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Should Celebrities Rescue Homeowners Facing Foreclosure?

Shaquille O'Neal's in-box has a couple thousand emails from homeowners across the country facing foreclosure in the near future. Word that a plan is in the works leaked out last week when Shaq visited Orlando City Hall to discuss a way for the basketball giant to help people stay in their homes.

The rough idea is that Shaq would buy the mortgages of people whose homes are in foreclosure, and then give the homeowner a new mortgage with more manageable terms. Curtis Cooper, an Orlando Realtor and mortgage broker working with O'Neal, relayed Shaq's sentiments: "He said 'Let's just go out and help as many people as we can.' He's sincere about it."

Should other celebrities follow this example to try and help the millions of homeowners facing foreclosure?

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ladychaos ladychaos 8 years
I'm siding with bingkaycoy since I live in an area where the foreclosure rate skyrockets. Do you think that people expected the gas prices to jump to $100 a barrel when they got their jobs 20 years ago? There are alot of factory workers in the midwest who depend on the automotive industry, which was booming until recently with all of the job exporting and the gas price issues? I personally know people who live in modest homes, who made decent salaries in their factory jobs, some gone to school, some haven't, who are all reeling from the fact that they were laid off. When you have a family, a buyout can only last for so long. Some of these children have both parents working at the plant. Yes, CEO's make poor decisions (and so do presidents), but who can say 20 years ago they didn't plan for this? By the way, I would like to mention that my mom (who has a b.s. in biology and a masters in project management) was laid off by Pfizer, like hundreds of other people in Michigan, because of dumb unforeseeable decisions that were made by a CEO as he was getting replaced. Luckily she found a job, but there are plenty of her co-workers who went from 6 figured salaried jobs down to working for $20 an hour part time for the hospital running labs. My point: I don't think its the responsibility for an athlete or any other wealthy person to pick up the tab, however, I think it was a nice gesture that he did so. Not to mention, our crappy society can use the pick me ups...after all, even with reading some of these comments, we have too many people that are so self involved they cannot see that there are many situations that can attribute to foreclosure (including the fact that it may take years to find another job, and its impossible to sell houses to downsize in this market).
ladychaos ladychaos 8 years
I'm siding with bingkaycoy since I live in an area where the foreclosure rate skyrockets. Do you think that people expected the gas prices to jump to $100 a barrel when they got their jobs 20 years ago? There are alot of factory workers in the midwest who depend on the automotive industry, which was booming until recently with all of the job exporting and the gas price issues? I personally know people who live in modest homes, who made decent salaries in their factory jobs, some gone to school, some haven't, who are all reeling from the fact that they were laid off.When you have a family, a buyout can only last for so long. Some of these children have both parents working at the plant. Yes, CEO's make poor decisions (and so do presidents), but who can say 20 years ago they didn't plan for this? By the way, I would like to mention that my mom (who has a b.s. in biology and a masters in project management) was laid off by Pfizer, like hundreds of other people in Michigan, because of dumb unforeseeable decisions that were made by a CEO as he was getting replaced. Luckily she found a job, but there are plenty of her co-workers who went from 6 figured salaried jobs down to working for $20 an hour part time for the hospital running labs. My point: I don't think its the responsibility for an athlete or any other wealthy person to pick up the tab, however, I think it was a nice gesture that he did so. Not to mention, our crappy society can use the pick me ups...after all, even with reading some of these comments, we have too many people that are so self involved they cannot see that there are many situations that can attribute to foreclosure (including the fact that it may take years to find another job, and its impossible to sell houses to downsize in this market).
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
I agree completely, caterpillar.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I Have to agree with Le Etiana, even reading the above post, The celebrities shouldnt be helping people who didnt look into the future, didnt read the fine print and didnt prepare for the worst. You shouldnt ever enter into an agreement that may or may not be feasible in the coming years economy wise or in case of lsot wages or family members By saying "they are not to be blamed" is wrong. While they couldnt forsee a job layoff or accident they must deal with the consequences and getting a handout isnt going to solve that, its live and learn and deal with it, not standing with a hand out to be able to afford something you clearly cannot support. There are ways to insure that if there is a death, that all things are taken care of. If Shaq helps them, is he obligated to help them in the future? is he paying an entire mortgage? is he paying for utilities, taxes on the land, home owners insurance, unemployment, food? why stop at the mortgage? No, these people need to pick up the pieces, and find help within themselves.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I Have to agree with Le Etiana, even reading the above post, The celebrities shouldnt be helping people who didnt look into the future, didnt read the fine print and didnt prepare for the worst. You shouldnt ever enter into an agreement that may or may not be feasible in the coming years economy wise or in case of lsot wages or family members By saying "they are not to be blamed" is wrong. While they couldnt forsee a job layoff or accident they must deal with the consequences and getting a handout isnt going to solve that, its live and learn and deal with it, not standing with a hand out to be able to afford something you clearly cannot support. There are ways to insure that if there is a death, that all things are taken care of. If Shaq helps them, is he obligated to help them in the future? is he paying an entire mortgage? is he paying for utilities, taxes on the land, home owners insurance, unemployment, food? why stop at the mortgage? No, these people need to pick up the pieces, and find help within themselves.
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 8 years
