Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Housing Crisis dragging thousands of Jobs.

Who is responsible and accountable for this mess? Thousands of people losing their jobs do to the Housing crisis and the saggy economy affecting all of us as Taxpayers. Just 2 years ago, real-estate agents and mortgage brokers were rolling in cash and living la Vida Loca. Now they've become job seekers and Homeless left high and dry in the housing bust.

In 2006, multiple buyers still lined up to bid on homes, 100% financing was practically a given, and prices kept rising, seemingly without limits.

Fast-forward to the present, when the subprime-mortgage fiasco has led to the demise of many big mortgage lenders and small banks. Thousands of jobs have been lost. Many real-estate agents who thrived during the boom years are now finding it difficult to make ends meet and are leaving the business or looking for additional work to supplement their incomes.

Many who lived the high life are now sucking wind.

"No one ever saw it coming," Nick Vasilakis says.

Vasilakis was forced out of the mortgage business barely four months after he had entered it. A casualty of a 7,000-employee layoff by American Home Mortgage in August 2007, he had been hired as a software quality engineer the previous April. At the time, the company was the 10th-largest mortgage retailer in the U.S. and appeared to be on a roll.

Vasilakis says that employees were "kept in the dark" about problems at American Home and that the company kept hiring even as a complete wipeout approached.

Days before the formal announcement of the end, Vasilakis and his Long Island co-workers were advised to start updating their résumés. Vasilakis recalls that one colleague hastily scheduled a colonoscopy before his medical benefits were terminated.

Vasilakis had just bought a house in the area and was preparing for his wedding the following month. It took him four months to find a new job, as a business analyst with Ipreo, a consulting business for investment banks in Manhattan.

More than a year later, the 177,000-square-foot Melville, N.Y., headquarters of American Home remains empty and for sale. The loss of more than 1,600 local employees continues to affect neighborhood businesses (at one point American Home was Long Island's sixth-largest employer).
Where these people are going to ending up? being Homeless? American Home Mortgages lays off more than 7,000 employees. When markets boom, jobs get created. When the housing market busts, they tend to go away.

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