Name: Chris Moscicki, 45
Profession: Auto industry, rental-fleet management
Location: Santa Clarita, Calif.
"I think the housing crisis needs to be addressed, first and foremost.
I've been in the auto industry for my whole working life, over 20 years. I got laid off at the end of 2007 when the Ford dealership I was at closed. I went to work for a local rental car company through August. I lost my job there in a restructuring. Then I was out of work for two months. Fortunately, I found something. I'm now working for a truck rental company.
In the good years I made really great money. Where I'm at now I had to take a 30% pay cut, if not more. Everything is adjusted. We can't buy clothes unless it's an ultimate necessity, and then you have to look for the sales. I've learned to sew pretty well. The credit card bills just don't get paid. When we first had a problem paying the bills, the people who called were really nasty and mean. Now, only one or two are nasty and mean. They understand now that when there's no money, there's just no money.
We're trying to get a loan modification, which is a joke. We're on our second try. We had to hire a lawyer this time around. We either pay the mortgage or pay the lawyer. We decided to pay the lawyer, because if we can't get this thing modified, we can't afford the house.
When people are out looking for work, they need to look for work with dignity. If you put people out of their house, how are they going to do simple things like take a shower and eat? That's why the government needs to focus on keeping people in their homes.
For the next 24 months, I think there should be a moratorium on foreclosures. If anybody can pay anything to the bank whatsoever, even if it's a couple hundred bucks, I think the bank should accept that. When the economy starts rebounding - it sounds like the end of 2010 is what everyone is saying - then the lenders can go to people, who are working again, and say, "What can we work out? What can you afford?"
I am a Republican, and I am a believer in the free-market system. What I'm saying is a little Socialist, which is kind of weird. Although my idea is extreme, there are billions of dollars in bailout money. I'd like to see the banks focus that money on us, the consumers.
The housing market isn't going to rebound for five or six years - and out here, when a house goes to foreclosure, the house goes empty for a year and goes to junk. What good does that do anyone? If Congress wants to really do something for us, they need to focus on housing. If people have a roof over their heads, they can concentrate on looking for a job." - as told to Stacy Cowley
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