This azcentral article about homeowners who mail in their keys instead of making payments described a situation that’s just pathetic on so many levels. It said:

“Joan Shaffer is turning in the keys of the north Phoenix Tatum Ranch home she bought with her daughter in late 2005. They put nothing down on the home, took out a loan that let them pay less than they owed each month and now their loan is $200,000 more than the house is worth.”

Hindsight is always 20/20, but still, the tiniest bit of foresight should have prevented one major mistake. It should be crystal clear that if you pay less than you owe each month, you’re going to owe more and more with each passing day. That’s just basic math.

But the next part is what really struck me as pathetic:

“We paid $585,000. It was the peak of the market, but no one told us,” said Shaffer, a real-estate agent from Colorado. “We would probably have to spend the next 20 years trying to get right on the mortgage. That’s crazy.”

Wait. She’s a real estate agent?

Presumably a real estate agent might have some experience with, oh, I don’t know…Real estate? Market values? The housing industry? Comps? Buying and selling homes?

But she’s upset that “no one told” her that it was the peak of the market?

I guess that there’s a person out there whose job it is to accurately predict the future and actively go out of their way to prevent hapless real estate agents from doing stupid things with real estate. And boy did that person screw up!

Give me a break.

Sure, we all make mistakes. It’s how you handle things after the mistakes that matters.