December 9, 2011

Man Bulldozes his own home rather than face forclosure

I like this guys attitude.
"When I see that I owe $160,000 on almost a $350,000 home and somebody decides they want to take it -- I wasn't gonna stand for that so I took it down." -- Terry Hoskins, Moscow, Ohio

To translate from midwestern politeness into a language that people from NYC might understand:
Fuck me? Oh no, my friend, fuck YOU.

Banks forclose on homes in the hopes of reselling them and regaining their losses. By leveling his home, the bank has essentially nothing but the dirt it stood on. I applaud you sir.


  1. A "huge lawsuit" for what? He's bankrupt.

  2. Wonder how the insurance claim will go

  3. Well played sir. And to the initial anonymous poster, are you a bank employee? When the laws aren't just then people won't respect them.

  4. When a person says, "I can't pay what I promised," the bank takes it away. That actually sounds pretty reasonable and fair. What makes people mad are two main things:

    1. The bank will likely just sell it for a very small sum of money...probably less than an amount the original owner would have been willing (and able) to pay in some sort of modification scheme. There's usually some better option that is not only better for the home-owner, but for the bank as well, but the bank just says, "Nope, not gonna do it," and instead does something that makes everyone involved worse off. It's just dumb. Admittedly, doing otherwise would likely create some moral hazard problems, but given the current conditions of the housing market, the banking system, and the economy as a whole, that's, at most, a tertiary concern these days.

    2. When a bank says, "I can't pay what I promised," they get treated VERY differently from how banks treat people. In fact, usually the gov't forces the taxpayer to lend (or outright give) the banks all the money they need. This double-standard angers people. When people screw up, people pay. When the bank screws up, people pay. It's a "heads I win, tails you lose" scenario that rightly pisses off the public.

    Maybe this guy's actions weren't in his best interest, but I bet you that if everyone did the same, this country would probably start figuring out a better way to deal with the stupidity and unfairness of points 1 and 2 listed above.

    I doubt I'd do it myself, but I kind of respect the guy. Bravo for taking an action that gets noticed, for being proactive (albeit, destructively proactive), rather than settling for the messed up status quo system we're currently saddled with.

  5. The banks were also given billions of dollars with the understanding that they would use it to restructure loans. They haven't made met that obligation.

  6. Responding to Anonymous who posted numbers 1 and 2 in his/her comment:

    On number 1, not only that but a lot of banks have written into their mortgages a 'recourse' clause, that allows them to come after the homeowner for any difference in amount vs what the homeowner owed and what the bank got for it at auction/short sale. So basically, you, the consumer, are left without a home and STILL owe the bank money. It's bullshit, and why I had to declare bankruptcy when I couldn't get water at my house and had to rent one in town...

    And to everyone else, I think something that people are missing is that if this man only owed $160,000 on this home, that meant that he had paid at least $190,000 in principal (and no telling how much interest). How fair is it that we have a system where you can't maintain partial control over a property that you've paid that much into? If his home were a corporation he would be the majority stockholder and they damn well wouldn't be able to take it away from him without paying him just compensation. I say at the very least that he should be able to get $30,000 from the bank if they insist on taking the home away.

    The sense of powerlessness is what leads people to do things like this. I agree that it might have been foolish, but I can't help but sympathize with him and rejoice that he chose to do something, instead of just letting the bank have its way with him.

  7. Nothing's ever going to get any better in this country until we see some dead bankers. I'm not in favor of that, but the 1% simply will not accept that they can't stomp the peasant class forever until the peasants actually start to rise up. Does anyone really think we'd have ever gotten Social Security if the 1% back during the Depression weren't peeing their pants at the thought of Bolsheviks hiding in the bushes and under their beds?

  8. People got TRAPPED into overpriced houses because BANKS inflated the price bubble. Bank: "Having homeowners across the country owe us $5 Trillion is nice, but having them owe us $10 Trill. would be even nicer!" "Now, how can we make that happen?"

    The slice of trapped families who are being foreclosed upon might be able to stay in their homes if the banks would only agree to re-negotiate the principal owed down to, say, 2/3 of where it now stands. But the banks won't do that, and they go ahead and foreclose, shoving the trapped family out, then they resell the house for 1/3 of what is owed. It makes NO sense, except to keep the vast majority of those trapped in the $10 Trillion bubble mortgage pool paying, and paying, and paying -- keeping the nonsense in place that says a home mortgage, unlike other investments, is a SACRED OBLIGATION.

    Bull! If the lender got you trapped in an over priced mortgage through massive fraud, the SACRED part goes out the window.

