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DAN'S PAPERS, June 11, 2010 Page 36

Hanging the Banks

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Most of these people now view the money they aren’t paying to the banks as extra money. It helps them advertise their businesses. It helps them go on vacations. It helps them fix up their houses, even though they know that sooner or later they will be out of them. The thing is, it is now much later than sooner. The average amount of time that passes from when a bank forecloses and the homeowner is forced out is now measured in years. In Florida, the average is 415 days. In New York, the average is 561 days. The obvious reason for this is the great backlog of foreclosed homes that have to be dealt with. But there’s another reason too. Lawyers have now begun to do a brisk business in representing people who make the decision to simply stop paying their mortgages. “I just do as much as needs to be done to force

the bank to prove its case,” said Mark Stopa, who is one of these lawyers. “For example, I’ll ask them to prove that they are the oneswho owns the mortgage. I did that in one case eight months ago and it stopped the process cold. We still haven’t heard anything from them.” Stopa asks his clients to pay him a fee of about $1,500, spread out over a year or two. He can get them to remain in their homes sometimes for that amount of time and more. HELLO, TEA PAERTY! I read this story on the front page of The New York Times, with a jump to the Business Section where, I am sure, everyone is thinking—“How can we put a stop to this?” “I’ve just stopped being scared of bankers calling me and threatening to foreclose on me,” a woman said, “Let them be scared of ME.”

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THE GREEN AWARD Last week we presented the Dan’s Papers Green Award to the company that makes Icelandic Glacial bottled water. On the plastic bottle, Icelandic Glacial declares itself to be absolutely pure and recyclable. The Green Award goes out to the dumbest claims that the ad people can dream up. In this case, Icelandic Glacial has nothing to say about the cost of bringing the water to you. You’ve already got water. But this water is brought in container ships powered by diesel engines that belch the worst pollutants imaginable into the sky just so their cargo can be steamed across the ocean, just so they can be enjoyed by little old you. This week’s Green Award goes to Continental Airlines for declaring that they have received the award for being the most environmentally friendly airline in the world. So next time you see a Continental Jet streaking through the air amongst the 20,000 other aircraft that are in the skies over America at any one time, know that Continental is spewing a record amount less into the stratosphere than all the others. There you are.


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their choices. The final decision was by popular vote among the jurists. Janet Maslin won it fair and square. Shepard read this quote from the winning review. “When a main character searching for a lost loved one becomes the main suspect in that person’s disappearance, the story is figuratively stuck on Monopoly’s low end Baltic Avenue.”—Janet Maslin. And he also read an excerpt from one of the reviews that was a runner-up. “Nobody can get to the heart of our Johnny, or ears. Gary Oldman lied but nobody licked him, being a journalist. Phyllis Diller’s The Wife is very impressive and lull that, but who’s got the money these days? (All the wrong pimple, that’s who—backoff scullards, go mount your monkey.) Nonetheless to fins this book is like Jo dine all over gin.”—Nellie McKay. He also said there was an attempt made to get an actual live donkey to the award ceremony, but the person with the donkey said in the morning it would cost $150, but then later in the day called back to say make that $500. As the former had been accepted it seemed an unfair thing to jack up the price so much in just a few hours, so the committee said never mind. The presence of the donkey at the awards was sort of hinted at in the press releases sent out prior to the event in the hopes that some reporters might show up to pet a donkey. But that idea did not seem to help anything. All in attendance agreed on the fact that the quality of reviews, particularly under the latest regime of book editorship at The New York Times, had sunk to new low levels. Any suggestions for a reasonably priced donkey for next year’s award would be greatly appreciated.

Dan's Papers June 11, 2010  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

Dan's Papers June 11, 2010  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...