If you are in desperate straits, to get help in this country, one must either be a Wall Street bankster… or shoot yourself. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC told the nation a little of 90-year-old Addie Polk’s sad story last week, but now the story’s gone global. This comes from the UK’s Daily Mail:
Addie Polk, 90, shot herself in the chest moments before bailiffs were due to march her out of her house, after mortgage giant Fannie Mae hardened its approach to victims of the US sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Ms Polk, now recovering in hospital, had taken out a 30-year mortgage four years ago for $45,620 – when her two-storey house in Akron, OH, was valued at $31,230. She had lived in the house for 38 years.
… She had told neighbours she could not afford to carry out repairs but no one in the small community knew the extent of her crisis.
… Campaigners said her plight highlighted problems facing up to 40 per cent of US borrowers – or 20 million households – after lenders gave out impossibly high mortgages during the housing boom.
The rest of the story: Fannie Mae, after getting pressure from Rep. Dennis Kucinich and the US House, forgave the loan. Ms. Polk will be able to return to her home when she is released from the hospital and can live there for the rest of her life.
Damned shame it took such a terrible thing to convince the lender to do the right thing by a 90-year-old woman. I blame deregulation and mortgage-industry greed, both byproducts of John McCain’s work in the Senate.