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Are Gas Prices the Real Reason For the Housing Crisis?

I'm already a fan of Scotty Iseri's politically-charged pop music — but when he puts together a Morgan Spurlock-esque explanation about how the housing crisis isn't really due so much to "predatory lending" and "reckless borrowing" but the cost of getting out to those McMansions my interest was piqued.

Scotty's piece studies Buffalo Grove, outside of Chicago, IL, where residents spend almost a quarter of their income on transportation cost, and nothing is accessible without getting behind a wheel. Showing how Buffalo Grove's houses have declined 8 percent in value, while Chicago — where it's possible to live close to everything you need without getting in a car has seen housing prices go up almost 10 percent, makes a lot of sense. Similar trends are happening in Portland, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles, where the draw of houses far away pales in comparison to that ubiquitous "pain at the pump."

What do you think? Is gas the real grinch?

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lexichloe lexichloe 7 years
The content of this post really doesn't make sense. Everyone knows the reason there is a mortgage crisis is b/c of the adjustable rate loans that companies approved 5 yrs ago. People were allowed to put NOTHING down on a $150,000+ loan, and that let SEVERAL people who could have never afforded homes, homes. Fast forward to now, and you see tens of homes for sell in any given neighborhood. Gas prices didn't make those people foreclose, the adjustable rates did.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
either way, people are stupid for driving cars that use a lot of gas. and those are usually the people who complain about gas and want to vote for mccain because of gas :(. the mortgage crisis was due to not enough regulation on the mortgage industry, and some people just being surprisingly dumb. i am guessing that some of the mortgage brokers were just as tricky as used-car salesmen.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
I wasn't talking about the lawsuits. I was talking about stories I heard on NPR about people who were told things about their mortgages that aren't true. I will try to find the stories if I can but it was a while ago so it may take me a bit.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
And the only proof provided is a link to lawsuits.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
What are you talking about? How do you get "all law suits are facts" from "some people were lied to by brokers."
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Fact? Proven? So all lawsuits are facts? All of them are the truth?
True-Song True-Song 7 years
Some people. And it's not even...this isn't a matter of opinion, it's a fact!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Torg, you put disclaimers on posts all you want. The message you are repeatedly saying is that people were lied to.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
>But, according to you, the lesson learned is, wow, someone must be blamed for this. I can't possibly be responsible. Big evil corporation is to blame. If this is honestly your take on my position, then you're either not reading my comments, you're choosing to misinterpret, or maybe just trying to be contrary. I don't know, but I don't know how to make myself more clear.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
and I am not defending it. It just is. That is sales. Most these people work on commision. If someone isn't lying to you, what is the problem? If you are dumb and get taken advantage of, guess what, you are a bit less dumb. Hopefully you learn a lesson. But, according to you, the lesson learned is, wow, someone must be blamed for this. I can't possibly be responsible. Big evil corporation is to blame.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Because Torg, that just goes right along with the huge problem of the lack of personal responsibility that is facing this country. You're right, it is a huge problem. So is credit card debt. So is bankruptcy. Which fits more with the other problems. Bad spending skills or poor people who are lied to?
True-Song True-Song 7 years
That is disgusting. It is one thing to put a positive spin on your product. It is quite another to deliberately lie or mislead someone for profits. I can't believe you would defend someone for tricking someone to make money. And I am not saying we need to bail people out, I am not saying people shouldn't do their homework. What I am saying it that there's blame on both sides. I honestly don't see what's so effing controversial about saying a huge, national, gigantic, messy mortgage crisis is all, 100%, with no other blame elsewhere, the fault of greedy people who wanted giant houses they couldn't afford.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Well, when you put it that way.....:wink:
organicsugr organicsugr 7 years
I'm with Torg on this one GS. Just because you don't have enough money to buy something doesn't mean that you can't afford it.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Torg, that's sales. Saying whatever you can to the particular buyer without actually lying. That goes for cars, insurance, wine, loans, tv's, everything. People make their beds, now they have to lie in them. That is just life. And this bailing people out all the time and blaming other people for our mistakes is a problem. Wait until you are on the stinky end of a moronic lawsuit. It sucks, trust me.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
