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News of mayor’s default disappoints

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Outrageous! I don’t know about others, but I am personally appalled to read your report about our illustrious mayor of Auburn, Bill Kirby, defaulting on his mortgage and turning the property over to the bank (“Able homeowners walk away from loans,” Journal, April 19). While I have empathy for those out there that lost jobs or were first-time homebuyers being duped by unscrupulous mortgage brokers, this is a clear case of an investment in flipping homes during the rodeo ride in the housing blitz. The Honorable Mr. Kirby explains it as simply a “business deal” between he and the bank, but it is not without repercussions on the public at large. It is basically reneging on a contract he entered into in hopes for personal gain on the fast pace rise in home values of the housing market. He just got caught in an investment that went bad. If it had been a stock market investment and the market falls, you generally decide to hold or sell. If you sell, you absorb your losses and move on. In this case, he walks away and lets the bank absorb his losses. Shame on you, Mr. Mayor. While the Mayor will rationalize his decision by claiming he knows others who have had to walk away, I am certain we all know someone. I have a friend who is 63 years old and became disabled and lost his job. He didn’t walk away. He fought to the bitter end until the bank foreclosed and made him move out. It’s unfortunate, but it was the home he lived in. It was not an investment and it was his only real estate holding. Hiding behind the advice of lawyers, accountants and real estate professionals is a lame excuse. You relied on them when you got into this predicament. I guess I hold my elected officials to a higher standard. We entrust them to make wise choices about our community and the expenditures of our tax dollars. We hope they are wise with great integrity. I am saddened by what I read. Steve Laskey, Auburn