Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mortgage stress

There are currently 14 million mortgages "underwater", or worth less than the amount owed, in the US with 6 million foreclosures in the last two years.
High unemployment or people with new jobs who can't move because they can't sell their houses, continues to pound the American psyche. Everyone is a loser.
There are 7 million homes in "shadow inventory" or bank owned homes sitting on their balance sheets that they either can't sell or will not sell because the prices are being kept down by the excess glut of homes on the market or foreclosed homes in the neighborhood. It is estimated that it will take 3 years to clear these homes off the books of the banks or mortgage companies that had to take them back. The current inventory of homes on the market is two times the average and will take an estimated 11 months to sell.
How in the hell are people supposed to cope with these impossible odds? The pure definition of stress is "lack of control" and with this scenario, it is impossible to escape the inevitable chronic stress which this dire environment creates for us all.
It is a situation that only facts and logic can help to ameliorate, but it still does not solve the problem. The millions of families that lose their houses or have to walk away is unprecedented and they are left with ridiculous options to continue living.
We believe the first order of business is to deal with your own personal situation in a rational and methodical manner. Get the facts, talk to professionals, review your finances, have open discussions with your family and friends and treat it as the "invasion" that it is. What can you do in a sane and legal manner to try and survive?
In addition, it is even more important to keep active and exercise, if you can, to burn up some of the harmful chemicals that are being secreted in your system due to the chronic stress (defined as continuous stress day to day). Meditate and pray. Communicate with your family and friends and discuss the reality of the situation and what your plans are to try and cope. Ask for advice from everyone you trust and let them know you are trying your best to overcome your dilemma. Everyone will understand and those that don't, screw them, since they are not worthy of your friendship.
Try to work out your finances with your bank or mortgage company. Don't be embarrassed or humiliated because of the situation, deal with it straight up because there are millions going through the same challenges, some with horrendous situations worse than yours.
It is going to take a few years to work itself out and you need to understand this as part of your overall plan. It will not be solved quickly and you are in for a long ride, so buckle your seat belt and confront it head on.
There will be sleepless nights, arguments, divorces, firings, relocations, bankruptcies and general carnage due to this mess and those that understand this will be better equipped to get through it and be better off for it.
It is all about "attitude" and those that face reality and deal with it accordingly will come out stronger and in a better mental state than those that choose to 'hide their head in the sand' or be embarrassed because they are in a humiliating situation.
Give it your best shot, be candid, and if you have a chance, stop by to see us at