I was given the following letter by a friend who received it in the mail from a local real estate agent. I have redacted the names and places at the agent's request, but it is a powerful statement of why we are Occupying Wall Street.
Oct. 20, 2011
The home at XXXXX was foreclosed upon on Oct. 4, 2011. I want to explain what happened in the 271 days that I had this property on the market as a short sale. A short sale is when there is more money owed on the home that it is worth.
I brought XXXX bank 17 offers over a 9 month period in which they turned them all down. I even had an all cash offer where a buyer said he would close in 7 days with no inspections. The bank's goal was to foreclose and wipe out the lender in second position. With the second gone, their profit margin is greater. The negotiator at XXXX bank made it quite clear that they do not concern themselves with what happens to property values in a neighborhood when they foreclose. It is strictly a numbers game to the guy sitting behind the desk.
The bank gave the listing to an agent in a city who has nver sold a property in your county.
The home in question, which is now abandoned and for sale, was owned by a fully-employed surgeon who got into financial trouble when his wife died after a long and expensive illness and with probate, he missed some payments. He could have done a short sale and paid off the mortgage, but the bank- one of the nation's largest - saw an opportunity to profit from his loss. Now he is houseless and well as a widower.
This is why we are Occupying Wall Street.