'The Car Was Repossessed, but the Debt Remains'


Yeah I get notices from the GM dealer that they need my G6 and also get notices from Acura. I get lots of other mail too telling me to refinance, get a reverse mortgage, give to the Indian School in SD, and buy life insurance. Its just so much advertising. We used to figure cold calling would return 1-2%. So if you made 100 calls, you’d get one or two buyers. Tough way to make a living.

I think it is evident we have two schools of thought here that are probably never going to change their mind set. I’m all against fraud and I’m actually all against usurous lending rates and pay day loan places. I understand that means that some people will just never be able to get a loan because they are too risky. No good answer. But Minneapolis/St. Paul schools spend over $11,000 per person for high school and still have very poor graduation rates, absenteeism, students beating teachers up, and on and on. Its not money, it’s leadership and the clientele IMHO.

We have to understand that there is a percentage of the population that will just only deal with bottom feeder businesses due to culture or whatever reason. That’s just who they deal with and even if they could qualify, they’ll never go to a bank or credit union, and maybe don’t even have an account. It’s just foreign to them. Remember the NO flood and the problems trying to help those folks? If no one did business with pay day loan places, they wouldn’t be in business. Just like drug dealers. There wouldn’t be any if there wasn’t a market.

So put me on the fence. Limit conditions and interest rates, try to teach the bottom 10%, but after that let them fail on their own and maybe learn something.


Yes Mike, I have bought and sold 4 homes and refinanced twice. I am quite familiar with TILA forms and frankly, never really had much trouble understanding them. They seemed to be written in fairly plain English and the variables entered on the form were in very large font.

Now some of the other paperwork was far more obfuscated with legal jargon that could make your eyes bleed…


Whether you can understand the forms or not, never never never buy real estate without a lawyer that looked everything over. Property lines, EPA restrictions, easements, Sheriff sales in the past, and on and on. The mortgage documents are pretty straight forward and the least of your worries.


It’s common knowledge.


Lawyer? I don’t need no stinkin’ lawyer. Never had one for a purchase or sale and never will. I do all my own diligence and contract negotiation. I won’t dispute that its probably good advice in general but I stop short at the never, never, never part…


It’s a shame you didn’t merely claim one mere study found a lack of correlation between spending and student achievement. If you had, that article would be enough to start the conversation. Unfortunately, you drew several conclusions which you have yet to substantiate:

First, there is nothing in your article about [quote=“insightful, post:57, topic:105084”]
…big cities spend(ing) the most per student…

Second, there is nothing in your article that suggests students who attend school in cities end up less educated than their non-urban counterparts and [quote=“insightful, post:57, topic:105084”]
…still turn(ing) out the most dopes…

If, indeed, your claim is [quote=“insightful, post:64, topic:105084”]
common knowledge,

…you have yet to prove it, even if I were to give one mere study far more weight than it deserves.

I have confidence you can do better than that, and prove you didn’t pull this so-called “common knowledge” out of your tailpipe.


Here is a much more nuanced discussion of the issue of correlation between education spending and academic outcomes:


From the conclusion:

“Although most data on the simple correlation between school expenditures and achievement show a strongly positive affiliation, the strength of relationship disappears when one controls for differences in family background. Indeed, detailed research spanning two decades and observing performance in many different educational settings provides strong and consistent evidence that expenditures are not systematically related to student achievement. Moreover, the dramatic differences that exist in teachers’ performance have not been captured by any account of differences in their backgrounds or classroom behaviors.
School reform discussions that begin with the premise that constraints on expenditures are the most serious roadblock to improved student performance are, at best, misguided. Expenditure increases, if undertaken within the current institutional structure, are likely to be dissipated on reduced class sizes or indiscriminate raises in teacher salaries, with a result that growth in costs will almost surely exceed growth in student performance.
This research raises a number of obvious questions to which, embarrassingly, we have no answers. What causes the apparent waste of resources? Why is there so little pressure for efficient operation of our schools? What incentives will help schools increase their effectiveness? Can the institutional structure be altered to facilitate improved performance? Answering these questions will be key in the long-run improvement of our system of education.”

