I was reading through some blog posts this morning and came across one on housingdoom.com that just reaffirms my anti-bailout position. The blog post is simply a rental listing that was posted on Craigslist in Tampa, and while a rental listing in itself is nothing to rant about, you really need to read this particular one.
Here it is:
I HAVE A 3 BEDROOM HOUSE THAT I AM LETTING GO, IT SHOULD BE ATLEAST ANOTHER YEAR BEFORE THE COURT WANTS THE KEYS, SO I AM RENTING OUT THIS HOUSE WITH NO CREDIT CHECK AND ON A MONTH TO MONTH TERM, SO NO ONE IS LOCKED IN, IT IS A CHEAP WAY FOR YOU TO SAVE MONEY. THE HOUSE HAS NO APPLIANCES BUT YOU CAN GO TO CRAIGS LIST AND GET FREE ONES UNDER THE FREE STUFF. CHECK OUT THE LINKS BELOW. IF YOU ARE INTRESTED PLEASE E-MAIL ME. ALSO THERE IS NO SECURITY DEPOSIT AND THE HOUSE IS ON A 1/4 ARCE. YOU CAN E-MAIL ME DIRECTLY AT JOEYCARLO@******** FIRST COME FIRST SERVE.
The actual listing can be found here: http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/apa/958697241.html
This guy Joe is asking $499 a month for this house, which is ridiculously low, so I’m sure that he won’t have a problem finding a tenant to take him up on his offer. Obviously he has no intention of using the rental proceeds to pay his mortgage, and is planning to take full advantage of the system for as long as he can.
This is one of the reasons why I am so adamant that a foreclosure moratorium is a bad idea. Sure a lot of homeowners really want to stay in their homes. However, many have no intention of staying in a house that is thousands underwater, and a majority of those homeowners who do want to stay in their homes probably can’t afford it, so they would just be delaying the inevitable. Then you have guys like this, who plan to milk the system for every dime they can get. He already stole the appliances, and now he plans to take advantage of the lenders some more. Since taxpayers are basically on the hook for many of these lenders, he is also taking advantage of taxpayers.
If we can figure out a way to limit the bailout to only those homeowners who actually want to stay in their homes and who can afford to do so, I might be more inclined to support it. But any bailout, or other measure, that supports guys like this, will never get my backing. This guy may be an extreme example of the potential problems at hand, but I can’t help thinking that there are tens of thousands of people out there doing this exact same thing. They probably just aren’t disclosing the situation outright like Joe here. Just reading this listing makes me angry. If Joe isn’t going to live in the house or at least try to make the payment, then he needs to return the keys to the lender. Anything short of that should be illegal, especially when taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for the bill.