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Screwed by the Feds..
Old 03-09-2009, 05:27 PM   #1
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Screwed by the Feds..

The home across the street from us recently fell into foreclosure. Actually, it didn't fall, it was pushed off the cliff...It was owned by two federal employees who both had 100K+ incomes working for the federal government. They purchased the home in 2005, around the height of the market. A couple of years later they tried to sell it (for more than they paid for it) , but the market had slowed so they chose to just walk away from it. Literally.- one night they were just gone. The place has been vacant for over 6 months; a crew hired by the bank showed up last week to get the property ready to show. I went over and asked if I could take a walk though it. It was amazing to say the least. They left most of their furniture, personal belongings, pet cages, aquariums, dirty laundry, food, and garbage, but they did manage to find room for all of the appliances, (built-ins included), HVAC equipment, fixtures, even the kitchen sink… yes, they stole the kitchen sink, faucets, disposer, and dropped an old battered junk sink into the hole, no faucet, plumbing not even hooked up. The clean-up crew loaded an 8’ x 20’ trailer 8 foot high with all their leftover belongings, destined for the dump.

I am infuriated to say the least. These were not folks scraping by on subsistence wages. Here is an excerpt describing their positions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

xxx earn relatively high pay and have good benefits. Median annual earnings of xxx in May 2006 were $117,240. The middle 50 percent earned between $86,860 and $142,210. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $59,410, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $145,600. The average annual salary, excluding overtime earnings, for xxx in the Federal Government—which employs 90 percent of all controllers—was $122,220 in May 2006.
The xxx. pay system classifies each xxx facility into one of eight levels with corresponding pay bands. Under this pay system, xxx’ salaries are determined by the rating of the facility. Higher ratings usually mean higher xxx salaries and greater demands on the xxx judgment, skill, and decision-making ability.
Depending on length of service, xxx receive 13 to 26 days of paid vacation and 13 days of paid sick leave each year, in addition to life insurance and health benefits. xxx also can retire at an earlier age and with fewer years of service than other Federal employees. xxx are eligible to retire at age 50 with 20 years of service as an active xxx or after 25 years of active service at any age. There is a mandatory retirement age of 56 for xxx who manage xxx. However, Federal law provides for exemptions to the mandatory age of 56, up to age 61, for xxx having exceptional skills and experience. .




So, in addition to paying their “relatively high pay”, “good benefits” and a lucrative “pension at age 50”, our tax dollars also get to pay to clean up these folks personal financial situation. This was not a case of them not being able to pay their mortgage. It is a case of them taking a financial dump on the same John Q. Public that employed them; we are undoubtedly going to give their bank bailout dollars to clean up their mess. Anyone else see the irony in this?

Rant over.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:36 PM   #2
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Something smells here...most fed agencies have strict policies on financial solvency for reasons I really can't get into on this forum. Let me put it this way - if a person in a responsible position has financial problems of ANY type, they will lose a key requirement for keeping their jobs, especially if they are in involved in safety or matters of security.
Methinks this couple may no longer be gainfully employed and forgot to tell the bank about it. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Anyway this turns out, it was a heck of a good rant.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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So, in addition to paying their “relatively high pay”, “good benefits” and a lucrative “pension at age 50”, our tax dollars also get to pay to clean up these folks personal financial situation. This was not a case of them not being able to pay their mortgage. It is a case of them taking a financial dump on the same John Q. Public that employed them; we are undoubtedly going to give their bank bailout dollars to clean up their mess. Anyone else see the irony in this?

Rant over.
You bet I do. I would be just as angry as you seeing the mess these people left behind. What ever happened to personal pride and responsibility?

On a side note, I saw something on TV the other day about how many businesses are thriving by clearing out the belongings folks like them leave behind. Most of it goes right to the dump. Seems there could be a profit in salvaging the possessions others abandon and perhaps a market for lots of this stuff on e-bay.
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:48 PM   #4
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I fail to see where the fact these miscreants were federal employees is pertinent to your story. The situation wouldn't change had they been well paid employees of Boeing, Honeywell, or IBM.

As Purron says, it is a matter of the lack of personal responsibility. Pond scum is pond scum, regardless of who signs their paycheck.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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With that title I thought I was back working again for a minute.

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Old 03-09-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
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I fail to see where the fact these miscreants were federal employees is pertinent to your story. The situation wouldn't change had they been well paid employees of Boeing, Honeywell, or IBM.

