Seriously, anyone struggling to meet monthly repayments to their creditors should read this.
Hi Hollie. Great link; thanks for posting.
My thoughts? Debt is an obligation one takes on freely albeit sometimes out of necessity. To imagine others will swoop in and relieve us of our duty to repay is immature and Pollyannaish.
If we have unmanageable debt and have no assets but can work, our only problems seem to be bill collectors and a lingering poor credit reputation. Neither is life threatening. In the US, debtors can take steps to limit harassment from bill collectors.
On the other hand, if we have a debt burden and some assets, our problems become more complex because our obligations to repay take priority after meeting the necessities for basic survival. Trying to skirt responsibilities that we are able to meet in whole or in part is hardly an admirable trait. Furthermore, making it too easy to avoid responsibilities does not send the right message to society. Nor is it constructive to free some of us from debt so we can go ahead and accumulate more.
Rather than eradicating debt, it might be better to assist us in our struggle to gain traction and upward mobility. Help that leads to self-reliance and the ability to honor our financial obligations is a win-win solution. Providing for childcare or learning new job skills come immediately to mind. Sometimes, offering a crutch is not the best way to help us to stand on our own.
While this rationale may apply to many, if not most, of us debt-ridden souls, there is also the reality that some of us may also need more help than others. But I expect they represent the exceptions and not the rule. While we may always have the poor and needy among us, those with the means will always have an obligation to step in to help those who do not.
As for the Rolling Jubilee project, your link says, “Supporters of Occupy Wall Street are also contributing funds. At the time of writing (on November 13th 2012), they have raised over $128k. In the time it's taken to write this Wizzle, more than $13,000 has entered the kitty. This IS the people's bail out in action.”
A start perhaps but these numbers do not begin to address the magnitude of the problem. Moreover, I am not yet convinced this is the best way to address consumer debt.
Hollie, I continue to admire your contributions in these forums. I try not to miss any.
My understanding of Jubilee, albeit very limited, is that they will not be buying individual debts so debtors can't apply to have their debts written off (I can see how that could be problematic and send out the wrong message) but rather they will be purchasing debt on a mass scale when it has come to the point where the debtors have defaulted, at what is usually the point of no return. So in this respect it might be a bit of a lottery as to who is helped. People would not necessarily know that they are about to have their debts written off.
I agree that education and development of new skills is vitally important, but I also think those who are about to lose their properties or any other assets are not really in a position, in any practical sense that is, to pursue those goals. I know that there are also individuals who have acted irresponsibly thus leading to their situation. But the record number of repossessions since the great recession indicate that many of the problems have arisen due to the lack of available jobs and employers struggling to remain viable because of economic stagnation and lack of consumer confidence, amongst other things (although I'm aware that the US economy has grown, albeit sluggishly)
In terms of incurring more personal debt, I think, in the short term at least, this may not be an issue, because those who have been helped will still have a very weak credit history (because of defaults) and consequently would not really be able to obtain more credit even if they wanted to.
I think, I imagine, that the goal behind OWS Jubilee, is to prevent homelessness; individuals who can remain in their home are far more employable than those who are homeless, in the eyes of employers that is. Although, one potential huge snag that I can envisage is that some individuals who are helped and allowed to remain in their home might not be able to afford monthly repayments even after arrears are written off.
Also, part of the rationale underpinning this initiative is that those who have previously been spending every penny they make to pay off arrears or other huge debts, have no disposable income. If the they are free from debt repayments they are left with some money to spend, whether that's an extra five dollars per week at the local store, or investing in a new pair of shoes, taking the kids out for the day; it's spending which may help kick start the economy.
I do agree that this initiative needs a lot more thought, and a lot more money. But I also think it's an idea which could be honed and developed.
And thank you, I enjoy your contributions too .
I like this. I hope they distinguish between forced debt and irresponsible debt. When they look at each defunct credit card account, they should ascertain what most of the debt is about. Is most of the debt for buying food? Yes, buy that account. Is most of the debt ATM withdrawals at the Hard Rock Casino? No, not buying that one. As a side-note, forgiven debt is considered taxable income by the IRS, unless it was a poverty situation at the time of the accrued debt.
They will not be looking into this case by case, Pds. But rather buying a book of collective debts, the way other financial institutions do. Because OWS is a registered charity (this is what I've been reading) when a charity pays for the debt it is seen as a hardship grant and therefore not a forgiven debt, therefore the usual regulations do not apply.
They won't write off your debts, they will beg for contributions and then take credit or it. The occupy movement has little money of it's own.
Eventually they will lobby the government to take it over and then it will fall on taxpayers. Been there.
Glad you brought this up: The OWS energy should not be lost. The people gave a lot of themselves to make a point; the 2012 election confirmed their purpose; and it's up to all concerned to help keep the message alive.
I wish the Occupy crowd would get themselves over to recession-hit Spain.
People there are dying right NOW because their homes are being repossessed.
Just yesterday or the day before, a woman threw herself to her death off the balcony of her apartment block, while the bailiffs knocked on the front door to repossess.
500 families a day in this tiny nation of just 46million inhabitants are being kicked out of their homes.
Even those with children.
This is all because the government has chosen to throw its weight behind the banks who people owed mortgages to.
They are repossessing like there is no tomorrow, despite the fact that the debt outstanding is more than the houses are now worth (negative equity) and that there is no sign of improvement on the horizon.
These homes will remain empty while families forage on the streets and babies die from exposure.
The Spanish people are up in arms and have taken to the streets in huge numbers to protest.
The BBC news even covered it.
They also reported that the Spanish government were going to step in and stop the evictions, due to international pressure no doubt.
But my Spanish correspondent tells me this has not been announced in the Spanish press, and that it is business as usual.
These shameful evictions will continue. I think I might even write a hub on this, I am so angry.
Does anyone care?
Oh, and it seems I got myself out of Spain in the nick of time.
I still have a home there, but annual rates (SUMA) which was €95 a year when I moved there, and was €300 before I left, is now €700 and that is a 700% rise since I first moved there, without any new service being added.
This is the annual payment made to the local authority for street lighting/cleansing and any other locally provided service. I am struggling to think of any.
Normally rates will cover roads, cleansing, street lighting, education, libraries, local transport, social work and a multitude of other services designed to make life easier for residents, like meals-on-wheels for the elderly.
My area got none of those except for street lighting and cleansing. Maybe education too. There's still a local primary school and I have no objection to paying for it.
But we got no public transport, libraries, social work or anything else designed to make life easier.
They even cut off the free wifi from the local Town Hall.
I saw something on the news about this today, Izzy. Greece and Spain are being put through the mincer there's no doubt. How is someone with so little money going to manage seven hundred euros a year?
Occupy is global, so hopefully this initiative will roll out, although as I said to Quill I think it needs to be fine tuned and greater thought put into the details. That's a horrible situation, people ending their own lives because of debt and bayliffs.
And like you say, this situation does not just affect adults, kids are suffering too.
And you should write a hub about it, awareness is the order of the day.
Well not on this name, but yes I have another name i can write on.
This name has a major 'withdrawal of Google love' going on.
No idea why.
I will post when it is written, for hubbers that are interested, but of course it is Google traffic I'd be aiming for.
There is no point in writing anything relating to politics if no-one can read it.
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