Archive for August, 2010

Stupidity of Today’s Banks and Lending Institutions

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

 Banks are the current leaders of Institutional Stupidity. I don’t want to name the particular bank involved in this post, but astute readers will find clues throughout this edition; it is likely that most, if not all, of today’s lending institutions are hotbeds of idiocy. If there’s a reader out there who has not been scathed or badly burned after having to deal with a bank, let me know so that I may allow tears of joy to freely stream down my face in your honor. I did cry just such tears the other day after I heard this story from reader Sam:

A duplex was listed for $285,000 in a quiet beach-side town. This building was offered as a short sale. The bank that held the mortgage on this property shall remain nameless.

Sam made an offer, through his real estate agent, to buy the duplex for $225,000. This undesignated bank countered Sam’s offer with their own at $275,000.  Are you with me so far? Because soon this tale’s going to get very complicated.

Sam made a counter offer to the bank’s counter in the sum of $250,000. Sam didn’t know it yet, but he would soon learn that this unnamed bank was run by stupers (short for staggeringly stupid persons). Such stupidity, in this Cinderella story, would work to Sam’s benefit.

A month passed with no word from this bank. Perhaps these bank employees were thinking, dozing, busy foreclosing, eating cheese canapes, bowling, on vacation or sick leave. Sam grew frustrated and was about to give up when the bank gave Sam a counter to his counter offer…the bank came back with $240,000! Sam could have the duplex for $240,000. Yes, that is $10,000 less than the bank’s original counter offer. Sam’s mouth fell open in disbelief for so long, bats moved in mistaking it for a damp cave. Meanwhile, the bank remained clueless, as it was, and is, overrun by stupers.

Unfortunately, short sales and foreclosures are far too commonplace, thanks to the current economy, and most of the people involved do not have happy endings, as Sam did in this case. This is because, quite suddenly, stupidity is rapidly increasing.

As a director of a non-profit legal service, I receive tearful calls daily from desperate people trying to keep their homes. Many of them start the process of modifying their loans only to find that a different department in the heartbreakingly stupid bank has foreclosed because communication is considered a waste of time in institutions run by idiots. These freakishly inane lenders prefer to foreclose and lose money on a home rather than modify and allow the homeowner (ie, the qualified party that the bank made the loan to in the first place) to remain. How idiotic is that?

How do we maintain our sanity in the face of such blatant stupidity? We have to rise above the circumstances (and the mindless) by using the heroic courage that is inside each of us. We have to think our way out and find a solution because remember, most people do not think at all, as it takes effort. Imagine what those of us who do think can do.

Please think.


Finding Peace and Avoiding Stupidity

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I seek peace wherever I can find it. And I’m willing to try new avenues. So I made arrangements to attend a class in meditation. After all, meditation is touted as strengthening the mind; something which, as you all know, I’m all for, as a strong mind can easily combat and discard stupidity.

I took a few home study lessons which I enthusiastically embraced and deemed myself ready to practice in a group setting. A very large group setting. I know people travel to India to find peace. I like to think it exists in my own backyard and at no cost. Plus, after my course, I was feeling my heart swell with love for all humanity.

I arrived early with Husband in tow, who was happy to wait outside the Hall for me, as he had not taken the home study course and “aum” was not in his vocabulary. I took a seat off to one side, hoping to spend some time, at least initially, alone.

This brand of meditation requires inhaling quietly, then exhaling through the mouth, in two, audible breaths. However, in the Hall, a sign was posted requesting visitors breathe quietly, so as not to disturb others. I did so, as did the few others in the room. We closed our eyes and sat quietly, practicing our breathing.

Within minutes, a woman sat directly, touching distance, next to me. This despite the fact that I was surrounded by empty seats. I moved over, very nonchalantly, after accidentally throwing a pencil too far for me to easily reach. (I’m perpetually concerned about the feelings of others; even those who annoy me).

How I wish I’d brought earplugs! Her exhales could have come from a banshee just before the dreaded killer cry. In fact, I almost killed her. If anyone else in the room had opened their eyes and happened to gaze on me, they would have seen my head turned, not toward the front like it was supposed to be, but toward the woman next to me with an expression like this:

I stormed out of the room. Peace had eluded me yet again.

My husband listened to my complaint, and I debated leaving, as more peace lovers entered the Hall. Not a quitter, I went back in and took my seat, still empty due to the thunderous breather next to me. This time I gazed upon her with this expression:

Because of the rapid-fire, drastic change in my attitude, I no longer saw a stuper sitting next to me, but a weary looking, unhappy, somewhat desperate person wearing very unflattering rubbery sandals, that probably offered stupendous arch support, but were hard on the eyes.

With my revised, new-found attitude, I found that nothing disturbed me. I got through the meditation class without further incident. Her incredibly loud breathing had no effect on me. Really.

Attitude is everything.

Keep thinking.