Susan was the driver of the van that we took back from the airport last night and the chatter quickly turned to the economy. Susan, a mom in her 30s with 3 kids, had no reservations about getting personal. She and her husband, who is in the building trades, ran up credit card debt and 3 years ago, refinanced their modest house in a modest town to pay it off. Now their mortgage has reset twice with monthly payments of $5,000. Making those payments is taking over their lives.
Susan puts her 8-year old on the school bus at 7:30 each morning, then takes her 4-year old with her driving airport runs. She also drives several nights each week. Her 16-year old daughter meets the school bus in the afternoon. Susan also sells scented candles. Her husband is looking for weekend jobs. They’ve talked with the bank, but because their mortgage is up to date the bank isn’t interest in dealing.
Susan and her husband made a mistake-maybe several. They swapped usurious credit card interest for usurious mortgage interest. They are workers and fighters and believe in the American system, but it’s taking a huge toll on them and their family. They are the ones who need help to untangle this mess, but they can’t swoop down to Washington in a private jet to plead for it.