We spoke of the Spanish real estate bubble in the last installment of Global Gulag, but didn’t finish with the subject by any means (although the Españistán video is pretty lapidary) because the chickens of excess are still coming home in unabated procession to roost.
The real estate bubble and the Global Gulag concept are closely related inasmuch mortgages are one of the principal financial chains in the modern slavery scheme. Buying a house is not just another transaction for most people, it is a life aspiration, and this is what makes mortgages one of the most powerful weapons of the Global Gulag. They keep us chained to a pile of bricks and mortar for most of our productive life, so we can play house and pretend the property is ours even when foreclosure is only 3 missed payments away.
The Global Gulag needs not transport us to internment camps because the four walls of our own homes are the prison.
But wait, you say, I finished paying my mortgage to the bank, so I’m literally home free, no bank gonna come foreclosing me. Well, that’s not really the full story. There are plenty of cases of fully-paid homeowners getting foreclosure slips in the US… including the couple who counterattacked and foreclosed on Bank of America.
But the real full story is that even if your debt service to the bank is concluded, your home is still mortgaged, or better said hypothecated. You see, all real estate in the USA, present and future, was hypothecated and entrusted to the Federal Reserve bankster cartel between 1913 and 1933 under the Federal Reserve Act. The legal title to your home is held by the Trustees (stockholders), while you are a tenant or franchisee registered as a “beneficiary” to this Trust via your birth certificate. And this mortgage cannot be paid off, as Congressman Jim Traficant was kind enough to explain in plain English for the Congressional Record; find the transcript and discussion in this post.
How canny of the banksters to make us pay again for property they already hold legal title to! Not that many people are aware of this sleight of hand; it would be hard to find people willing to trade off decades of their life to pay for a house (plus interests!) of which, when push comes to shove, we are but franchisees. Now, this may sound like a pretty raw deal, but if we consider what’s going down in Spain right now with the foreclosure situation, it gets even rawer.
300 a day. That’s the rate at which Spanish families are losing their homes right now, according to the calculations of the Asociación de usuarios de Bancos, Cajas y Seguros (ADICAE), a bank customer consumer rights group. If you stop to think about it, 300 families is no small amount, enough to fill a modest refugee camp. It’s actually more than the population of many rural Spanish villages. And that’s the DAILY average.
It’s hard to notice the impact up close in our urban society. One day a store is shuttered with a For Sale sign, another day a neighbor is gone… who’s to know the story behind? It’s not until someone does the math that the real picture emerges to reveal its grim truth.
The raw part of the deal here is that you keep paying the mortgage even AFTER being foreclosed and evicted from the property. No drop-off-the-keys-and-adios policy here in Spain; if you have a microscope handy, you may wish to read the fine print on that contract you signed with the bank. So, the panorama for the family who is foreclosed is to be left homeless and still owing a debt it couldn’t pay in the first place, thus the foreclosure. So much for starting anew!
Some groups have called for a moratorium on foreclosures until the legality of these abusive clauses can be examined, but president Zetaparo has clearly stated there will be NO moratoriums, period. The government’s vehemence in shielding the banks is seen as just another puppet act of a criminally incompetent administration –which it undoubtedly is– but in this particular case it is also much more than that. The reason there will be no moratoriums is because the Spanish banking system is hanging on by the skin of its fangs, and if every foreclosure in the country becomes a mortgage default, the game is up. Thanks to these abusive mortgage clauses, foreclosures are skyrocketing but defaults are showing a timid, almost irrelevant growth. But that’s not the reality, folks, that’s just book cooking and shenanigans.
The survival of Spanish banks is not the only reason, however. The reader comments on the news piece on foreclosures in La Vanguardia online offer a clear glimpse of the social controversy this issue generates. While many comments criticize the banks, there are almost an equal number of comments that criticize the foreclosed homeowners for getting in over their head. The typical posture is “I bought what I could afford, I pay my mortgage religiously, why should I support a moratorium to cover for irresponsible folks who were living beyond their means?”. Issues of empathy aside, these folks have a point in that the system should be the same for all, but IMHO it is delusional to think the system ever was equal for all. The rules are made to favor some over others, and to disfavor others over some. Also, that some families got in too deep does not change the fact that most of the defaults are by families who have lost their jobs and benefits and cannot pay even when they HAD been responsible and lived within their means. The debt crisis is systemic, and to blame homeowners for getting foreclosed is narrow-minded at best and mean-spirited at worse.
Since childhood we are ingrained with fables like the Ant and the Grasshopper to be industrious and responsible and to shun those who are not. Waste not want not, the early bird catches the worm, idle hands are the devil’s tools etc etc are all parts of the Work Ethic that all decent people are instilled in. Well, I’m sorry to say that this work ethic is but a cover for slavery, not because it isn’t valid as an ethic, but because it has been hijacked by parasites that feed off the work of decent people. Instead of feeding family and community, it feeds the miltary-industrial complex, the repressive police state and, of course, Hopper.
I personally know decent people that are literally working themselves to death to keep paying their mortgage and not end up in the street after so many years of sacrifice, but even when they understand the deceitful nature of the game, it doesn’t pay the mortgage. So 300 families a day are getting evicted from their homes… let’s say 800 people in a conservative estimate, 365 days a year… that makes almost 300 thousand people per year. And in our fragmented, divided and conquered society, they are living this drama with the only support of family and charities, isolated, depressed and disconnected from others in the same situation. Spontaneous movements such as the 15-M or the Stop Foreclosures groups pictured above are the closest thing to a voice these folks have, but so far it is little more than testimonial.
Finally, let us not forget that 300 foreclosures a day means over 100 thousand empty homes a year to add the stock of unsold houses already at 700 thousand or more. I wonder how long before a million foreclosed families decide to occupy a million empty homes. Maybe never. Maybe we will be good slaves right to the bitter end, and our children can spend decades of their lives paying mortgages for the properties foreclosed from the their parents. After all, why should they have it any better than us?