Le Etiana--I don't think it's no help at all. It takes a deeper perspective to know what's the real deal about this problem. Sometimes it takes a real experience of what these people have undergone that bring them into this hard situation. Most oftentimes, it 's not only about decisions that bring them into poverty. An example , would be probably, a job lay-off, medical bills, etc. ---things and conditions that you don't deliberate on based on decisions. They are not to be blamed. I was born so poor and grew up poor. We lived in a grasshut and ate rice with soy sauce for every meal. We couldn't even afford to buy shoes. Then we rose to become financially secure but the death of my father has brought us back to financial crisis that our house was foreclosed and left again wondering where would our next meal come from. So it's not right to blame people who are in financial crisis or people who are poor who really need extra help. And decisions , no matter how good they are may probably sound right today may fall short in the future. If you were in their shoes even for a day, I know you will not say those statements, for you will understand their hardships.
outofhere outofhere 8 years
As much as I applaud anyone, a celebrity or not who gives of their time and money in true service, this idea is full of holes. Are we not talking about a serious problem in our society, particularly an American society that is so hung up on material things, getting into debt in epidemic proportions? And most importantly buying homes with no down payment, non-fixed mortgages and well beyond income levels. Helping people in this way is no help at all in my opinion. It just teaches people that they don't have to be accountable for their poor decisions. And, it's not the governments job to take care of this problem either.
ladychaos ladychaos 8 years
I may not care for him on the court, but I got a warm and fuzzy feeling reading about his good deed. He is an awesome person, and I wish more people actually cared about the community.
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 8 years
I think it's not their obligation but it is really a laudable and benevolent act of charity and love for people. And these traits we all should have--to help others who are in need. But it should be the government's responsibility to deal with issues like these---helping these people manage their financial difficulties
mollygirl27 mollygirl27 8 years
Yes, he will get a tax break and yes, it wont fix the mortgage crisis- but if he can help even one family, maybe dozens of families, to keep their homes, he is doing a great thing. Imagine if you were facing having your home taken away from you- would you care about the tax break he is getting? or the fact that you keeping your house wont upright the economy? This is about helping people to stay in their homes, and keep their families afloat.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
I think it is very nice of Shaq to do this I do not care that he gets a tax break but at the end of the day it is the responsibility of the homeowners to fix their own mess. I would much rather see that money go to other programs not to people that created their own financal mess.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's really wrong for a celeb to help ppl - it's a nice sentiment, but it's just wrong in my eyes. i was getting upset when i heard about how the govt was picking and choosing the types of people that they would help with the mortgage stuff, because i have a mortgage that i can afford right now, becuase i was smart when i got it - and knew what my income was going to be. if people get mortgages for more than they can afford, then they should find solutions themselves. it's like you shouldn't live beyond your means to the extent that you won't be able to afford it.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's really wrong for a celeb to help ppl - it's a nice sentiment, but it's just wrong in my eyes.i was getting upset when i heard about how the govt was picking and choosing the types of people that they would help with the mortgage stuff, because i have a mortgage that i can afford right now, becuase i was smart when i got it - and knew what my income was going to be. if people get mortgages for more than they can afford, then they should find solutions themselves. it's like you shouldn't live beyond your means to the extent that you won't be able to afford it.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I think it’s very generous to actually think about the e-mails and formulate a plan; he could have just deleted the e-mails.
ImmaDiva ImmaDiva 8 years
I think this is amazing... that's incredibly nice of him to do.. he doesn't HAVE to do that but he is... imagine if everybody that could afford to do that did? We'd have a completely different world...
hmcmcd hmcmcd 8 years
Wow, it is incredibly generous of Shaq and even though I do feel badly for these people who are facing foreclosure they are the ones who got themselves into that mess, and I don't think it is anybody's responsibility to get them out except them. I think it would be better thought out if the extremely wealthy put their money towards improving people's lives through education, food, and transportation. There is no reason why in a country as wealthy as ours that children should go to school hungry or not have the means to a good education.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
Good point about the tax break. So basically, this is taking tax dollars away to spend on bailing out people who bought more house then they can really pay for.
MindayH MindayH 8 years
I think it is a good deed - and that is his choice, but the problem has gotten so bad that I don't think that this is going to be the solution we are looking for. Anyway, just because the terms are reasonable, doesn't mean that people will be able pay - and then what?
gooniette gooniette 8 years
I guess it's Shaq's way of investing in the American people who made him famous. It's a very nice idea.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
I guess it's Shaq's way of investing in the American people who made him famous. It's a very nice idea.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Meh, the celebs get a tax break anyway from all their monetary "good deeds"
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
I agree, it is a great thing for him to do but people shouldn't feel obligated to help.
silly3 silly3 8 years
I think it's incredibly generous and laudable, but no celebrity should feel obligated to help homeowners. While Shaq's gesture will help some families, it's basically a token gesture that won't be able to alleviate the crisis facing millions of homeowners.
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