As you can see, the issue is not nearly as simple as you attempt to frame it. Issues such as waste and teacher incentives are big factors in how money spend affects outcomes.


We speak of cars and often recommend that people pass up buying clunkers or scrap cars that have out lived their usefulness and move on to something more promising. That’s not an option when it comes to people. The “lemons” and “clunkers” will be dealt with one way or another. So far our leaders have wasted a great deal of money and effort on half hearted dog and pony shows and the problem has actually grown.

I live in a small town in the poorest state in the country where the “rubber meets the road” on the issue of poverty and I can say it has been my observation for most of my 68 years that the leaders here do not want to solve the problem. Leaders here are determined to make life so harsh here that the poorest here will pack up and hitch hike up hiway 61 just like hundreds of thousands already have.


But businesses have no right to commit fraud. And that should be punished. Don’t twist my words into ridiculous arguments of the absolute.

Laws should be to protect the rights of the individual. All laws have the intent to protect an individual’s rights but always restrict another’s rights. All laws. Even if they don’t appear on the surface to restrict another’s rights. They do anyway. Any law passed must be enforced. Every enforcement is paid by tax dollars. All tax dollars restrict an individual taxpayer’s rights. We accept that restriction for the good of society - to a point.

Your sister entered into a lawful contract that spelled out the redress if she failed to pay. If she didn’t understand that transaction, she could have walked away, or had it explained by a helpful brother or an attorney. Freedom should not be infringed by laws developed by do-gooders who think they are preventing someone else from harm by restricting their rights and mine as well.


Yep that’s the dirty little four letter word that is the great equalizer: MOVE if you don’t like where you are. Part of the problem with the whole education business is that due to our PC world, we cannot talk about the real issues with the clientele and the failing schools and if you can’t talk and identify the real issues, there is no resolution so it then revolves around money and social programs. We talked about it way back in 1968 in Sociology and it just got worse but no one can mention it now, so good luck, save yourself, and take care of your own family.

But then this is car talk, not school talk, or money talk, so back to cars. I sold my Riviera to a native American girl that needed transportation to get to work. High mileage but good condition, full tank of gas, good tires, new $80 battery. I charged her $50 and told her just to make sure she transferred the title. Never did and it wasn’t a month before she let her cousin work on it and never got it running again after that. Just leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Pay day loan and 25% interest car loan here I come.


The top spending cities:

Newark, NJ - $31K/student/year
Buffalo, NY - $29K
Camden, NJ - $27K
District of Columbia - $27K
East Orange, NJ - $25K
New York, NY - $25K

So, you’re saying you can prove these are bastions of overall academic excellence?

Be my guest.



We’re not talking about the general public but a small minority that can’t or won’t manage their finances. Remember that this is a new skill: people used to spend all the money they got and no one would lend them money. Catastrophic expenses were rare in the 19th century: no one owned a car, there were no mortgages, there was no expensive medical treatment, people died the day after they retired. You neglect the other part, figuring out whether a car is any good, using legal remedies for having bought a lemon.

A car that doesn’t run doesn’t, and becomes a financial liability.

No one is against it.

I moved without a car most of the times I moved.

So we should protect them from themselves, the way we try to protect people from poisoning themselves with bogus medicines. People smoke cigarettes, drink until they pass out, eat themselves into diabetes and heart disease. We all pay the price of remedying the pathologies they inflict upon themselves. We can pay less if we can discourage them.


Prohibition proved that assertion incorrect. It cost us in the growth of organized crime and the resources to fight it. So we stopped and made it legal again. It can be argued the same has occurred to fight marijuana. Billions spent to no effect and now states are legalizing it in opposition to the federal government.

