Friday, November 16, 2007

Foreclosure Violence

From KCRA:

Domestic violence counselors in both Stockton and Sacramento have noticed that as husbands and wives struggle more and more to make ends meet, they're starting to take their frustration out on each other...The Women's Center of San Joaquin County said since August, its domestic violence cases are up 12 percent, due in large part the director figures to the growing number of families losing their homes -- or close to losing their homes -- through foreclosure.
One woman who was interviewed by KCRA 3 and did not want her name used, said for two years she owned a home with her now ex-husband, but when the payments went from $1,700 to $2,300 a month, he started to change.

From News10 (video):
Less than a year ago, the house at 16671 Ore Claim Trail in Lathrop sold for $650,000, but neighbors say they never saw anyone move in. Three weeks ago, the lender filed a notice of default against the owner...who owes about $100,000 more than the home is worth...And on Monday night, an unusually violent fire blew out the windows of the home before the first firefighters arrived. Inside, they found the body of an unidentified man.
A source inside the San Joaquin County sheriff's department told News10 the man found dead inside the burned house was not the property owner. A spokesman for the department would only say the case is being handled by homicide detectives.


Gwynster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwynster said...

I think the most profound thing happening in the US right now is that politicians have no idea how stressed, unhappy, and poor people are.

I had been predicting increasing rates of property crime, like many. But as the real horrors of economic hardship pick up steam, personal crime will increase as well. This is the biggest tragedy for me as I hate seeing families torn apart.

The people who will be most affected by property crime it will be the upper middle class. Most lower-middle and working class people have known hard times either as children or through some sort of recent experience. They recognize the signs of what's coming and begin efforts to insulate themsleves. It's the people who've never seen times like these that are really going to have a hard time adjusting IMO.

Maybe this will be the sound kick in the pants the pols need.

smf said...


EVERYBODY gets affected when money issues are involved, whether rich or poor.

Those with less means probably have less overall debt. But compared to their income, that debt may be quite high.

The same would apply to those with better financial means.

As the latest discussions have progressed, I keep going back to what it must feel like to be so much in the hole, with NOTHING to show for it.

We have a nice car that set us back $50K. But we can afford it, and the money we spent on it is TANGIBLE.

But if you 'lose' $200K in equity, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT.

That must really suck.

Gwynster said...


I was more speaking of the crime and physical violence effcts regarding economic hardship.

But you are correct, no one is getting a free ticket out of this mess.

smf said...

"no one is getting a free ticket out of this mess."

No, but I hate when the media starts portraying the situation as affecting the poor and disadvantaged alone.

pavlovianvestor said...

". . . with the holidays coming and people feeling pressure to buy gifts." Huh? I guess that's what Christmas is about now days. Never mind spending time with your family and focusing on the good things you have (like health, each other, good friends, faith). Screw that, gimme, gimme, gimme, and if you can't gimme, take it out on your wife, loser.

I don't know what it's going to take to snap people out of their made in China consumerism-focused, Walmart, Chevy Suburban, paved-over farmland subdivision lifestyle, but I think this mortgage meltdown is bringing on some necessary cultural blood letting.

As my generation (X) is maturing, I think more and more of us are sickened by the state of things and while we've been lumped together as a bunch of slackers, don't be surprised to see a change in attitude as we start raising our kids. Sorry, a bit off topic, but that news clip really pissed me off.

sf jack said...

"But if you 'lose' $200K in equity, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT."


Here today - gone tomorrow.

What Greenspan, Wall Street and the REIC giveth, the popping bubble taketh away.

It may suck, but it was only imaginary and temporary wealth; few truly "labored" for it and then lost it.

Everyone should try to understand as much.

Cmyst said...

If the equity loss is only on paper, if you like your house and don't need to sell, there really isn't a problem.
IMHO, the problem is that so many borrowed against that equity in order to take part in the Great American Buy-A-Thon. I include myself here. I have two suits of Kidex armor and a period canvas pavillion in my storage shed that I purchased when I re-fi'd to pay off credit card debt and took out a little "extra". Of course, THAT wasn't foolish! Only people who re-fi to buy HUMMERS are foolish!

Financial stress does exacerbate underlying relationship issues, and it does trigger some people with poor impulse control and borderline sociopathic tendencies -- but normal people are not going to start beating their partners no matter how bad their finances are. Divorce, sure. And call me sexist, but I've watched a lot of women put the pressure on a lot of men to buy homes, cars, clothes and furniture that were way beyond their means. I've also watched a lot of men buying "toys" that were also way beyond their means, to be fair.