I agree that everyone needs to read all of their paperwork and educate themselves before signing anything--it is their responsibility. I also think that mortgage brokers need to be honest and fair when dealing with home buyers--that's their responsibility. All I wanted to say originally is that's not "all on the people who wanted the big houses they couldn't afford." There were a lot of factors involved, and blaming one thing oversimplifies the issue.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Misleading or not, it is your responsibility to read the fine print. During the past 5 years all kinds of people wanted a slice of the pie and thought they could somehow get an adjustable rate mortgage and it wouldn't "adjust". With subdivisions popping up seemingly overnight and companies like country wide licking at the chops for anyone to sign, that should be the sign that you need to do your research. This victim mentality that this country has is going to be our undoing. The fact that whenever something happens to us it is always someone else's fault. The fact that someone can repeatedly not show up for bankruptcy hearings and absolutely screw the vendor, i.e. me, and nothing is done about it. We just need to learn and teach our children, "IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE ACTUAL MONEY IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, DON'T BUY SOMETHING!!!" Whether that be a mortgage or car payment, or just another frivolous need (flatscreen tv).
stephley stephley 7 years
The lawsuits are out there, but a lot of people are struggling to save their homes so court is a secondary thought. But here are some: July 2008: California officials expanded a previously filed lawsuit against Countrywide Financial Corp., adding allegations on Thursday that the mortgage lender rewarded staff for selling risky loans. The new claims amended a lawsuit filed on June 20 by the California attorney general's office accusing Countrywide of DECEIVING BORROWERS with misleading advertisements and other unfair practices. The latest filing said Countrywide paid higher commissions to agents who put borrowers into loans with higher rates and fees than they qualified for based on credit scores and other factors. The Center for Responsible Lending has put together a database that summarizes a sampling of the litigation targeting Countrywide. Because most of these cases are in their early stages, these allegations remain just that -- allegations. However, they do give a sense of the kinds of concerns that exist about Countrywide's practices. Cappuccio v. Prime Capital Funding LLC et al U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Complaint, filed November 2, 2007 Harden et al v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., et al U.S. District Court for Northern District of West Virginia, transferred from Circuit Court of Berkeley County, W.Va. Complaint, filed November 2, 2007 Gonzalez et al v. VCH Salinas I LLC et al. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose) Complaint, filed November 8, 2007 Loo v. Countrybank Bank, N.A. et al U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii Complaint, filed November 15, 2007 Zachary v. Countrywide Financial Corporation et al Texas Southern District Court Complaint, filed January 17, 2008
organicsugr organicsugr 7 years
Real-estate brokers explaining legal documents is very legally binding. They're always dead-on accurate in their interpretation. It doesn't matter that the contract is what you signed, not the lender or real-estate broker's explanation. Their explanation is legally binding, right UnDave?
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Actually, I have purchased a house. But I didn't need a loan.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
If you can prove the lender failed to disclose the aspects of the loan, then you can sue. Have you ever purchased a house? Have you ever sold a house? I've done both, and sat through the tedious signings of the loan documents, and the real estate documents. These are tedious because the real estate broker is required by law to go through the documents thoroughly before you sign, or the signature is invalid. It's the same way with the loan documents, so if you can prove that the lender failed to do so, the loan is forfeit. A good lawyer would ask about said proof, and then prosecute (DA). Disclaimer: This is the law WI, MN and IN. I am thinking it is the law in all states, but as Torg has pointed out, it is Saturday, and I am heading out to play (clean) out in the garage. :wave: See everyone tonight.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
UnDave, any good lawyer would tell you that the contract is the disclosure, and you can't prove they lied to you. And then they'd ask how you planned to pay them when you lost the case.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Since the provider of the loans must disclose all of the aspects of the loan, if they didn't the mortgage provider is responsible for the payment of that loan. If I was losing my house, and I knew I had been mislead, I'd bring the proof to the lawyer, and then I would be able to keep my house, and the mortgage would be taken care of. That's why I'm asking about the lawsuits. Being uneducated isn't the mortgage companies' fault.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
Okay, since I can't recall the exact details or the dates of the news stories I heard, I'll give up. I don't see how "Saying some were lied to is like saying all were lied to, if there is no proof to back up the statement." because that doesn't even make sense to me, nor do I see how uneducated people would automatically launch large scale law suits against the mortgage companies, but it's Saturday and I don't care to spend it doing research to remember where I learned about something.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
But you have no proof that some were lied to. Where are the lawsuits? Which mortgage companies are paying millions in restitution for their misdeeds? Saying some were lied to is like saying all were lied to, if there is no proof to back up the statement.
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