SHOW SOME OF THAT GOOD OLD AMERICAN OUTRAGE!: DON’T LEAVE YOUR HOME, STOP BLAMING YOURSELF FOR WHAT YOU DIDN’T DO, AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT YOU CAN DO — KEEP YOUR HOME!!!
In my Saturday morning studies I ran across the following article that got me to thinking about how exhausted we are mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 20 million households had their wealth, their equity in their homes, stolen from them under circumstances where if they had been told the truth they never would have signed the deal. They are entitled, each and every one of them to be restored to the position they were in before they were defrauded — including the people who already lost their houses. But nearly all of them have accepted the lies of the media and the lenders and Wall Street that somehow their predicament is their own fault. That is not true.
The only thing that is your fault is if you allow the lenders to take your houses even though they have been paid in full already once, twice and sometimes even three times.
57% of people who get a foreclosure notice simply leave their homes without giving a thought to whether they were the victim of fraud and whether they have a right to retain their home. Many of these people emphasize a personal philosophy of taking personal responsibility and not blaming others for your misfortune. But they do themselves and their country a disservice by not living up to their own personal responsibility to hold onto what they have and fight for what the U.S. Constitution calls “due process.”
If you leave your home without a fight are you “playing by the rules” or are you modeling cowardice despite clear laws that state explicitly that you were tricked, fooled and deceived into losing the only asset you had so that criminals could grab it for themselves. Are you playing by the rules or conspiring with these criminals to break the rules? Are you modeling courageous behavior standing up for what is right or cowardice that will be carried on for generations?
After the 57% leave their homes without a fight, another 42% engage in delay tactics without ever taking the effort to REALIZE THAT THEY NEED NOT DELAY THE PROCESS, THEY CAN WIN THE PROCESS. Eventually they leave with a cash for keys deal or some minor settlement for damages that is a fraction of what they are entitled to receive.
OK that leaves 1%. Those are the only ones that fight — with or without a lawyer. They file papers in court, they file papers in the county records to make sure that “buyers” are on notice that title is not clear, and is subject to the rights you have as a homeowner, they show up at the auction and tell people that they have filed those papers and that anyone who bids is buying a lawsuit. They sue for damages, for non-compliance with federal and state laws, for fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, for identity theft, slander of title, quiet title and dozens of other legitimate causes of action.
Half of that 1% get modifications of their loans that slice off around 50% of the balance due on the note, forgive all the attorney fees, forgive all other fees, and even forgive the tax payments. They get a fixed rate mortgage at a reasonable rate that they can afford. And the really interesting part is that the investors who were defrauded into buying mortgage backed securities get value restored to their investment by a performing loan — without 700 billion dollars changing hands.
The other half are those that fight to the end. Our records show they end up with their house free and clear of any mortgage or note without any payments except taxes and insurance. More than 300 so far official. 3,000 other cases have ended in dismissal of the lender’s foreclosure and despite the lender’s right to re-enter the proceeding they failed to do so. Those people are now clearing title as well. Thousands of other cases have had similar results but are not reported to us.
With the coming change in political administration these thieves are taking one last giant bite out of our futures. Are you going to do something about it, or teach your children that if someone hurts them, if someone means them harm, let it happen?
This is the article that provoked me to write this piece.
Torah Portion: Bereishit
by Adam Lieberman
While living in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were told by God that they can freely eat and enjoy everything the Garden had to offer. They just couldn’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad. A serpent came along and enticed Eve to eat fruit from this tree. After she ate from the tree, she gave some of its fruit to Adam. When God confronted Adam and Eve about their blatant disregard for His instructions….
“The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me – she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ ”
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A LIFE LESSON
When people do something wrong, they usually have an instinctive reaction to either defend their actions or blame someone or something else for what they did.
So when God asked Adam why he ate from the tree, the first thing Adam did was go on the offensive, saying that he ate from the tree because of “the woman whom you gave to be with me…” According to Adam, his sin wasn’t a result of his choices; it was because of a something that God did.
And when Eve was confronted about her actions, she also refused to take any responsibility for her free-will decision, and instead simply said, “The serpent deceived me…” Adam and Eve were punished by God not only for not listening to Him, but for also immediately casting blame for their actions elsewhere.
It’s always easier, more convenient, and far less embarrassing to shift blame onto other people, circumstances, or to society for any negative or destructive decisions and actions we might make. Clearly, this isn’t what God wants. Rather, he desires us to personally take complete and full ownership over everything that we do.
The reason for this is that there’s nothing more empowering and liberating than personally taking true responsibility for all your actions. This is life-changing because you now have power to “choose and become” as opposed to being stuck in the “blame game.” Power to choose right from wrong. Good or bad. Action or inaction. You will never again be a victim of circumstances, but rather will become a proactive decision maker who – through making the right choices – can recreate him/herself anew every day.
This isn’t easy to do because it goes against our nature to immediately declare “I was wrong.” But when you can truly acknowledge to yourself that it’s you – and you alone – who’s responsible for whatever you do – and not anyone or anything else – then you will have taken complete and total control of your life. And when you take full responsibility for everything you ever do, then you’ll have recaptured ownership of your life and with God’s help you can do and become anything you’ve ever dreamed possible.
Adam Lieberman is a business consultant and who advises executives and companies across a spectrum of industries. He also runs a non-profit foundation which helps Jews of all backgrounds to see the beauty and relevance of their heritage. The insights he receives from the weekly Torah portion enable him to live a happy, meaningful, and balanced life. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and children.