Thursday, June 18, 2009

Have You Ever Wondered?

NEW YORK – Struggling mall retailer Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday.

Six Flags Great America files for bankruptcy.

Retailer Linens n Things filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection....Would you like me to go on and on and on and on? We all could just within the last year start ticking off companies who have closed their doors for good and gone bankrupt.

Have you ever wondered what happens when they get behind in their bills? Why they aren't treated like the rest of us who get behind or the families who have lost their homes? Have you ever driven by a Six Flags with all their lights off? Neither have I. Have you ever seen them hold a roller coaster sale? Nah, didn't think so.

Eddie Bauer? Well, I went a few months ago to purchase a simple lined windbreaker for walking in the Aberdeen rain and I went to their outlet store. On sale, the cheapest I could find was $60 and that was a vinyl windbreaker with no lining. These are outlet prices? What happened to finding bargains at outlets?

If you have ever been in collections, the calls are non-stop, incessant all day from 0800 until 2100 hours, they start and don't stop. Hour after hour the phone rings and it is the same people over and over again and what is worse, is when you send them money, they seem to call more for more. Hmmmmm, I wonder what would happen if we called those who cheated us out of money (banks, stores, retirement funds) this way? We would be sued for harassment!

I have had collections agents tell me...I need to get out on the roads, collect and smash cans and send them the money. I need to sell all my possessions and send them a payment. They are sending me to court, etc., etc. I am in no risk at this time of loosing my home, my vehicles and many bills are up to date, but a few I got behind on and I pay what I can, but it is never enough.

I was wondering do they call Six Flags and ask them to sell off Superman? Sell their souvenirs for a 1/4 of the price and send them all the money? Do they tell them to save money by turning all the lights out? Does someone call them all day and night at their corporate offices? Could you imagine seeing Bugs Bunny selling his carrots? All the characters standing outside the parks, yelling car wash?

Of course I am being partially tongue in cheek here. I mean lets face it, many people are struggling, loosing their homes and everyone states they got in over their heads, they had to much, but some people didn't. In our area the main source of income for many years and many families has been logging and the timber companies shut their doors. This town may have excesses, but many homes are very old and very simple. Many people live within their means and are still on the loosing end of the economy.

What about all the CEO's whose companies have gone under? While they have totally ruined companies and families, they will go onto work at other companies and still be given these golden parachutes, while because of a bad credit rating, many people can't find work, their car insurance, life insurance and many others things go up in price. My credit stinks...however, I have never missed a car insurance payment, haven't been in an accident in over 10 years, am married, over the age of 50, live in a small town where there are rare vehicle accidents and yet, my car insurance was raised 15% because of my credit score!

Ever wonder why the banks want to pay off their government loans so quickly and with what? They are going to be paying off government loans with what? TARP Funds. Do you know what TARP is? 'The Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) is part of the law known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, or Public Law 110-343. TARP is a fund that is set aside so that the U.S. government can buy troubled assets, such as subprime mortgage-backed securities, from financial institutions.

Part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Written into law in October 2008
Largest segment of funds of the $700 billion bailout
Proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
TARP has been used to assist Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG
Final vote count on the legislation: 263 to 171 in favor of the bailout proposalAFP: Economic rescue swiftly signed into law (October 3, 2008)
Of the $700 billion dollars available, AIG has received $150 billionThe New York Times: U.S. Provides More Aid to Big Insurer (November 10, 2008)
George W. Bush and the Obama transition team have discussed asking congress for second half of rescue Bush Prepares Request for Rest Of Bailout Funds (January 9, 2009)
Managed by the Office of Financial Stability
Overhaul of TARP announced by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on February 10, 2009 ' (Copied from the World Wide Web, June 17, 2009.

So, just so you understand this, they are paying government loans back with government loans. Isn't that like paying your Master Card with your Visa card? I was wondering if I could borrow $50,000 to pay my school loans off with another school loan? This way, they do not have to abide by the new banking laws because they don't owe the government any money!

I want some of that! Come on, we have a man who didn't pay his taxes as our Treasury Secretary and everyone seems to be okay with that!

Are we all blind? This administration is not doing anything but recyling money from one program to another and back to them. I have a hard time while families are living in the streets due to foreclosures, that the banks keep everything, take more loans, take loans to pay loans and they still have not shown remorse and the government really hasn't done anything to stop all of this madness.

I have a friend who lives in California and there are several homes in her area that have been foreclosed upon over a year ago and now she says, they have rats in them. Why can't the Obama administration help people get their homes back?

We are not on the brink of loosing our home, but due to my surgery, things will be tight, so we contacted our mortgage company under the new mortgage assistance program, you know the one Obama talks about that is going to not only help those in foreclosure, but those of us who may have lost a second income or are struggling to pay high payments.

Our Mortage Company is Wells Fargo & they are better than our previous company Greentree Finance, but not by much. During the 2007 federal disaster, they offered to help us under the federal disaster relief and let us forego 3 months payments so we could take care of a roof, food, etc. On month 4, they wanted all 3 months back in full and they wanted it now. They even sent someone out to take pictures of our home so they could begin foreclosure proceedings. Don't trust Wells Fargo! We found out later, this was illegal.

Knowing I am not going to be working all summer and having sugery and hubby is taking time off to help care for me, he called Wells Fargo to ask them about this plan. We are still waiting to hear from them. The first person he called stated the bank still knew nothing about this and when they received the info from the feds, they would call. Hello, Wells Fargo? Still waiting!

Then when my husband called back, they said we needed to go through credit checks all over again, the customer service agent was so rude, I could hear her yelling at my husband that we should be making our payments as he was explaining we weren't behind. Then she told him if they decided to help us, our payments would only be reduced for a few months. Does this sound like the presidents plan? Not at all! We are still waiting for the call from the supervisor to report this womans behavior.

No, we won't get one because Wells Fargo made billions in profits this year, so they feel they do not have to abide by any of this or be nice when you call them!

So, ask yourselves, why are we allowing the government to get away with this? Why is AIG allowed to get by with so much and if I miss a payment to them or am late, they become relentless in calling me. I am up to date with them, but last year they were merciless, until I told them to have their CEO make my payments from the party monies he could spend!

Just because the CEO's are spending, trust me, it isn't trickling down the the people that get paid hourly. I think we need to seriously hold these people accountable for what they have done, shut down the golden parachute plan and give the hourly workers the pay they deserve.

But we also need to ask, why is it we get harrassed for a bill under $2000 and companies don't? Why is it if we don't pay our taxes the IRS comes after us like a bulldog and yet Geithner was virtually unscathed.

The justice just doesn't sink in. While large banks and companies were allowed to run this country into an economic meltdown, we, the consumers are paying for it in the end and we will continue to pay for it as will our children to come!

God Bless America, we certainly could use it!

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