Mortgage Entitlement

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal had a little fluff piece about the new mortgage bailout initiative and featured three home owners and their circumstances. You’ve no doubt seen more of this stuff than you care to remember and normally I wouldn’t spend anytime on this but one tale kind of touched a nerve.

It involves Mike Galante who owns a home in Glendale, Arizona. Mr. Gallante is a responsible person who always pays his mortgage on time, isn’t in trouble but would like to refinance. He has a 6.5% rate, pretty darn good by historical standards, yet he would like the government’s 4.5% rate (the story doesn’t say why or how he came up with that number). Anyway, Mike hasn’t been able to refi because his house is under water.

He takes this personally and feels that he is being disenfranchised. Here is what Mr. Gallante had to say to the Journal:

“Why should I have to stay with my 6.5% interest rate when everyone else is getting bailed out?” he says

Mr. Gallante, who works in law enforcement, says the government should reward people who haven’t done anything wrong but can’t take advantage of unusually low interest rates because home prices have fallen. “I’m one of the guys that, we work hard, but would like to have some sort of benefit for being a good customer,” says Mr. Gallante, who set up automatic payments and says he would never consider missing a mortgage payment. “I feel a little bit betrayed because I’m never late,” he says.

I don’t want to pick on this guy but his comments reek of entitlement. Why does he think that just because life threw him a very minor curve ball the government should come rushing to his aid? By all accounts he is doing well, he’s employed but he wants a slice of a newly created piece of pie.

Perhaps we need to step back and think things over when guys like Mike Gallente start lining up for a handout. Government aid used to be for those who truly needed society’s help. Now it appears that we might be heading towards a regime that is universally inclusive. Are we all just going up passing money back and forth with the government acting as an intermediary and taking its cut?

There is a happy ending to the story for Mike. According to the Journal he qualifies for a subsidized mortgage.

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