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Occupy Wall Street protesters lack realistic expectations

The Occupy Wall Street movement

Some (like the Occupy Wall Street protesters) will disagree, but there have actually been good, if not necessary improvements born of the housing crisis. Many will not recall this fiasco, but there was a time when tenants were getting the boot while paying rent to landlords who were pocketing the cash, and yet skipping out on mortgage payments. Tenants have real rights now. If a foreclosure happens, they can stay through the end of the lease, and sometimes longer.

There are also at least 12 different government sponsored programs to help prevent foreclosure. TWELVE. These are in addition to the now traditional foreclosure avoidance methods that we have been using such as short sales, deed-in-lieus, loan modifications, interest rate reductions, mortgage cram downs, banks and servicers own in-house loan programs, and even short-refis are being used. When one of the programs recently expired with much of the funds being unused, we called it another failed initiative, like HAMP.

Last week, there was a photo shoot by John Moore in the Washington Post, on a family getting kicked to the curb via an eviction. They had an income loss, didn’t pay the mortgage for 11 months, and the wife didn’t tell her husband until the Deputy Sheriff came knocking with the final eviction notice. Yes, she was ashamed, embarrassed, whatever. There were at least 12 things she could have attempted to help her and her family, other than nothing. See above.

Enter the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is like the epitome of the I Want (Deserve) It Now Society we’ve become accustomed to – without actually doing or working for anything, and it’s such bull. These groups are out there protesting for everything, and I do mean everything… the war, foreclosures, money for ecological items, gender equality, taxing the rich, jobs, spreading the wealth, free healthcare, corruption everywhere, free college education, politicians, getting rid of credit agencies, corporate greed, eliminating *all* loans, big banks, bail outs, unemployment, raising the minimum wage to $20.00/hour regardless of employment, and God knows what else.

They want resolutions, and they want them now. Sorry, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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What got us here and what is next?

All of the crises which got us here- and the sleezoids who participated in them- didn’t screw everything up overnight, nor will they get their comeuppance all at once. The current programs and policies are designed to help distressed homeowners and there are more in the works for the future, as well as the money to finance them. It’s not as though the powers that be have a magic lamp with a genie inside granting unlimited wishes to conjure all of these programs up, it kind of takes time. A homeowner also has to toss out a little effort; they can’t just bury their head in the sand and hope for a miracle to arrive like a stork with a bundle of joy.

Protesting with no clear agenda at hand is one of the most confounding things I’ve ever heard of; doing absolutely nothing to help one’s self is one of the dumbest things I’ve heard of. There is a saying that I believe applies to these two scenarios: You can’t fix stupid.

Written By

Katie Cosner, occasionally known as Kathleen, or KT, is a Realtor® with Cutler Real Estate and is active in her local Board of Realtors® on the Equal Opportunity & Professional Development Committee. She has been floating around online for a number of years, and is on facebook as well as twitter. While Katie has a few hardcore beliefs, three in the Real Estate World to live and die by are; education, ethics, and the law - insert random quote from “A Few Good Men” here. Katie is also an avid Cleveland Indians fan, which really explains quite a bit of her… quirks.



  1. Peggy

    October 17, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Where do you get your news from? The majority of the protestors want an end to corporate-sponsored political cronyism and accountability for the actions of individuals who act unscrupulously on behalf of corporations. They do not want corporations to be given the same rights as individual citizens when they have the resources of small countries. They want the culture of greed that has run rampant in this country, actually throughout the world, to be tempered by some small amount of humanism. You think that is wrong? I think you are wrong.

    • Kathleen Cosner

      October 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Peggy, I actually get news from a ton of places, the NY Times, Fox, CNN, the Washington Post, local papers, HuffPo, and RE sites. The loosely organized protesters are not actually "for" one gven thing, and that *is* their thing. I just don't really agree with what they doing, and chose one of their issues to write about.

  2. Hello

    October 17, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Ms. Cosner has created quite a perfect little world for herself. There are twelve programs available? Has she tried one of these twelve herself? Does she know the reality of Mr. & Mrs. Consumer's attempt to utilize any of these programs? Clearly she has no concept of how things work in the real world and, if she wants to talk intelligently about these program, she should try utilizing just one of them herself. THEN maybe she'd understand the idea behind the Occupy Movement.

    Ms. Cosner, have you talked with anyone from the Occupy movement? Do you really understand why they're mad? Have you gone to one of the rallies or are you just speculating from the chair behind your computer? Do you understand what the right to protest means?