As Purron says, it is a matter of the lack of personal responsibility. Pond scum is pond scum, regardless of who signs their paycheck.
A double irony, perhaps?

Side note: I've always wondered why they chose the name "boing".

I guess it's better than "thud"...
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:09 PM   #7
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I fail to see where the fact these miscreants were federal employees is pertinent to your story. The situation wouldn't change had they been well paid employees of Boeing, Honeywell, or IBM.

As Purron says, it is a matter of the lack of personal responsibility. Pond scum is pond scum, regardless of who signs their paycheck.

To me, the fact that they were well-compensated federal employees means they are being paid by tax dollars and should not be entitled to dump their personal financial burden on the taxpayers. The bailout funds are (supposedly) targeted for folks who have been thrust into unfortunate financial circumstances through predatory lending, job losses, or as the case may be, their own financial ineptitude. This was a default for convenience by two people still drawing federal paychecks, not some poor working stiff who just lost his job at the carwash (or Boeing, Honeywell, or IBM.) and couldn't pay his bills. They are scr*wing their employer (us) and still collecting paychecks.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:10 PM   #8
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Wonder if Witness Protection figures into this? Something in the story does not make sense. It does not sound like folks making $200K a year. However, it does sound like one of the Sopranos.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:10 PM   #9
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I guess it's better than "thud"...
...or "splat"...
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:15 PM   #10
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I fail to see where the fact these miscreants were federal employees is pertinent to your story. The situation wouldn't change had they been well paid employees of Boeing, Honeywell, or IBM.

As Purron says, it is a matter of the lack of personal responsibility. Pond scum is pond scum, regardless of who signs their paycheck.
I can, to a limited extent, see how it matters. They are taking presumably willful and irresponsible actions that (even if indirectly) cost their employers a lot of money. This could be grounds for termination for cause in many private employers, and that could include ineligibility for COBRA and unemployment, no severance and possibly even loss of their pension.

Just the same, one of the unfortunate effects of this market and this economy is that it's really starting to create a backlash against people employed by government. I as much as anyone believe we really need to re-examine the promises we're making to new hires in terms of job security, pensions and health insurance (and also pay; if we change those other things to align with the private sector, then pay should be, too). But I hate that those who took a job in good faith and have upheld their end of the deal are increasingly seeing wrath for the expectation that the other part to the contract uphold theirs.

Yes, these "contracts" (really just promises that could be changed at any time) are killing us and I think we need to change future "contracts" with respect to unsustainable goodies. But I don't see how that's the fault of the individual public employee.

I can understand outrage about the growing inequities between public and private sector employment. I can understand wanting to see reforms for the future. But I hate to see people bashed today for merely taking advantage of what they're being offered, unsustainable as it is.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:33 PM   #11
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Wonder if Witness Protection figures into this? Something in the story does not make sense. It does not sound like folks making $200K a year. However, it does sound like one of the Sopranos.
TY for saying that. Remote, but possible.
What struck me as very odd that all personal belongings were left behind, but a kitchen sink was swapped? That tells me erratic behavior was in play.
I'm still guessing job loss, filed bankruptcy, and/or both happened. It may be possible that one or both failed a drug screen at work, or were engaged in something illegal on or off the job, that ultimately cost them their job(s). Public servants can be fired, after all, if conditions warrant.
There is definitely a missing piece here.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:36 PM   #12
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Wonder if Witness Protection figures into this? Something in the story does not make sense. It does not sound like folks making $200K a year. However, it does sound like one of the Sopranos.
Probably was closer to 250K. I am fairly certain they were not in Witness Protection. I don't think the Feds would be able to put someone from WP into the jobs they had (too much training, too high- stress) , and I had first-hand knowledge that they were actually doing those jobs. Word around the neighborhood has it they transferred to another facility across the country to be closer to family. Everyone in the neighborhood was shocked when they saw the mess and outraged to realize we are going to have to pay for their irresponsibility.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:37 PM   #13
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To me, the fact that they were well-compensated federal employees means they are being paid by tax dollars and should not be entitled to dump their personal financial burden on the taxpayers. The bailout funds are (supposedly) targeted for folks who have been thrust into unfortunate financial circumstances through predatory lending, job losses, or as the case may be, their own financial ineptitude. This was a default for convenience by two people still drawing federal paychecks, not some poor working stiff who just lost his job at the carwash (or Boeing, Honeywell, or IBM.) and couldn't pay his bills. They are scr*wing their employer (us) and still collecting paychecks.
So you are assuming that tax payers are paying for their personal financial burden.
You are assuming they are getting bailout funds.
And you are assuming they are still collecting a paycheck.

