Monday, January 23, 2006

Katrina victim to F: Get over it!

A letter from a Hurricane Katrina survivor about Bryan Kennedy, the Democrat running against Rep. F. Jim Sensenbrenner, is getting national attention today on two of the best-read political blogs, My DD and Daily Kos. The writer sent the letter to friends in the Gulf area and sent Kennedy a copy.

Kennedy's campaign is uphill in a heavily Republican district, but Sensenbrenner's arrogance and heartlessness in the past year have gained him national notoriety. That can only help Kennedy. The letter:
Dear Friends,

Those of you who know me well, or had the misfortune to hang out with me in the Katrina aftermath, know that one of the things that really upset me (other than that almost everyone I know had lost either their home, their car, their job, their business, their school, their church or any number of combinations of the above) was Congress’ refusal to grant a reprieve to those folks from the implementation of the Bankruptcy Reform Act. A mean-spirited piece of legislation in good times, it was just cruel and unreasonable to impose it on the citizens of Louisiana and Mississippi during the Katrina aftermath.

Like many of you who are lawyers, I was called upon to help folks during those last days before the statute went into effect. One gentleman, who sat in my makeshift BR office and cried while trying to wrestle with the decision to file bankruptcy after his home was destroyed, particularly moved me. He feared that there would be no way for him to pay off the huge and largely uninsured mortgage along with his other obligations ($250K and a house marinated in sewer water for 2 weeks does not go far in paying off an $800K mortgage). He, of course, would have no relief under the law after October 17th. He asked me why, with all that he faced at that given moment, did he have to decide now whether to take such a serious step. I had no real answer—actually, all I could do was cry too.

After that encounter, rather than my usual response—go home, have a glass of wine, and bemoan the fact that the world was not too good a place—I thought I would try to do what little I could to change it. My attention was quickly drawn to the good Congressman from Wisconsin who, when asked to consider the delay of this particularly vile legislation that he had authored, commented that this was just the whining of those who were opposed to it in the beginning, and that we should “just get over it”. Well, try as I might, I just couldn’t do that; so I started looking into Mr. Sensenbrenner’s record a little more and discovered that he was one of the 11 members of Congress who voted to deny ANY relief to the folks of the Gulf Coast after Katrina struck. Apparently, he shared the view of only a handful of his fellow Congressmen that that is what the Red Cross is for! So I decided that helping get him out of office was one thing I could do.

That’s when I discovered Bryan Kennedy. A professor from Wisconsin, Mr. Kennedy had decided to take on Mr. Sensenbrenner and run for Congress in his district. Better yet, he shared my view of the good Congressman. His web site included his campaign ad that derided Mr. Sensenbrenner for turning his back on us. That basically sold me, and off went my check. Of course, that really isn’t enough so I thought I would pass on to you Mr. Kennedy’s name and the information below. If others who felt the way I did sent a check maybe that would be enough. So I’m asking you to send something to Mr. Kennedy cause I realllllllllllly would like to say, come this November 7th, to the good Congressman. “So you lost the election. Sorry Mr. Sensenbrenner, ‘Just get over it!’” Thanks.

Your friend,

Jan Hayden
Kennedy's website.


At 2:44 PM, Blogger Epilogue said...

Should people who just lost homes or need to file bankruptcy be sending checks to the Kennedy for Congress campaign?

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Robola said...

Epilogue: Pay attention to what you read. It's the lawyer who helped the man in bankruptcy who sent money. Cobag.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Epilogue said...

That's right. The lawyers. Do you think they did those bankruptcy filings pro bono?

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Sven said...

Do you think they did those bankruptcy filings pro bono?

Here's an idea: Ask her.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Man starting this week off with a bang are you not Xoff, Kennedy having a chance in the 5th lol Man what color is the moon on your planet. But please spend lots of Democrat money supporting Mr. Kennedy keep throwing it down that sink hole you will be doing us on the right a Favor lol. Max your donations to Brian out.

The only thing that can help Kennedy win an election is to move to Madison and live with his fellow Liberals. Then run for office its his only hope ;)

Oh and did Mr Hayden ask why this poor man had a huge and UNINSURED mortgage or is that evil rebulicans fault too. 800K mortgage and he didnt insure it hmmmmmmm and I am supposed to blame Mr Sensenbrener for that.

If the house had been properly insured the Bankruptcy dead line would be a moot point.

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Sven said...

why this poor man had a huge and UNINSURED mortgage or is that evil rebulicans fault too

It's not uncommon for home buyers not to have mortgage insurance, you twit. It's only required by lenders when you put less than 20% down.

Also, lenders are required to automatically cancel mortgage when a homeowner pays down 22% of the principal.

P.S. It's Ms. Hayden, you ignorant goon.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Chris said...

ok so I am a twit because this guy didnt have his finacial house in order

gee you meet the nicest people on liberal websites

ignorant goon because I miss read Ms to be Mr well please put me against a wall and shoot me. quick aside(we prefer to be called evil heartless conservative storm troopers)

So dude can afford a 800K house but didnt think it need to be insured and now its everyone else fault that he has to make a tough choice. Once again Not Mr Sensenbreners fault not my fault.

I am still trying to follow this line
"Also, lenders are required to automatically cancel mortgage when a homeowner pays down 22% of the principal." What does that mean remember talk slow I am an ignorant goon ok Sven.

I dont think that is what you ment to say Sven but who knows I r purty stupid not like all you super smart leftys

in the end if house was insured this is a nonstory

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Sven said...

"Personal responsibility" includes understanding the facts before you go spouting off, you dumb yokel.

Mortgage insurance isn't designed to be or intended as a hedge against natural disaster. It's purpose is to protect the lender until the buyer proves that he can make the payments.

