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Today Show Foreclosure Video: Is It Wrong To Strip Everything From Your House In Revenge Against Your Bank? 

Foreclosure Stripping...what are your thoughts?

This clip infuriates me. The behavior exhibited from the foreclosed-upon houseowners is criminal (but they'll never be charged), and is selfish beyond pale.  The bailout culture has become so prevalent that it has created an avenue for rationalizing even the most egregious self-comportment. 

"The banks have screwed us all so why can't I screw my bank?"

I don't have a moral problem with a typical debtor's revolt as it is usually in response to a unilateral, usurious hike of the interest rate on one's credit cards.  But to me personally, what we see in this video, is something entirely different. 

If you entered into a mortgage contract willingly and without coercion, do you have a right to destroy the property on your way out the door?

Let me hear your opinions.  The clip runs approximately 2 minutes.

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Reader Comments (31)

Finance Committee Democrat Won’t Read Text of Health Bill, Says Anyone Who Claims They’ll Understand It ‘Is Trying to Pull the Wool Over Our Eyes’

Important read.
Oct 3, 2009 at 11:55 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"Finance Committee Democrat Won’t Read Text of Health Bill, Says Anyone Who Claims They’ll Understand It ‘Is Trying to Pull the Wool Over Our Eyes’ "

I think I just had a mini-stroke.
Oct 3, 2009 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
On the other hand... this kind of talk will be very useful. I mean, if these drooling mouth-breathers (congress) can't understand what they're reading, then they sure as hell don't have any right to be legislating JACK SQUAT for their moral and intellectual betters (us). If you remember, John Conyers said something similar a while back -- but we expect that kind of crap from him. Now we're starting to see a pattern of this kind of behavior. The dumbasses have totally overreacted to the "Read the Bill !" harangues and they are so arrogant that they say they don't have to read the damn bill (you stupid rubes!). This is a green shoot, alright. Let's see what we can do to nurture it and see what kind of fruit it will bear.

I have to admit my admiration for the reporter doing the interview. How he refrained from hitting the son of a bitch is beyond my ken.
Oct 3, 2009 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Yeah...i agree james...i'm breaking my rule about discussing health care and preparing a post for the main page on this one...
Oct 3, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
It's not about rights but about law.

Rights are guaranteed in the Constitution and the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution.
State laws are passed and state law enforcement agencies try to enforce them. Lawyers and judges determine legality and illegality of individual and group behavior and sometimes the State and United States Supreme Courts rule on the Constitutionality of laws.

Legislatures write the laws and its no coincidence that most politicians are lawyers.

The behavior of the homeowners is clearly illegal. I doubt if any Supreme Court would rule that it isn't. I doubt if many politicians will try to change the law to let them strip their houses either.

Many people have argued that the American legal system is broken but their arguments always seem to fall on deaf ears. Maybe people can't hear any more because of all the loud music.

Both the legal and health care system are broken for at least the bottom 75% of Americans. The top 1% love it. They own 40% or the wealth while the bottom 50% own 3% of the wealth. That is not a typo. I wish it was.

You will start to see these people going to jail when the politicians think it feasible politically. The poor are always ready for a revolution and if the rich didn't have thousands of years experience suppressing them it would happen tomorrow. But they do and it wont.
Oct 3, 2009 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Street
Heck, yes, this is wrong. Her excuse "I need money to pay my bills" is weak--welcome to the club, sweetheart, we ALL need money to pay bills. We don't go stealing stuff, though. Next thing that's going to happen is banks won't wait "x" months to kick someone out--it'll be much sooner, and with some bully-type escort to boot. These people are making it much harder on the people who will lose their homes down the road. It's so selfish, but I guess it's the example we see from higher up in the food chain, so what else can you expect? Go on, take the money and run. Doesn't anyone have pride anymore?
Oct 3, 2009 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterSonic Ninja Kitty