  9. here's the thing: it doesn't matter what appears "reasonable" or "rational." commenters are acting as if this house lives in isolation for the banks. it doesn't. if you as a bank admit that the right thing to do for THIS guy is to give him a reduced mortgage payment, really the millisecond that you do that the game is up, because that is both precedent and domino. it's not to excuse the banks--they made this mess and they should eat all the shit they have to, and most of their senior level execs should be severely caned in a public pillory--but rather to say that their behavior is quite rational and sensible from a late capitalist point of view. resetting mortgages would expose banks balance sheets to a little thing called (best Morpheus voice) "THE REAL", and "THE REAL" is NOT banks friends. it's where they are all carrying liabilities so massive that they don't actually exist anymore.

  10. If the kicking people out of their houses continues, we may see many neighborhoods burning down. But this guy did it the right way. If you burn your house, you can be charged with arson (if they can prove it, not always easy). But bulldozing may be a different story. I applaud his action becasue he sent the banks a very definite message. there is too much suffering in this country, in the world, due to the greed of the bankers. Time to draw a line in the sand for them.

  11. I'd like to be sure that this guy didn't get arrested for anything, and maybe that his neighbors didn't mind so much. If so, everyone that is losing their house should do this.

  12. This misses the point about bank motivation. The reason they don't mind foreclosures and the ensuing losses is because they write down every dime they have to spend to administer it and then god knows what write offs for bad loans and expenses associated… it all gets ginned up to gazzillions of dollars that take their obscene profits year after year off the books so they pay no taxes.

    They time foreclosures and actions to lengthen out the shelter over years so they can milk every profit dollar shelter they can. In fact, settling things to mutual advantage with the homeowner costs them mightily, because the losses help offset hard dollars of profits at 100% PLUS.

    Another way: By tacking on the exorbitant fees and whatnot to bad loans year after year, the write off gets gargantuan artificially. They make NET MONEY on those foreclosures and they'd get far less doing short sales, etc.

    No Bank lost a dime on the foreclosure mill process.

  13. This guy just bulldozed himself a whole heap of legal trouble. But if he is already in bankruptcy, he might afford himself a little bit of protection. That being said, it's a creative reaction to what sounds like a messy problem. As Punk Patriot rightly translated: "Fuck me? Oh no, my friend, fuck you!" The posted news story doesn't give the particular details of his situation, so it's hard to say whether he was on the high ground or not. But I like the outside-the-box thinking.

    However, the comments in this thread that are essentially arguing " if you can't pay what you owe, the bank now owns your house" are fucking stupid. I'm guessing said commenters are not fans of real property ownership rights and/or are ignorant and don't know the difference between a fee simple interest and a secured lien interest. Yeah, the note spells out the terms of the contract between the borrower and the lender and when followed to a "T" the bank can seize the real property and sell it at auction to try and recoup their loss. The problem is assuming, perhaps, that the lender is just some mechanical automaton that makes sure all the i's are crossed and the t's dotted and never acts disingenuously or maliciously. That is a sorry and very tired joke, especially in this day in age.

    I'm willing to bet the bank in the story is probably a pretty on-the-up-and-up operation, most local banks are, and is not a predatory institution like the TBTF zombies sucking wind and wealth out of the hands of just about every fucking one of us. But if this dude has a debenture loan (a business loan funded by issuing bonds, popular with somewhat established small business and, judging by the size his business's facilities, probably - though I don't know for certain - the case here), then yeah, right above his local bank is a pack of sociopathic vultures known as bond-holders that would turn-out their mothers if they thought they could get a piece of the action.

    Why not destroy the place before the bond holders do as much? Good use of a bulldozer, IMHO.

  14. After what the Banks have Done to ALL Homeowners and more to come,It's Time for People to take action against the Banks,Our so called Elected Officials wont do it,They keep their Money in these Big Banks and in Hidden Accounts over seas.When everything comes out about what is happening & why,There will be more then just a witch hunt,people will storm Offices of Elected Officials.It will come,it's just a matter of timing.

  15. "When everything comes out about what is happening & why..."

    That information is already out there and has been for some time.

  16. This is an old story, and has nothing to do with underwater homeowners. He was involved in a legal fight over commercial properties.

  17. Adding: I'm not saying, above, that I know that the banks aim was to bubble up the amount of mortgage that America was on the hook for. Only saying that's one possibility.

    Also, it'll be very interesting to figure out what the Chinese banks, basically owned by their state, had in mind in creating the huge bubble-up real estate situ. they're in right now. Was it a move to strip funds away from up and coming households? Will China have a clever solution when the thing imminently pops, as so many are now predicting? Will it just be a big, "See, this speculation/capitalist/free market thing will ruin all you people!" Or what? But, notice that a bubble was created here, in China, in Europe. Is there a big underlying plan, or is it just SNAFU?

  18. I have to say I´m not sure I would not do the same thing this guy did. I remember when I travelled to Argentina, I had decided to rent an apartment in buenos aires . The place was so nice that if I had been the owner and they had wanted to foreclosure it, I would have reacted in the same way!

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