Under federal law, the lender must discontinue the mortgage insurance policy when the buyer pays off 22% of his debt. It's a protection against unscrupulous lenders who continue to gouge buyers even after they've proven their credit worthiness.

I hope you're not a homeowner. If you were truly responsible, you'd already know this stuff.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Sven said...

Har har. F. Jim made this year's "50 Most Loathsome" list.

Charges: Hates free speech. Sensenbrenner is every truculent moron who ever shouted you down for informing him or called you a traitor for disagreeing with him.

Sensenbrenner wants to apply criminal penalties for broadcast indecency—jail for swearing. Sensenbrenner and his supporters don’t know a damn thing about freedom or democracy; they may not even understand that they are clearly against these concepts. They are terrible, mindless, trained by decades of churchgoing into an unquestioning loyalty and a bitter resentment of dissent. That’s why they didn’t mind when this turgid c**k abruptly ended a hearing on the Patriot Act after a single round of questioning because the witnesses were talking about Guantanamo.

Sensenbrenner gaveled the hearing to a close over the objections of many, and when it became clear that the Democrats weren’t leaving, this old, worthless bag of s**t turned off the microphones and ordered CSPAN to turn its cameras off, clearly enraged by the idea of liberals getting a turn to talk.

Specializes in legislative attacks on civil liberties and the separation of powers, such as the Patriot Act and 2005’s REAL ID Act, which made it’s way into law as a rider attached to a military spending bill, and allows the Homeland Security Department to bypass any law or court to erect physical barriers at our borders.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Chris said...

dumb yokel what an adult statement then you wonder why you people always lose lol Yes keep thinking we are all dumb and stupid and no where near as smart as you lefties Sven. Then keep waking up after each election having to wonder "how did we lose again to those stupid hick yokels"

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Sven said...

Hey, I'm not running for office. I call 'em like I see 'em.

You storm in here calling this hurricane victim stupid and irresponsible, when you're not even responsible enough to understand what you're accusing him of.

It's obvious that had you been in this guy's position, you'd be in even worse shape because you don't understand how homes are financed and insured.

The ironic thing is, your fellow wingnuts would just stand there laughing at your misfortune and calling you an irresponsible moron while the lefties you hate would be fighting to help you get back on your feet.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Karliots said...

Shouldn't this man's homeowner's insurance cover most or all of the $800k mortgage?

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Sven said...

Homeowner's insurance doesn't cover flooding. Flood insurance is administered and backed by the National Flood Insurance Program, an arm of FEMA.

NFIP only covers up to $250,000 for replacement of a home, and up to $100,000 to replace it's contents. In some cases, insurance companies will offer excess flood insurance above those limits, but they generally won't take you on if you live in a high-risk area.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Karliots said...

So it does come back to personal responsibility. This person either should have had flood insurance (which I understand would be rather expensive in that area) or should have been prepared for this situation. You can't tell me that these circumstances were not foreseeable to this under-insured homeowner. What did this individual expect to happen in the event of a flood?

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Sven said...

Good gravy, you people are thick. He DID have flood insurance. He had the maximum amount that was available to him. Read the letter again: $250K and a house marinated in sewer water for 2 weeks does not go far in paying off an $800K mortgage. That $250,000 came from the flood insurance.

When he purchased his home, the lender shouldered the risk that the house could be lost in a flood and that it would be stuck with the bulk of the unpaid mortgage. It was the lender's decision to assume that risk.

The bankruptcy bill (which wasn't in effect when he bought the home or when the hurricane hit)changed that equation. It shifted the risk to the home BUYER.

Now maybe he should have known that F. Jim and the Republicans were going to screw him over in favor of lenders and insurance companies.

But you didn't even know that homeowner's insurance doesn't cover floods. Which makes me suspect that you'd have no clue what you'd do if the excrement hit the fan.

At 8:37 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Yes Sven I do I would call my agent and collect my insurance check flood insurance would not be needed I live on the highest spot in my area so I dont have it and yes sven I knew insurance dosent cover flooding. I lived on a flood plain when I lived in fla. As for calling the gentleman with no insurance stupid I dont see that word used by anyone but you. Only insults being hurled here are by you.

As for being in worse shape Sven I doubt it for one I wouldnt build my home in a "high risk" area and then under insure it. But since your the smartest person in the room you wouldnt believe me about that. But you keep thinking we are all dumb and stupid and we will keep beating you on election day.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger urnotthatsmart said...

Do you think they did those bankruptcy filings pro bono?

I dunno, do you think F. James whores for citibank and mbna pro bono?

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Anita said...

Guffaw!!! The assumptions made out here in the blogosphere about those of us who have had to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Katrina NEVER cease to amaze me (not to mention tick me off...)

Uhm, to gbfan001 who said: "Yes Sven I do I would call my agent and collect my insurance check flood insurance would not be needed I live on the highest spot in my area so I dont have it and yes sven I knew insurance dosent cover flooding."

DUH. We live in the highest point in our area -- well above sea-level and well inland. We live in an area that has not flooded in at least 300 years of recorded history. We were told by our insurance agent and the Federal flood maps that we didn't need flood insurance either. Guess what? We had three feet of water in our house. Our insurance paid for damage to the roof. Otherwise -- we're on our own. Wanna know more? As of today - our parcel of land is STILL not included in a 'flood zone' - flood insurance is STILL not required. We were told that we were the hapless victims of a 500 year flood.

We have now purchased flood insurance for a maximum of $250,000. There are no private insurers in our area who supplement flood insurance at all - whether you're in a high risk area or the 500-flood plain.

Maybe you should call your agent.


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