You nailed it. If Goldman Sachs doesn't have to take responsibility for their own mistakes, then why should Joe House Hog in Miami? I tell you, I will have a very hard time paying my taxes next spring. Really, really hard. I'm trying to think of some way to fuck around with them, without going to jail. Any ideas? Maybe I'll actually write the check, but tell every congressman, politician, bureaucrat and journalist I can think of that I'm not paying my taxes this year and here's why. I wouldn't do what the people in this clip are doing, but Miami has a great reputation for strippers, so strip away! It really doesn't bother me one bit. And when you consider that these houses are under water by 30% or more on average, does it really make all that much difference? I believe almost absolutely in property rights, but that's not what's at stake here.
Oct 3, 2009 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
In society today no one wants to be responsible for their actions. The first women who cried about the loan the banks gave her should realize no one put a gun to her head when she signed the papers. Do I feel sorry for her, HELL NO. You make choices in life, its called freewill. It is not my fault you were STUPID!!!! We need to stop making excuses for bad behavior. As I tell my son, " Man up", you screwed up, accept the consequences. Just because YOU failed to make payments or you got in over your head is not my fault or the banks. Stealing is stealing! You are not justified in actions because of your own stupidity.
Oct 3, 2009 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMary G
"In society today no one wants to be responsible for their actions. ... You make choices in life, its called freewill. It is not my fault you were STUPID!!!! We need to stop making excuses for bad behavior. As I tell my son, " Man up", you screwed up, accept the consequences. Just because YOU failed to make payments or you got in over your head is not my fault... Stealing is stealing! You are not justified in actions because of your own stupidity."

I agree 100%, actually. But what we really need is a news segment showing Lloyd Blankfein cashing his paycheck, or Goldman's CFO going over their books showing exactly where the $13B "from AIG" (i.e. the US Treasury) went. Or maybe a segment with Ken Lewis showing how they trade crap assets for cash from the Fed and then go buy Treasuries, get paid interest by the taxpayer, and then bank the spread. Yeah, I agree. Stealing is wrong, even if you are as stupid as Chuck Prince or Joe Cassano or the lady from Miami who took out that "ridiculous" mortgage. Like I say, I wouldn't strip the house, but then again, I didn't buy a house I couldn't afford at prices I knew were way too high. But on the third hand, this kind of crap shouldn't be at all surprising when you live in a country run by the likes of Barack Obama and George Bush, for the benefit of people like Jamie Dimon and Vikram Pandit. Mary G, I suggest you touch up what you wrote above and send it to the CEO's of Goldman, BofA, Citi, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, et al. and also send it to the Treasury Secretary and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve -- they're the ones who are stealing on a MASSIVE scale and getting away with it. They're the ones who haven't learned the kind of lessons I teach my children every day.
Oct 3, 2009 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
James H

Do you think we could get a tea-partyesque movement together to stop millions from paying taxes in April? There is enough time. The problem would be verifying that others are really not paying. You wouldn't want to join this movement and then discover everyone else chickened out.

I have heard that tax paying is not actually mandated by law. You can find lots of stuff about it on the internet. Hmmm....
Oct 3, 2009 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSonic Ninja Kitty

I say we talk to the Tea Party people and to the C4L folks - they've got the mailing lists and phone numbers to get the message out. I'm serious about this. I was talking about this back in March/April, but there just wasn't time for people to get on board. Only now are the bailouts starting to get some MSM coverage (Dylan Ratigan, e.g.). But we really need to show them who has the power. They just don't get it. We could hook in on the "I'm not reading the bill because it's too complicated" theme, too. I mean, how the hell are you being "represented" if no one's reading the laws they're voting for?

The thing about not paying taxes vs. chickening out is that even if people delayed paying by a month or so, it would still send a message, I think. Even if there were "only" a million or so not paying their taxes, it would take a LONG time for the IRS to deal with those cases.

I'm thinkng out loud here, but I am serious. Let's make it our Fall 2009 Project -- organize a tax revolt. Put it on our calenders, right next to "Johnny soccer practice" and "Suzie buying lunch."
Oct 3, 2009 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
My response was only to the video of stripping homes. Our bankers and CEO's are responsible for capitalism at its worst but that is the culture of most members of society. Golden parachutes on the backs of workers is unfair. Jobless to make teh bottom line look better is wrong. I don't think that one wrong justifies another. That response only continues in misdeeds.
Oct 3, 2009 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMary G
Some interesting commentary...the not paying your taxes idea is attractive but it's tough to implement as James and SNK reasoned...first of all it could get you in a lot of trouble if they decide to focus on you...and if you lead the movement they will most definitely focus on you...

