At some time in life, many of us were told we have no business complaining about things in life that we don't know about, don't participate in, or don't help to make better.
I'm paraphrasing a few examples here ...
Obama has said it - "I can't do it alone. I need your help."
My former CEO said it "Bring me a problem, and bring me a solution."
My former boss said "Great point - you are in charge of fixing it."
My REO Masters Co-Founder Scott MacLaine said it "This is an organization where members don't join and expect success to happen, but have a hand in making a difference."
I'm down with this philosophy (i.e. in agreement) because it just makes sense. It's practical. But I'll let you in on a secret - The other day I did happen to fall off my high horse and complain. It all started in court, where I'm spending way too much time lately.
In my role as an REO Broker, I am frequently asked to appear in court as a witness for the bank at unlawful detainer hearings. A few weeks ago, the defendant actually showed up. This couple pleaded to the judge about saving their home, doing a loan modification, whatever it took, they were committed. The judge had to explain, as delicately as he could, that it was too late and that the bank filed to gain possession of their property. He granted the couple 2 weeks to vacate. Within the two weeks, the couple managed to get a relative to get qualified to buy the house. The bank agreed to go into escrow, knowing full well the relative was purchasing the home to enable the former defaulted borrowers to stay in the house. If escrow closes, the occupants essentially will have been awarded the mother of all loan modifications since the new purchase price and interest rate are well below what they were when the couple purchased the home at its peak. And the big bonus - the occupants have not paid their mortgage for about a year!
Since the bank is the decision-maker, I happily facilitated all this. And then scratched my head and said ... What the ??? How do I get a deal like that???
OK forget about me - what about all the other people in need? What about my client who suffered a rare disease resulting in a bone marrow transplant and a short sale because there was no loan modification that could help?
I don't begrudge the couple fighting for their home. I don't know them. Maybe they are great people and this is Karma coming around to help. I may never know. But I am pretty certain that in this unprecedented real estate climate, the stories, the backgrounds, and the behavior behind those who have lost their homes are as diverse as one can imagine.
Can we really blame government or banking institutions for helping those less deserving, or foregoing those in real need? Maybe not if:
1) Policies are helping to solve the problem at large on a high level.
2) I'm not part of the solution.
Enter the Foreclosure Angel Foundation. This is not my idea so if am insinuating that I am part of the solution, well, let me disclose that I'm merely outsourcing my contribution to the solution by supporting Marilyn Mock, founder of the Foreclosure Angel Foundation. This is an amazing lady who has started a foundation to help the neediest of those in foreclosure. You may have heard the expression "Think Globally, Act Locally." That's how Marilyn got started. She saw a problem and jumped right in. Never complained to anyone on behalf of the victim, never complained about the cruelty of the world, just took decisive action.
I first saw her on Oprah (my wife made me watch it) and then when the founders of REO Masters announced the organization's support for Marilyn and the Foreclosure Angel Foundation, I was thrilled. The support will kick off with a fundraising event at the Five-Star Conference in Dallas later this month.
Complaining feels good. But being part of the solution feels even better.