Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Foreclosure Dogs" - Surely the End is Near?

Congratulations to the New England Patriots! 16-0. Pretty amazing. Hats off to the NY Giants as well as they played their best game of the last 2 years. Playoffs are upon us and I love the NFL playoffs.
More snow is coming for Massachusetts tonight. Seriously, this has got to stop. The wife and I are already getting out late March vacation plans started. We usually visit the Sandals Resort, the royal bohemian the last 3 years. Has anyone here tried other Sandals Resorts? If so please leave a comment about which one you tried and your personal experience.

"Foreclosure Dogs" - Surely the End is Near?
In the latest sign that the end of the world is at hand, I found this news piece while looking over a local news website today. The Boston.com website was describing a large increase in the number of pets left at local shelters lately, and then they cite a news item from Columbus Ohio that is too amazing to miss:
Foreclosure pets
Housing meltdown hits dog shelter
Saturday, December 22, 2007 3:00 AM
By Barbara Carmen
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
First, Charity Mead lost her job; then her home; and then, in September, her dogs. That's when she started to cry.
"It took me a good month to stop crying over Rocky and Precious," Mead said. "I made my husband take them to the dog shelter. I couldn't bring myself to do it. It was like giving up one of your kids.
"But I didn't have anywhere to keep them."
As a pet owner struggling in a bad economy, Mead is not alone.
Nearly 20 percent of the 182 people who deposited dogs at the Franklin County Dog Shelter by mid-month said they were being evicted, as were the Meads.
"There's even a national term for it: 'foreclosure dogs,' " said the shelter's director, Lisa Wahoff. "We started seeing it more about 18 months ago, people writing 'foreclosure' or 'financial reasons' on their surrender forms."
The number of foreclosures filed in Franklin County is rising by about 2,200 a year. Last year, it jumped to 8,875.
Last week, the shelter on Alum Creek Drive recorded its own record number: 360 dogs in a building meant to hold 250. About half are economic orphans.

County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy said foreclosure dogs tell the bigger story. "That's an incredible marker when you're giving up a member of your family," she said.
In December 2005, when foreclosures were lower in the county, only 12 owners surrendered their dogs. Last December, 209 were turned in, 28 of which came during the four days before Christmas.
Many owners are tearful as they say goodbye. Others stoically pull their pets from their children's arms in the shelter lobby.
"If you're going to go into foreclosure, call the shelter early so you can get your ducks in a row," Wahoff said. "Don't wait. We can help."

Full Article: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2007/12/22/DOGOUT.ART_ART_12-22-07_A1_GU8RQJ6.html

This story is both sad and telling. Not only is the wave of "subprime" home buyers over the last 3-4 years totally ignorant and foolishly speculative, they cannot even properly take care of pets as well. Care to take a guess at how well the children of such people are faring?

Perhaps Treasury Secretary Paulson can start a new plan called "Hope Now For Pets" where foreclosures can be delayed until suitable housing for the mutts can be found. I probably should not have written that, as we are in an election cycle!

Seriously, this piece highlights the number one reason why the housing bust is going to be bigger and longer than anybody is thinking. You cannot assume anything about the current crop of upside down mortgage holders. Maybe most will hang on. More likely most will talk a walk. If you are so financially stretched as to not even be able to properly care for your pet, I fail to see any reason why a credit rating or a bankruptcy will bother you. This is a key point. Using historical models of borrower behavior during a market downturn is fatally flawed because the new age borrower is a different animal. This is why analysts and commentators are continually stunned at how fast and deep this bust is proceeding. It is indeed "different this time", but not in a good way.

I have a new poll up tonight, please vote!

Have a good night.

27 comments:

TexasRadio said...

Regarding that last, I would argue that "Human nature doesn't change." Given an overly permissive credit environment, fostered by the financial innovation of securitized consumer debt, it wouldn't matter if this were the Rome of pre-Christian antiquity. The economic collapse would be the same. So in that respect, this time is most certainly not different.

As for media ignorance, as other commentators have pointed out, nobody believes an economic collapse is even remotely possible until after they have occured.

Anonymous said...

texasradio

I have to agree with you I witnessed a local RE boom bust in the 80's this is the same thing only on a much grander scale. People paid to much, borrowed to much, credit tightened and the ones who didn't lose their homes to foreclosure simply walked away due to how up sided down they were. While I don't think this will lead to an economic collapse at least not yet I believe I well prepared if that were to happen tomorrow.

In the future the US losing the dollar reserve currency status and following the fate of all empires is more of a concern to me. We are not yet at that point in my opinion but we are well on our way.

Kevin

Russ DoGG said...

Unpredictable? MAxed out is more like it.

I like dogs and think that this is really sad. Don't take any joy in this like I enjoy seeing the arrogant flippers lose their shirts and getting humiliated.

watchtower said...

Kevin said:


In the future the US losing the dollar reserve currency status and following the fate of all empires is more of a concern to me. We are not yet at that point in my opinion but we are well on our way.



Folks, we have a winner, this is also where I think we are headed, I doubt if it will be next year(no crystal ball here), but the pieces ARE lining up.
I would bet that most of the people who visit this site have studied the fall of Rome, and I have looked into it myself a time or two. Currently I have been reading a book my brother gave me titled "How the Irish Saved Civilization" by Thomas Cahill, this book brought an insight into the fall of Rome that I have yet to see anywhere else. It`s hard not to draw a comparison between the waning days of Rome, and our current situation in the United States.

@ Getyourselfconnected
Congratulations on your Patriots!

Edgar said...

Smug on the way up, sniveling victims on the way down. I feel sorry for those dogs even in the good times I'm sure they were neglected by their dumb-assed owners. Those pets are better off dead than being cared for by the criminal rabble.

calvino said...

This story is so sad, especially the part with the parents yanking the animal from the children. I lost a dog when I was very young, and I cried one week every night. I was not a crybaby and fought more than most in my school.. but losing the dog was overwhelming. What the heck are we coming to here?

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