There's gold in them thar hills. All you gotta do is just dig it out. Stupidity is big business, with big money to be had from those dim bulbs out there who believe anything they see on TV.
"Marie Osmond lost 50 pounds of stubborn belly fat on Nutri-System. You can, too!" Everybody knows that if you say 'stubborn belly fat' enough times, the money will flow into the advertiser coffers. And American bellies will still be layered with that stubborn belly fat. Lots of it.
"Serve-Pro; it's like it never even happened." A flood wipes out everything you own, and these guys will swoop in and make your life whole again. The ads said so. Right. They will promise to fix every damn thing, just sign here. And once your check clears, the foot dragging starts. It'll take between now and Kingdom Come for these scalawags to get your life back together, and it will never be exactly to your liking.
"Nothing ever sticks to MY pan, ever." Chef Daniel Green swears that you can buy his Gotham Steel frying pan and throw away all of your cleaning pads, scouring powder and such, just wipe his miracle pan clean with a paper towel. I actually bought into this one myself, stupid me. The pan loses its anti-stick properties after one or two uses.
If you believe these guys, the only thing you will be guaranteed to lose is not your stubborn belly fat. It's your wallet that's going to get skinny, and you will get virtually nothing in return.
Take those ads for reverse mortgages from AAG, featuring smooth talking, handsome Tom Selleck shilling these loans. Stability in retirement is what they are selling. Your home's equity turned into tax free cash, it's like money for nothing and your chicks for free. "It's just another way for the bank to take your house," and Tom poo-poohs this notion. Americans will believe Tom, he's too damn tall and handsome to lie.
Is Tom lying? Well, technically, probably not. He's reading a script. The reverse mortgage people are counting on the dumb American public to trust these celebrities (and we do), and then watch the money flow in. In fact, it is just another way for the bank to take your house. Tom may not be lying technically, but what he is saying is not what you are signing up for.
We used to call these loans 'second mortgages,' and they are all the same: banks loan money to home owners and use the equity in the home as collateral. Once you sign those papers, the bank just took your house. "You still own your home," Tom croons. Well, not really. The bank has a lien on your house, just like any other instrument such as a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a home equity loan, or some banks even stick to the antiquated term 'second mortgage.'
The only difference in these new fangled reverse mortgages from the old fashioned mortgages is how the loan is repaid. Rather than chip away at the interest and principal each month with a payment, these things are back loaded and are paid in full once the home 'owner' vacates the house: assuming you don't default on the banks terms for maintaining their interests on 'their' property such as failing to fix the leaking roof, pay your annual property taxes or fail to take out home owner's insurance (which would be grounds for immediate eviction of you and your loved ones from the bank's house).
In the good ol' days, home owners would pay off their 30 year mortgage, burn the mortgage paper at the pay off date, and live happily ever after in their free and clear house. And after the Good Lord calls these folks home, the off spring inherit the homestead.
Those days are long gone. The bank now owns the home, until its interests are paid in full after the house is vacated. Which is usually a hefty sum, often equalling the fair market value of the house (which the bank will arbitrarily and unilaterally determine).
These ads, all of them, promise the world to a gullible viewing public. Word of advice: don't believe a word, not a syllable of what these shysters are hawking. It's all crap, and the only winner in any transaction with these guys is them.
Sunday Sermonette - *Life, Death and Politics* On January 29, a bill came to the floor of the US Senate, which if passed, would ban late-term partial birth abortion. In this p...
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