homeowner in Waukesha for 20 years, Steve is president of the Waukesha Dog Parks Organization and enjoys motorcycling, fishing and staying on top of politics.
Underwater conveys a more urgent situation than the term "upside down". I'm referring to the new term being used for owing more on a house than it is presently worth. Being upside down on a loan isn't unusual. It is actually typical. Unless you pay typically 20% down on a new car, you are immediately "underwater" the moment you sign the papers. Just take it next door to the other brand dealer and ask what they will give you in trade for one of their shiny new unionmobiles. Anything you buy on a credit card is immediately "underwater". Try and sell your new 72" high definition TV, still in the sealed box, to a shopper for one, and try to break even. Unless it has suddenly become rare, like a new PlayStation or WII at Christmas time, you know you'd be lucky to get 2/3 of what you paid for it.
What troubles me is the notion of someone walking away from the house and loan responsibilities. They did not have the situation forced upon them anymore than if they took a trip to Pottawatomie and lost the food and mortgage money on gambling. Apparently the credit consequences of walking away from load responsibilities are not tough enough. On the other hand, I don't have a problem with interest reduction and loan extensions to help keep people in their homes and able to maintain them.
America will recover from the current mess. The first step is to stop blaming each other for causing it, even though everybody and your Deity of choice knows it was Barney Frank and fellow Democrats. Sorry.....sorry..last time. Just a little humor people. You can't believe the thrashing some far lefties are still giving Bush for this and for causing sunspots and irregularities of earth's orbit. The second step is for everybody to realize that their version of the American Dream needed to be more reality and less of a dream! The third step is to understand what the impact of the Stimulus Bill is going to be. Why is it that it is such a mystery? You'd think it was something handed down to Moses who never had a chance to read it before agreeing to take it down the mountain. Once that is done, then some serious discussion of how to preserve people from drowning in their "Underwater" situations of housing, cars and general credit can be done.
Unfortunately, too many will drown before the committees solve the problems.