    Nobody is saying these problems can be fixed overnight. But, 99% of Americans didn't create this mess and yet, they are the ones being asked to fix it. And, if you even tried one of those 12 "fit-it" program you tout, you'd understand that statement. They are mad and rightfully so.

    That 1% has lined their pockets from the mess that's been created. The government can put whatever programs they want in place but, banks are the ones making it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to take advantage of those programs and NO ONE is forcing the banks to do that.

    It's the big corporations that get "bailouts" when they suffer from what's happened. Consumers have NEVER received a bailout but, we're just supposed to sit quietly and let them take more money from US to fix a problem we didn't create.

    You cite one incident of a woman not telling her husband they were being evicted. How about talking to the hundreds of thousands of people who tried desperately to save there houses but, could not because of all the red tape in these "helpful" programs. Who tried to refinance but, was told "no". Who tried to reduce their interest rate but, was told "no". Who tried to do a short sale but, was told "no".

    Come out of your bubble, Ms. Cosner, and talk with the people in that crowd.

  3. Kathleen Cosner

    October 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Hi… Hello, No one's life is a bubble, it's not all puppy dogs and sunshine. As a matter of fact, The Hardest Hit Funds, via Restoring Stability saved my fam's butt. I'm not mad, things happen, that are beyond our control. Things I certainly never planned on happening in this life. Do I need to speak with anyone involved in OWS? Not when I can read. People are quitting their jobs, their JOBS, so they can go protest.

  4. hangemhi

    October 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Wow- the pot calling the kettle black. YOU have unrealistic expectations of protesters. Anger in the streets is how revolutions start. You'd have been a Loyalist during the American Revolution with your kind of thinking. Geez, what was the point of throwing tea overboard during the "Boston Tea Party" that didn't solve anything. Meanwhile that occurred in 1973, the Declaration of Independence didn't happen until 1976 and the Constituion wasn't ratified until 1787. So you are the one with unrealistic expectations.

    • Kathleen Cosner

      October 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      Cute anaolgy. The Constituion, is a living, breathing document, which can be changed at any time. It has been so throughout the years and was designed as such; abolishing slavery, chicks getting the right to vote, prohibition, need I go on?

  5. South Lake Travis Real Estate

    October 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I agree with Kathleen. Some of the protesters know what they want, but I think most simply want change. Obama promised that and that has not exactly worked out in a favorable way.

  6. Ruthmarie Hicks

    October 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    This is perhaps one of the STUPIDEST and most ill-informed posts I've seen on AG EVER. Wake up and smell the coffee perking my dear…because you are as far removed from the harsh reality of the world as it gets. 12 Programs? HAH! Try getting the banks to help a distressed home owner with any one them. Hell will freeze over before they lift a finger. If this weren't so pathetic it would be FUNNY.

    I was out in the streets of my town with the #occupy wall street crowd and PROUD TO BE THERE. How dare you judge me or them. You obviously haven't a clue and what's worse, you could care less. The rich sold out the middle class over a 30 year period and the 99% are finally fighting back. This is the stuff revolutions are made of and those that have remained fat and happy are scared that the sleeping lion (the American public) is finally wide awake. These people have had the economic rug yanked out from under them. Most are hardworking Americans that have played by the rules and have been thrown under the bus for their trouble.

    And it is NOT too much to expect that those who trashed the world economy be held accountable for their actions in a timely way. The fact that they haven't paid the price shows how totally dysfunctional and corrupt our government has become.

    And btw, NO ONE I ran into quit their job so they could go protest. Some have RISKED their jobs in the name of free speech. I also met quite a few people who can't FIND a job. I initially came from biotech and know a lot of engineers, scientists and health care professionals with high degrees packing bags at Trader Joes and Stop 'N Shop. Stop watching Faux news – get out in the streets and talk to these people and get a grip on reality.

  7. Matthew Hardy

    October 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    @ Ruthmarie

    > "This is the stuff revolutions are made of…"

    Perhaps you might specify the type of revolution sought. Too often revolutions are violent. Try applying the act of protesting to a personal context. Have a problem? How does complaining solve it? Everyone seems to understand that, when shifting from complaining to problem-solving, a better situation results. In a political context, voting is the most potent answer for democratic societies. Rallies can serve to send messages about what citizens want, but the real responsibility lies with the individual and the use of their vote.

    > "those who trashed the world economy be held accountable for their actions… how totally dysfunctional and corrupt our government has become."

    Well. Let's name them. Who should be indicted? Who currently in government are most complicit? "Wall Street", of course, is too amorphous a target — unless the demise of capitalism is the real goal.

