Tuesday, May 13, 2008

No country for old men, the disabled, veterans, children, the poor, et al

Richard Degener of the Press of Atlantic City, take it away:
Crockett, 61, of E. Miami Avenue, said he had the Citibank card for about 15 years before he got injured and fell behind in payments. He now owes more than $8,000, and a collection agency has a court judgment on him and may foreclose on the home he shares with his twin brother, John.

"I didn't know they could do that," said Crockett.

Betsy Cunningham, an attorney with the South Jersey Legal Service[s], who is helping Crockett fight for his home, said the case is very unusual but perfectly legal.
* * *
Crockett eventually did begin to receive Social Security, but it only pays him $1,127 per month. His fraternal twin still works, pumping gas at the same Wawa, and he owns half the house, which could be a factor in the foreclosure proceeding.

The twins never married. Both served in the U.S. Army, with John going to Vietnam with the 9th Infantry but Edward, because they were twins, drawing non-combat duty at Fort Benning in Georgia.

Crockett estimates total debt at about $15,000 from three credit cards, but the only one that may cost him his home is the $8,121.80 New Jersey Superior Court judgment relating to his Citibank card. This has been turned over to a collection agency of sorts, LT Asset Recovery LLC.
* * *
Pellegrino said the bigger problem is living in New Jersey with such a small income. He suggested the brothers sell their house and take their Social Security income to a southern state where it is cheaper to live.

"Unfortunately, you can't keep a house in New Jersey unless you make a substantial income. If you're not making a lot of money, New Jersey is not the place to stay. It's hard as you get older," Pellegrino said.
Whoa, Mr. Pellegrino, take it easy. If we ship all the poor people out, who's going to do the shit jobs? Oh, right, illegal Mexicans.

Atlantic City is, of course, one of the richest cities in the world:
The median income for a household in the city was $26,969, and the median income for a family was $31,997. Males had a median income of $25,471 versus $23,863 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,402. About 19.1% of families and 23.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.1% of those under age 18 and 18.9% of those age 65 or over.
Sounds like we need to start shipping a whole bunch of slackers down south.


Chuckling said...

My late aunt lived in a small town her whole life. She never married and took care of her mother and didn't get her first paying job until she was 60, and that was minimum wage. But she was able to live quite well on Social Security. Some government program provided her with a nice apartment in an independent living center for $120 per month.

That's pretty much my retirement plan. There's no fucking way I can live in a city or any kind of area that appeals to rich folk.

I'm okay with that, but who am I kidding. Those nice apartments for poor old folk aren't going to be around much longer, are they? Fortunately, my plan B of living in a makeshift cardboard shack in the desert still seems feasible. I am, after all, an optimist.

ChrisV82 said...

In the town I work in, there was a whole section of housing that was built circa 1945-1955. While it had been a magnet for crime, including drugs, there were a lot of old people that lived there, including those that had paid off their mortgages decades ago.

Thanks to the new eminent domain interpretation via our U.S. Supreme Court, the town decided to confiscate the entire development to make room for condos. Although the town offered rough market value for the property, the market value was not enough to even come close to purchasing new property. It's a lot easier to survive off of next to nothing if you already own your place outright. If they wanted to rent anything, some of them would not be entitled to assistance because of the "large" amount of cash they just got. Basically, they can't own, and they can't rent.

Don't be surprised if you actually are living in a hobo commune in the desert when you get older.