Subject: Comments for File Number S7-12-11

May 27, 2011

Iím writing because my family and I were affected by the economic collapse of 2008, and we donít want it to happen again.

First we were suckered into a refinance/debt consolidation loan when banks and mortgage brokers were reeling in any loan they could get, knowing that they would quickly sell it off as bundled securities for Wall Street. We were promised that in a year, if we kept up our payments, they would redo our loan for a much lower rate, with an escrow account for taxes and insurance (They wouldn't give us an escrow account on original deal in Dec. 2006). A year later the person who had facilitated our loan had had left the country and Beneficial had been taken over by HSBC (largest owner of sub-prime mortgages).

We set forth in 2008 to refinance but in Oct. 2008 as the markets were on the edge of total collapse, we were denied the refinance, no reason given. We now know that lending had essentially been frozen. A year later we tried again, but mysteriously(?) our house fell below the appraisal amount necessary, although it had been well-above the last 2 years. We were left with a mortgage payment that we had been promised would be lowered by Dec. 2007.

During the same time period, my husband's employment declined and the price of gas to get to work put further stress on our finances. We almost lost our house, struggling to pay the mortgage, taxes and other bills. We had to go on a playment plan for back taxes, which we have almost paid off, but HSBC continues to hassle us, saying "their records show we have unpaid taxes". We are paid up on all current taxes as well as the payment plan but they continue to hassle.

The last 5 years have been a struggle, putting an incredible strain on our finances, say nothing of the stress to our marriage. We have been luckier than many. We are about to pay off all our credit cards and will once again try and refinance our mortgage with our local bank for a lower rate this summer.

We have survived only because we drive old used cars, buy clothes at the thrift stores, have health insurance, have managed to stay healthy and have no children. In addition, my husband was ablre to retire recently with a UNION pension, another thing Wall Street wants to steal from the middle class.

But as we struggled, as so many other millions of families have, Wall Street got bailed out with our tax money, are up to their old tricks again and are pulling in immoral bonuses. To add insult to injury, the wealthy are not paying their fair share of taxes, further burdening our schools, communities and the entire middle class.

I believe only government can correct these agregious wrongs and help build a strong America and middle class again.

Wall Street greed and outrageous pay practices were a major cause of the collapse. One way to change the incentives so they donít collapse our economy again would be to delay the bonuses for three, five or more years. That way, weíll know if the loans they made in year one remain good. In the bad days, bankers paid themselves on the volume of loans (mortgages) they generated, not on their quality.

Thank you for considering my comment,

Linda Smith

Marathon, NY