They do not get you immediately...it takes a few years before the letters would intensify...now a tax payment delay could really send a message and would pose no risk to you...there is a penalty assessed but you could 'protest' by not paying the penalty...after all as part of the AIG bailout, there were original penalties built into the first deal that were scrapped when they re-negotiated...

So you could make a legit case not to have to pay the penalty...not legally but symbollically...and they might just give up trying to collect it if enough people did it...so not paying in protest for let's say 12 months, could really send a message and pose no risk to you...but i'm just thinking out loud and am not advocating that anyone do this...too much legal risk...

As for the Constitutionality of a federal income tax, there is a lot of interesting history there...

Oct 3, 2009 at 9:32 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Marek Edelman, Commander in Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dies at 90

READ THIS...awesome and inspiring...i've often wondered what it would have felt like to a teenage kid in the warsaw ghetto...
Oct 3, 2009 at 9:38 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
How about a movement where we ask everybody to file for an extension (or two, three--I'm not sure haw many you are allowed)? That is perfectly legal. Imagine tens of millions of people doing it.

It's nice that everybody is so concerned about following the law. I mean, what with congress persons not even READING the bills they pass, that sticky subject of the Federal Reserve being unconstitutional, and so many unenumerated powers being wielded these days and all....
Oct 4, 2009 at 12:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterSonic Ninja Kitty
Oh boy! do I have a lot to say about this one.

First of all, I will shed no tears for banks. They were the ones who decided it was OK to deviate from traditional lending standards. This kind of behavior basically didn't happen in the old school "20% down" world. The borrower had skin in the game, and even in default, could probably walk away with something by selling the house. All this changes when you sign up people who never saved 5 grand in their lives for $500,000 mortgages. And let's not forget, these people drove up prices on everyone, so even responsible people had to borrow more or live smaller.

So the real estate bubble was driven by jack-asses who thought they were big time because some mortgage broker told them they could borrow half a million. Now they're finding out they ain't so special after all and they're pissed, blaming others and acting out. This can't surprise anyone, can it?

I see the reverberations of this everywhere I go. People acting like douche-bags at children's soccer games, Wal-mart and everywhere else. I'll swear to you that I can pick out the people who can't pay their bills and want to make everyone else miserable because of it. And understand, their hardship is the direct result of their own arrogance (the life they could afford just wasn't good enough for them). When the numbers get big enough, what was once an aberration becomes "normal."

And the worst part is I don't think this problem is going away anytime soon....
Oct 4, 2009 at 12:37 AM | Unregistered Commentermark mchugh
To James H and SNK,

I feel your pain, really I do. A couple towns over from me, there's a town that's got a rather large undesirable element in it. Whenever I drive through, the cops always have some Mom in a mini-van pulled over. Know why? Because those tickets get paid. They know the meth-head with the unregistered Dodge Daytona ain't paying (plus he's dangerous) so they leave him alone. It's so unfair, but I'll bet those cops would taser a Mom in front of her kids if she tried to call them on it.
Oct 4, 2009 at 1:21 AM | Unregistered Commentermark mchugh
I'm no fan of the banks, but people stripping their houses are assholes. As are the ones who pour concrete down the sinks to ruin the plumbing. And I've heard of more than one case where foreclosed families abandoned their pets in the house before leaving, without providing adequate food and water. Where does vengeance against the bank fit into that behavior? The simple answer is it doesn't. Some people are just jag-offs with a malicious streak.

To be sure, I'm not one of the goofballs who believe that individual citizens are obligated to do the "honorable" thing and stay in a house that they can't afford and are legally allowed to walk away from. Corporate citizens give a rat's ass about concepts like honor; they'll do every last thing that's permissible in a contract, without apology. Turnabout is fair play.