That is a lot of assumptions unless you are still in touch with these people?
I agree that this is very irresponsible and hope that they get what is coming to them However I certainly don't see this supporting any angst at the feds, get agree at the twits that walked away from the house.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:39 PM   #14
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Here is an excerpt describing their positions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
So you followed them to work to confirm their employment? Stalker alert!

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Wonder if Witness Protection figures into this? Something in the story does not make sense. It does not sound like folks making $200K a year. However, it does sound like one of the Sopranos.
Something in the story does not make sense.

I am in this camp. Belle Lettres?
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:41 PM   #15
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There is a lot of assuming going on in this thread.

But now, although based on a neighborhood rumor, they transferred within the same agency but to locations across the country. When I worked with the feds they got absolutely beautiful packages when they moved. I remember signing off one on the reimbursement forms for one of my feds when he changed agencies and moved across the country. Meals, rentals, movers, etc. Uncle Sam even bought their houses if they couldn't sell them. Abandoning and trashing the house makes no sense in that light.
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:00 PM   #16
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But now, although based on a neighborhood rumor, they transferred within the same agency but to locations across the country. When I worked with the feds they got absolutely beautiful packages when they moved. I remember signing off one on the reimbursement forms for one of my feds when he changed agencies and moved across the country. Meals, rentals, movers, etc. Uncle Sam even bought their houses if they couldn't sell them. Abandoning and trashing the house makes no sense in that light.
Hopefully this article will irritate others as much as it irritates me! "...[T]he USPS said it lost an average of more than $58,000 on the 500-plus homes its relocation program bought and sold in 2008." $58,000 per employee transferred with the house purchase program?? Wow! Ridiculous. No wonder stamps are 40-whatever cents!!
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:02 PM   #17
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Hopefully this article will irritate others as much as it irritates me! "...[T]he USPS said it lost an average of more than $58,000 on the 500-plus homes its relocation program bought and sold in 2008." $58,000 per employee transferred with the house purchase program?? Wow! Ridiculous. No wonder stamps are 40-whatever cents!!
They would have had a line out the door and wrapping around the building 10 times for the jobs where they were moving to.
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:08 PM   #18
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So you are assuming that tax payers are paying for their personal financial burden.
You are assuming they are getting bailout funds.
.

No assumptions here- I saw the legal foreclosure notice taped to their front door, and yes, I can confirm that the financial institution involved was paid billions in the bailout. They are specifically mentioned in this article:

Who got AIG's bailout billions?
By Toni Reinhold– Sun Mar 8, 8:30 am ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Where, oh where, did AIG's bailout billions go? That question may reverberate even louder through the halls of government in the week ahead now that a partial list of beneficiaries has been published.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that about $50 billion of more than $173 billion that the U.S. government has poured into American International Group Inc since last fall has been paid to at least two dozen U.S. and foreign financial institutions.
The newspaper reported that some of the banks paid by AIG since the insurer started getting taxpayer funds were: Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Deutsche Bank AG, Merrill Lynch, Societe Generale, Calyon, Barclays Plc, Rabobank, Danske, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Santander, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia, Bank of America, and Lloyds Banking Group.
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. Bank of America, Calyon, and Wells Fargo, which has absorbed Wachovia, could not be reached for comment.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has refused to publicize a list of AIG's derivative counterparties and what they have been paid since the bailout, riling the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.



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And you are assuming they are still collecting a paycheck.

That is a lot of assumptions unless you are still in touch with these people?
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So you followed them to work to confirm their employment? Stalker alert!


No assumptions or stalking involved, just flew into the local airport and called in on the radio.....howdy, neighbor!



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Old 03-09-2009, 09:38 PM   #19
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I have seen highly paid people walk away from houses before. But I never saw them trash the house first, usually it was done quite courteously. Even the time the SEC employed me to hunt down assets of a stock broker imprisioned for fraud the guy left his house neat and clean and easy to search and easy to sell.

On the other hand, I have seen people strip out houses when faced with foreclosure. Usually lowlifes. In many states it is a crime. (Though it doesn't seem to get prosecuted very often). Be nice if the lender pushed the issue.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:13 PM   #20
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Ah, so you aren't mad that these two specifically were bailed out, you are mad because their bank happened to be one of the many banks that accepted bail out money in general?!?
Why the whole horse and pony show about the family across the street, that seems to be irrelevant to the tax payer part. Every bank has some people like that.
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