How That Bailout Works

On May 12, the day the city inspector came to board up his house, Ted Poetsch was eating lunch. After living all of his 53 years at 823 Penn Av. N., Poetsch had an hour left to pack his stuff and get out. Cane in hand, he lurched around, throwing a few things in bags, putting Kitty in the carrier. He heard the contractor outside starting to drill into the door frame. Poetsch made his way down his narrow stairway, resigned to the end he had resisted for three years, through personal financial missteps, the false promise of a foreclosure “rescue” and a court victory that gave him short-lived hope. He came to the door and realized that he was too late. A truck had driven away from the house, prompting those outside to think the tenants were gone. Poetsch had been boarded up inside his house.

The house at 823 Penn, vacant and already a target for thieves, is now owned by Fannie Mae. In September, the federal government took over the mortgage giant in a multibillion-dollar bailout after it was brought to the brink of collapse by the housing meltdown. Poetsch got no such assistance. The city determined that the house was potentially unsafe and that Poetsch was essentially a squatter in the only home he had ever known. Now this North Side neighborhood has one fewer neighbor and one more boarded house. “Everybody loses,” said Poetsch’s onetime attorney, Josh DuBois, who helped Poetsch get out of his boarded house that day in May.


2 Responses to “How That Bailout Works”

  1. wyamarus Says:

    Flashing back to my youth in the 60s and 70s…Once more it’s time for neighborhood squats and telling the banksters and the cops ‘Up against the wall, motherfuckers!’. This fight has been fought before, but I just get the feeling that they don’t take it seriously until some of the goons get hurt doing the man’s dirty work. This starts in the schools, where the propaganda of a consumption driven lifestyle and class alienation is ingrained into the impressionable youth, while their parents are out struggling for a subsistence living and to satisfy the manufactured desires for the token trappings of ‘middle-class’ bourgeois lifestyle. People in the US just don’t get it, about the reality of all-out class warfare going on right now. We all have to stick together,and take control back of our lives in very basic ways. Grow as much of your own food as you can, share or trade the surplus with others. This reduces the threat of using starvation as a threat of social control, and keeps the wealth and productivity you have created out of the leeches hands through taxes and middlemen. Organize and stand up to stop evictions. Everyone deserves a home, and that was at the heart of English (and pre-English) notions of personal sovereignty and self-determination. Take back the Commons for public use; the Government no longer represents the ‘public’, and it could be argued that it hasn’t, ever since the days of the Enclosure Acts. This is just a start, and admittedly it represents the skewed view of a reprobate hippie and a Yank, to boot; but I see the problems in the UK and the rest of the World as the result of the export of some pernicious practices of the monied elite that found fertile soil in the second-hand English bourgeois exceptionalism that runs rampant in the US, and has been re-imported by every two-bit martinet who has fantasies of wealth and power. Anybody who believes that laissez-faire anything can be good for society only has to look at the pitiful,and declining, condition of the US and the majority of it’s people to see what a crock that is.

    • RickB Says:

      Yes I think communities should organise and resist all foreclosures but like you say people are brought up to be part of the dog eat dog capitalist faux society so it is hard to get co-operative action going.

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