Gloria Steinem once said, I believe in response to someone commenting on how young she looked at age 40, "this is what 40 looks like".
Well, this is what 100K looks like in Sacramento, if you're living within your means: renting instead of buying, one car payment on a Toyota Corolla station wagon (Matrix), 20 year old furniture, a 403(b)and 401(a)retirement savings plan, a very small money market savings account.
I don't know how all the people with kids and credit cards and lessons and memberships making less than I do can afford it. It boggles my mind.

smf said...

It may suck, but it was only imaginary and temporary wealth; few truly "labored" for it and then lost it.

I am referring only to those who may have bought a house for $600K and the same house is now valued at $400K.

Gwynster said...


Economic Hardship doesn't create delinquent behavior but it does escerbate the any underlaying conditions.

As for "this is what 40 looks like".


People will adapt and those with previous experiences will adapt faster. That was my point, not that everyone was going to suddenly go bonkers >; )

And those spouses who pushed their families into financial disaster through manipulation, kick'em to the curb. I don't have much sympathy there.

norcaljeff said...

Gwynster, seems like the Jimmy Carter says again :) Just wait for Prez Billary.

Pavlo, how long have you been in America? This has been the culture since the 1960s. It shouldn't be news to anyone.

Cymst: If the equity loss is only on paper, if you like your house and don't need to sell, there really isn't a problem.
It is a problem. If you were a dotcommer and on paper you were a millionair you were buying everything in sight, I was in the valley, I saw it. And then the stock crashes, guess what, it is a problem. A problem of having no cash to pay for that stuff and no cash to buy more stuff.

pavlovianvestor said...

I've been here all my life, but come from a family of immigrants. Just different values, I guess. I do think things are different from when I was growing up, though. The loose credit of recent years has definitely fueled a heightened sense of ego defined by what you have (remember "bling," Escalades with 24" rims, 10 year olds with diamond earrings and cell phones, etc.). I don't know, I guess the more things change the more things stay the same.

Buying Time said...

I'm with Pav...and I have been here all my life....X-mas commercialization has gotten way out of control.

I mean...what't the point of exchanging gift cards and buying tons of decorations that sit in storage 11 months out of the year?

Its even worse than the "wedding industry"....and that's not a compliment.

Cow_tipping said...

Oh yes, "everyone wants to die here".

SacramentoCrash said...

The worst since the great depression (Wells Fargo CEO).

Well they are the one with the loan whores, I mean "Loan Consultants" behind this bubble.

Look at who was the developer's "preferred lender" .... Wells Fargo!

The bubble was caused by SheePle, greedy developers increasing prices $10,000 / month, sloppy underwriting and "mortgage strategists"!

Financial Trouble said...

I have spent the evening putting together resources for people in trouble.

If you know someone in need - please give him or her the link.

Cmyst said...

Norcaljeff said: "A problem of having no cash to pay for that stuff and no cash to buy more stuff."

Perhaps not so obviously, I was referring to people who didn't purchase beyond their means using suicide loans and/or who didn't HELOC their bubble "equity" away. While rare, such people do exist.

Diggin Deeper said...

It's taking a long time for people to transition from a 12-14 year bull market in real estate, to what it's become today. All one has to do is read the party lines for the major major real estate organizations. They're finally coming around but not without a fight.

I agree with Gwyn:

"It's the people who've never seen times like these that are really going to have a hard time adjusting IMO."

As abruptly as this bubble came to an end, there are many, many people that just won't believe. And its not just to real estate reality...its everyday living. Rising costs due to rising commodity prices due to a world awash in dollars, begins to take more and more buying power off the table.

When people complain about Christmas and what it's become, I wonder if that really means the burden of Christmas is starting to take its toll.

I completely agree, there's no reference point for some, especially some of our young people. They can't understand there's another side to this that might require sacrifice and conservation. How could some understand at all? Imagine, one day you're wealthy due to the equity you in your home, and two years later you're not only broke, but without that home, and deeply in debt. That's pretty tough to take?

I believe the changes we are experiencing today, are here for the long term. We've been in this easy credit/low inflation coma for over a decade. That's long enough for many people to have become complacent...