    The contemptuous tone… the extreme polarization. Yes, there are ideologues on all sides ("Faux News" watchers AND "MSLSD" watchers), yet my hope is for those who want to make a great country better by upholding and refining systems that have served us well for some time. Retribution, demonization, class-warfare: these are not the hallmarks of the dreamers and doers who embody the success of America.

  8. Kenny

    October 19, 2011 at 1:15 am

    It is disappointing to see this article on AG.

    "Enter the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is like the epitome of the I Want (Deserve) It Now Society we’ve become accustomed to – without actually doing or working for anything, and it’s such bull."

    "There is a saying that I believe applies to these two scenarios: You can’t fix stupid."

    The above statements are simply ridiculous and insensible, as is this whole article.

    I frequently read articles here because they are insightful, knowledgeable, and relevant. This article was none of these.

    The author should have just titled this article, "Occupy Wall Street protestors are lazy, stupid, and spoiled"

    I don't fully understand what is going on with the Occupy Wall Street protests, but when I see pictures of people across the WORLD protesting something, it seems pretty obvious that this is more than just a bunch of lazy people, quitting their jobs to go protest for handouts.

  9. Jeff Brown

    October 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Thank God and Katie for this post, as the comic relief in the comments has made my day. What a buncha whining, entitled wannabes, and never-will-be cry babies. Randomly pick 1,000 'occupy whatevers' and you'll find, in my opinion, that of those who're were eligible to vote, or bothered to, put there X next to Obama and his cohorts in their states. Now they're unhappy? And yeah, I know the next reply, 'It's Bush's fault'. I'm not a Bush supporter, but he was George Freakin' Washington compared to who the Occupiers put in office.

    NASA hasn't yet invented the devise that can measure the depth of ignorance of these yahoos. I for one HAVE seen multiple street interviews, and if their arrogance, stupidity, and ignorance weren't so sad and scary, they'd be hilarious. I take that back, I still laugh. Funny is funny wherever you find it.

    Ron White was right, you CAN'T fix stoopid. And pulllease stop claiming this is the beginning of a revolution. Frankly, it's much more likely the end to the socialist attempt at revolution that's been takin' our country down, rung by rung, since I was in fifth grade.

    These are the same ignoramuses (generically) who demonstrated in SF in the 60's, talking about free love and the rest of all their perfect world fantasies. Most of 'em are my age today (60), and I can tell ya from first hand experience, they fall into two broad brush categories.

    1. Embittered, defeated, and vindictive people who're still wondering what went wrong in their lives.

    2. Those who now speak of those long ago times with a bit of blush in their cheeks, wondering how they coulda been so naive for so long. They're the ones who later on elected Reagan twice. Churchill said it best I think, loosely paraphrased: If you're under 25 and not liberal, you have no heart. If you're over 25 and not conservative, you have no brain. Amen, Winston — we sure miss ya.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same. Every generation has it's losers. And no, I'm not labeling all the Occupiers as losers. Except that is on the first Wednesday of November 2012 that is. 🙂

  10. Kathleen Cosner

    October 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Feel free to critique, I can take it, really. Please do read the article, and its links in their entirety, before jumping to conclusions, though. And do please remember that any kind of trial, that doesn't involve burning at the stake or stoning in the streets, takes longer than two-three years.

    Here are other links to check out at your leisure:

  11. Ruthmarie Hicks

    October 21, 2011 at 1:29 am

    You can "take it" because you are clueless, insensitive and lack basic knowledge of the issues. Have you tried to help a seller with a short sale? Ever….I doubt it. As far as revolutions go – they are often violent. These demonstrations have been more peaceful than a lot of the tea bagger BS that I've seen. And Jeff you are certainly right- you have proven above all that you can't fix stupid….

    • Kathleen Cosner

      October 21, 2011 at 5:04 am

      Ruthmarie- I have refered several people to a great short sale agent over the years. As that is where her experience and talents lay. She has the contacts in nearly every bank to get them closed faster than any agent I've ever seen, & works with an awesome title co to help throughout the transactions. I have never taken a ref fee for any of them. Also I've refered people to various programs available, not just housing related, as that's where my contacts are. Some people utilize them, some don't. If you want to be angry, be angry at those who are not taking advantage of the programs which are set up to help. Please don't jump to sweeping conclusions simply because I have an opinion with which you may not agree.

  12. Matthew Hardy

    October 22, 2011 at 10:38 am

    > jump to sweeping conclusions

    A refuge for the empty and vapid argument.

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