RUSH: We’ll start in Orlando, Florida. Diane, thank you for calling. Great to have you here with us.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How you doing?
RUSH: Fine, thank you.
CALLER: I’m like a poster child for what’s happening in this economy. I was laid off by a large bank in December. I immediately called about my mortgage, because of this modification situation and was told that they don’t do modifications. So they suggested I short sell my house.
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, just a second. Let’s go back here to the beginning. You got laid off by a large bank in December.
RUSH: You knew at that point that you would not have any steady income for a while but you still had to make your mortgage payment correct?
CALLER: Right, because of what I did for a living I sort of anticipated that this is not going to be a viable option the next probably two years.
RUSH: Right. So you called who about your mortgage modification situation?
CALLER: I called the banks. The first people I called was my mortgage lender. I came home and talked to my husband, we looked at our money and said, okay, this isn’t a viable option, so I called my lender and told them what the story is.
RUSH: Okay. Wait, wait. Don’t move too quickly here for me.
RUSH: So you get laid off, you realize you gotta make your mortgage payment. Did you say you work in the mortgage department at the bank that laid you off?
CALLER: No, I was a recruiter at the bank.
RUSH: All right, okay, you were a recruiter.
RUSH: What, recruiting clients?
CALLER: I was a legal recruiter for a large bank. I recruited the attorneys that worked for one of the largest banks.
RUSH: Oh, you’re a headhunter.
CALLER: But inside the bank.
RUSH: Inside the bank.
RUSH: An internal headhunter.
RUSH: So they laid you off because there were no heads they needed hunted because they weren’t hiring. But you still have to pay your mortgage.
RUSH: Now at this time, had the president-elect, had anybody in the government announced — because this was December, so he wasn’t immaculated yet.
RUSH: Had anybody in the government announced a mortgage rescue plan that you could avail yourself of?
CALLER: Well, they had talked about it. So after they said that there’s nothing they can do — and the other problem we had is that we were current on our montage, which we always have been.
RUSH: Oh, well, see that’s a problem. If you’re way behind, you would have been able to get help.
CALLER: Exactly. And that’s what they said to me, that you have to stop making your mortgage payments, and then I said, ‘Well, this doesn’t really go to what we do. We have excellent credit; we don’t owe anybody anything; we own our cars; we pay everybody on time and that’s not something that we’re comfortable with,’ and then, ‘Well, then there’s nothing anybody can do. They’ll just foreclose on you if you wind up not being able to make your payments.’ So we waited until he came into office and again I did everything they said, I wrote letters and did everything I needed to. And in the meanwhile, I had called our new congressman — I’m in Orlando, and we have a new very wacky congressman. I called his office because I understood retraining was going to be part of all these packages, so I offered to get retrained to do anything to get a job, and they told me they didn’t know where I could go for this retraining, but they knew it was part of the package.
RUSH: Now, wait, wait, wait. What month did this happen?
CALLER: This is all in late January after he was anointed. I called then because I thought, okay, if this is all in process, then right after he said, you know, we had to save everybody and we need all this money to save the mortgages, I called immediately, I started making my phone calls saying, ‘Okay, here’s our situation.’ And, you know, ‘Can anybody help us?’
RUSH: All right, let’s cut to the chase. Have you been foreclosed on?
CALLER: No, they just started the process.
RUSH: You’re still unemployed?
CALLER: Yes, but looking.
RUSH: Okay. It’s tough.
CALLER: It’s very tough because hiring attorneys is not something that’s going to come back soon. That’s why I called and thought I could get retrained. I’ll do anything, it doesn’t matter.
RUSH: Well, now, wait a minute. I’m always puzzled by this retraining business. What do you want to get retrained to do?
CALLER: I don’t know.
RUSH: What do you love?
CALLER: Well, I loved what I did.
RUSH: Yeah, but it’s not available to you unless you want to start your own business doing it.
CALLER: Right. Right. I was interested in doing paralegal work because there will always be paralegals for bankruptcy attorneys in this economy or I could go into nursing or anything, I would do whatever was available.
RUSH: All right, but the point of your call is that despite all the promises for assistance with your mortgage and to be retrained, having lost your job, there has been zilch, zero, nada?
CALLER: Nothing and to add insult to injury the bank suggested that we do a short sell on our home since we’re in central Florida and my home is worth less than what we owe on it.
RUSH: So you’re under water.
CALLER: Right. We put it for short sell, we got an offer immediately and now the bank has come back to us and said they’ll only agree to the short sale if we make up the difference between what the people have offered and what we owe on it so —
RUSH: They’re not willing to work with you on this?
CALLER: No. And our Realtor said, well, if that was the case, if they had that much money wouldn’t they just save their own home —
RUSH: I can’t believe what I’m hearing.
CALLER: Oh, yeah. And it goes on and on because then what we had originally been told is that it will be okay on our credit because it’s a short sale, not a foreclosure. So then last week I called a mortgage broker and just said, you know, we’d be interested, we have children with special needs so we like to be settled down.
RUSH: What’s the big lesson you’ve learned here?
CALLER: Don’t believe anybody. You’re in it for yourself. Save yourself. I don’t trust the government at all.
RUSH: Ah! There you go. You got to amend ‘don’t believe anybody,’ to ‘don’t believe a government promise.’ Virtually every circumstance you encountered was supposed to have relief.
RUSH: You were supposed to be able to go to a website or make a phone call and all would be okay. The president of the United States has been on television repeatedly since he was immaculated assuring people. Now, your problem, as you identified at the very beginning of your call is you were never behind on a payment. Your credit was good. Therefore, you are not a target of assistance. You are a target to be damaged. The solution — and you also nailed this — self-reliance, your own self-interest. You’ve learned who you can’t depend on. You know you can depend on yourself and your husband. So snap to.