But vandalism isn't, and the pet abandonment gives us insight into what low-lives some of the "little guys" are. "Big guys" don't have a monopoly on dickery.
Oct 4, 2009 at 3:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAssassin
Hey DB,

I think we gotta cut and paste some of these on different posts. I want to put my two cents in but don't know where to start?
I have a problem multi-tasking...sorry. Oh and by the way, your site is my home page now.
Oct 4, 2009 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell W (Phoenix, AZ)
I have advocated weakening the banks and shoring up the family balance sheet by not paying credit cards, http://dontpaycreditcards.com I personally would not trash a house, but I wasn't there, I wasn't one who fell in love with a house, got told by my real estate company that I would have no problem refinancing in the future, and was told by David Lereah that real estate always goes up.

So it is hard to find fault with the anger people feel with being scammed. And the problem is they were scammed from the beginning. The off balance sheet banking was allowed by the Bank of International Settlements, and the scam was brought to our shores by the Fed looking the other way, as the BIS tool that our central bank is.

Itwas no random "black swan" but rather a cold calculated way to scam the average Joe in the US and in other parts of the world, with tight money and stealing from the treasury to follow. It is almost patriotic to trash your home given the fact that the US has been scammed and robbed by international bankers: http://bank-abuse.com/TowerofBasel.html
Oct 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterGary Anderson

I agree with you, even if I didn't make that clear. My point was these people were always assholes, but the banks shot their egos up with steroids five years ago, thus creating a race of "super-assholes" who can't pay their bills. To me, the problems they create for the banks are secondary to the problems they're creating for society in general.
Oct 4, 2009 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered Commentermark mchugh
"My point was these people were always assholes, but the banks shot their egos up with steroids five years ago, thus creating a race of "super-assholes" who can't pay their bills."

Feel free to correct my German, but wouldn't this give us our version of the Superman -- the "Uber-Arschloch"?
Oct 4, 2009 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H

What's your view on our little "tax delay" idea? I think SNK's idea of filing for extensions borders on brilliant. (My mom says my aunt has filed for an extension every year for the last twenty, so I know it's no big deal.) Imagine if there were suddenly 3 million extra people filing for extensions. A well connected media campaign around and after April 15 would be essential. I'm not sure about beforehand. Maybe surprise would be better so's they don't go changin' the laws on us. Any ideas? Anyone? Ken, Spidey? I say we pitchfok 'em where it really hurts, even if we miss out on the fun of getting tazed or shot.

Who here works with C4L -- allie, SNK? What do you think their take on this would be? I think it could be done, one way or another. We should also think about putting our Congress people on notice. Make 'em a little nervous when they get hundreds of "I might not even pay my taxes next year!" letters. We might even make some cautious allies, esp among the Republicans (they're idiots, so let's make them useful).

I'm serious about this. I say we take it as far as we can -- not that we'd break any laws, of course. But it could be a powerful way to send a message. Who's up for giving it the old college try?
Oct 4, 2009 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Hey Russell--Just jump in anywhere! It's informal in here :)

James H--I'm sure C4L would not do anything to jeopardize it's credibility and/or antagonize the government. They focus on public education and influencing legislation via communication with members of Congress. Free speech (i.e. writing to representatives and expressing opinions at legal assemblies) is completely different from organizing a tax filing disruption, legal as it may be. There are many other groups/people out there, though. Glenn Beck, anyone?

I think it should be about sending a message, not about 'not paying taxes' (we will be paying them anyway, sure as death). We need to say "We are trusting you to use our money carefully but you are not. We are concerned. Get your bleeping act together!"
Oct 4, 2009 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSonic Ninja Kitty
I think it should be about sending a message ... We need to say "We are trusting you to use our money carefully but you are not. We are concerned. Get your bleeping act together!"

Absolutely. That's definitely the hook we need. I'll have more to say later.
Oct 4, 2009 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Here's my take on "tax revolt." The government, by it's own admission, already knows its tax revenues are in a freefall. They also have made it abundantly clear that they've got no problem "printing up the difference." So you can win the battle and still lose the war (Zimbabwe-style!).

