Despite claims to the contrary I fail to see any improvement in the economy. Why do I make this claim?
1. Credit card companies around the country have been going through their accounts, checking credit reports, and identifying those who might pose any risk. Most of the accounts seem to pose a risk; thus, cardholders receive a letter in the mail letting them know that their credit limit has been reduced to their current balance. Of course the letter may take a few days to get to the cardholder. If the cardholder makes any purchase during this time they will of course find themselves over their credit limits. This will result in a charge, usually $39.00. So, if you have two cards, the result is that you no longer have any available credit and you owe penalty fees for being overbalance. When you plumbling backs up, and you don't have any disposable cash, and you have no credit, you are shafted. Your house will of course lose more of its value.
2. Real estate appraisers, working for lenders, are now routinely lowballing home values. You may know for certain that your house is in the $300,000 to $325,000 range. How do you know? You have done your homework, or your realtor has, and all the comparisons between your house and houses sold in you neighborhood clearly substantiate that your asking price is reasonable. The appraiser lowballs the price and says your house is worth only $280,000. You have a contract in you hand for $310,000, but the lender will not provide more than $280,000. Do you want to lose the $30,000 difference from fair market value? Of course you don't. The deal falls apart. You cannot get the amount of equity that you expected. This means that you can't sell your house for a fair price. No big mystery. You just got shafted. Tough luck.
3. Lenders of all kinds, although they profited from the largest government bailout in history, are not lending money to the people who need the money. I am not in support of bailing out every irresponsible borrower in the United States. I don't want my tax dollars to be given to Joe Blow who bought a house for $500,000 when he could only afford $250,000. Given my feelings about Joe Blow I certainly don't want to bail out Citi Group, Chase, Bank America, Chrysler et al. Even after they are bailed out, the banks and credit card companies, continue to shaft their cardholders. Who will protect the cardholders from predatory lending practices?
4. Miss one payment to your Mastercard provider, for whatever reason, and watch your 10% rate of interest go to 29.99% You might need a bailout but you wont get one.