Monday, December 10, 2007

Good luck, America. Good fucking luck.

Hey, I don't mean to be all braggy an'all, but listen: I am not a stupid person. I can supply evidence. In fourth grade I invented a working automatic dog feeder. In high school I firmly rooted my nerdiness when I discovered coolness wasn't an option and passed my Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry AP exams, and got to wear one of those yellow rope thingies at my high school graduation. I got an academic freaking scholarship to college and got an A in astro god damn physics my senior year. I went to (and I choose this moment to decide these rankings mean anything) a top-tier law school and passed the Golden State's notoriously tough Bar Exam the first time, while planes and trains collided outside the room. I can turn iron into gold and discovered the cure for cancer during a dream last night.

So answer me one thing: WHY CAN'T I UNDERSTAND THE TERMS OF MY FUCKING MORTGAGE?

I got my first bill the other day, and it includes this amount of money that I was told was a "grant." So I asked my lender, what's up with that? She said, remember we had that conversation? I said, the one where you explained it was a grant? That it was money from the government? That the money doesn't even go to the seller? That it was a GRANT? "Yeah, but also that it's included in your loan." THAT IS NOT WHAT GRANT MEANS. In fact at some times they used "grant" and "gift" interchangably to describe this money. I don't understand how I was supposed to divine that that a word that means "I'm going to give it to you for free" ACTUALLY within the terms of my mortgage means "But we're going to take it all back, slowly and painfully, over the next 30 years." THIS IS WHY THE FORECLOSURE NIGHTMARE IS FALLING OVER AMERICA PEOPLE. Because GRANT does NOT MEAN LOAN, all you sons of bitches in the lending industry.

I mean, I'm lucky. I'm in a decent financial position and this is not going to break my bank, though it probably will mean a few more brown bags at lunch time, and I'll still make money on the house in the end. But these were not the terms I agreed to. I'm just saying, if a reasonably well educated person can go through this whole process and not understand this significant term, is it such a surprise that people all over the country are getting totally, utterly fucked by this fucked up system?

Maybe I should have had my lawyer look over the contract. Right.

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