I reluctantly tell you that although a nice guy (really, I am), I was born with an evil, criminal mastermind brain. I mean, if I had been born into the bin Laden family, everyone would be calling Osama "Fredo." The plans I have for 100% legal, civil disobedience that would really, really disrupt things could have disastrous unintended consequences. I was going to write an article called "Project Mayhem for Dummies", but what the hey, here goes:

1) Demand payment in Nickels from your bank - the Nickel has a melt value 87% face value, so its legal tender now that will be a safe store of value (as metal) should the dollar collapse continue (which it will).

2) Remove your saving from the bank - get a safe deposit box, cash out your account, walk ten feet and put it in the box. You weren't earning any interest anyway, and with the way fractional reserve banking works, the bank will have to shrink it's balance sheet by ten times the amount you withdrew. $100,000 in a deposit box means the bank has to call $1,000,000 in loans.

3) If you are one of the Americans "circling the drain" and will almost certainly be filing bankruptcy in the next couple years, max out your credit buying gold and platinum (very portable wealth), then stiff everybody. Walstreetpro2 deserves credit for that one.

4) Close your trading account and take your money "off the grid" using the methods described above.

5) Now, if steps 1-4 are actually going to happen, it would make sense to cash out your retirement funds, and pay the taxes BEFORE the shit hits the fan. Because once it does credit will dry up (even for Uncle Sam) and taxes will go through the roof!

To me, tax revolt's not a good solution, because the government doesn't even collect enough now to cover it's spending. The above is a plan for "deficit revolt."

Oh and my caveat for all this is that things will get very ugly, very quickly, but it may be our best chance to get back on track.
Oct 4, 2009 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered Commentermark mchugh
Mark you evil genius, you!
Oct 4, 2009 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSonic Ninja Kitty
Its hard to feel any sympathy for the banks and mortgage lenders. Had they not lied to people about the terms of their mortgages, in the first place, this would never have happened. I don't see many people coming to the rescue of the homeowners who were probablt told one thing by their closing agents and reps, and when they get down the road and they change the terms of the agreements, and THEN inform the homeowners. Who is out there protecting PEOPLE from the lies and misrepresentation of the agreements that caused this in the first place? Conumer Protection Agencies sure aren't doing their job.
Enforce the laws. Make these companies accountable for their actions to the homeowners and then make the homeowners accountable, as well. Seem like the one with the most money gets the laws enfored anymore. Not what the law says or about what is right.


This comment was submitted to me by email...
Oct 5, 2009 at 8:34 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Yes, there are some banks that did not act properly but if people do not take the time to read what they sign, shame on them. No one group is at fault but a mix of greed, more greed, and stupidity. I don't have a degree in fiance but Ifigured this was eventually going to happen. It does't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Most of the people that lost their homes are due to their own greed. Now they are crying, someone should have told me. Common sense tells me that if you make 40K a year you can't afford a 200K house. If you think you deserve it because the good Lord graced us with your presense you are highly mistaken. People need to begin to act responsibly for their own actions and quit blaming everyone else because "I didn't know". When you sign your name to a legal document you accept responsibility for the terms, not me, not your bank, and not all those who live by the rules of life.
Oct 5, 2009 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterMary G
I agree Mary...very well stated...just wanted to add the opinions of all...which is why I submitted the comments i received by email....
Oct 5, 2009 at 10:51 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I have no sympathy for the banks. The truth is they had alot to do with making $90,000.00 houses end up at $200K. They also had alot to do with scamming people who make $40K into believing they could afford a $200K house. The way they blew up the housing bubble, two years ago $200K was low Income housing in Denver and Las Vegas. I guess if you don't make $100K a year your not supposed to have a house? I reckon it's time to raise the minimum wage so working folks can have a home. I also think destroying a home is wrong. Vote out the corrupt Politicians who allowed the situation to get to this point, if you don't pay your taxes the sheep who believe the Government is always right will show up at your front door with badges and firearms.
Oct 5, 2009 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush

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