Cigarette use has been proven through 2 JAMA studies to cost society LESS since smokers die early and quickly. They use less resources than an aged citizen does in the last 3 years of life. But we ignored that. Sure, smoking is bad for you (I lost my father, mother and uncle to smoking) but now we legalized the smoking of marijuana in a number of states. How does that make rational sense? Demonize one and legalize the other? I think all in the quote should be legal… Its an issue of personal liberty. It also has become an issue of DUI enforcement (to bring it back to cars) because there is no breathalyzer for marijuana. Its all up to a field sobriety test.

Economics entered into the discussion because We The People decided to nationalize the healthcare of the aged and the indigent. We think that gives us the right to tell others how to live their lives because taxpayers are paying the price. That’s an insidious little fascist detail about social reform and reformers.


The problem with saying cities who spend more per student aren’t achieving the same as rural areas that are spending less is very misleading.

  1. Teacher salaries are higher in cities because the cost of living is higher. A teacher who earns $40k in some small town in upper Maine, the teacher in NYC to have the same lifestyle the teacher in Maine has will have to earn upwards of $120k.

  2. All other costs are higher. Our town built a new high-school about 15 years ago at a cost of $25m. That same new high-school in NYC could easily cost $100m.

  3. Just basic materials like books and paper will also be higher in NYC.

Just to maintain the same level as a small rural town many cities will have to put 2-3 times the amount of money into their schools.

I don’t think just shoveling money into a school system is the answer either. But doing spending smart does work. Many school systems are now starting to pay teachers based on subject…and NOT by strictly by how many years. Math and science teachers are getting starting to get paid more then a English teacher. Good English teachers are a dime a dozen. School districts are having a hard time finding qualified Math and science teachers at the salary levels of an English teacher. My towns high-school has 8 math teachers and only ONE has a Math education background. The other 7 had degrees in English or History. Not even remotely qualified. It’s one reason all my kids went to a private school with teachers who are actually qualified to teach the subject.


How do you think that a business which uses a business model of getting poor people to give it money when it has no intention of actually selling a car to be anything other than fraudulent?

No one’s suggesting restricting any rights other than the “right” to prey on the vulnerable.


If that can be proven, it is already fraud and can be prosecuted. No new laws are required.

Actually, you are. Re-read my post. Every law restricts someone else’s rights. Every one. If, in an attempt to protect the consumer, the buy here pay here places go under. Even the ones who make an honest attempt to serve the credit-unworthy Their rights are restricted. But this is a circular argument with no solution. You view ALL these dealers as dishonest, I view it as SOME of them are dishonest.


@MikeInNH I retired from a 44 year career teaching mathematics, statistics and computer science​. I taught everything from college algebra to graduate theoretical statistics, from beginning computer programming through a graduate course in computer simulation. One of the most difficult courses I taught was a graduate research methodology class. In this course, I had the students write a research proposal following a strict set of guidelines and supporting​ their proposed.work with peer reviewed journal articles. I can tell you this: England teachers earn their pay. Grading problem assignments and computer program was a snap compared to grading research proposals. Helping students with mathematics problems or computer programming problems was a.breeze compared to helping students with their writing problems. I was.old.school in my teaching. I refused.to have a.grader. I did all the grading myself. I wanted to know how the students were doing. I gave.numerous assignments.that the students.had to turn in. I think teaching English would be a.real.challenge. As a math teacher, I would find it hard to teach in a situation where.I was.paid more than an English teacher with the equivalent degree and.years of.experience.


I somehow fell into a period of Baby Boomer economic growth in a small community that valued education and therefore received a better than average public school education from some exceptionally intelligent and dedicated teachers. In recent years the graduates of the local high school seem to be sorely lacking in all things intellectual and have only an elementary school level of knowldege of geography, government, and mathematics and are totally clueless in how to express themselves beyond a childish www pidgin English. Many think that -4SALE is actually a word.


I’m not saying they don’t. What I’m saying is supply and demand. There are far far far more qualified high-school English teachers then high-school Math teachers. In the public sector the jobs that have fewer applicants to pick from usually pay higher. The more applicants to pick from the lower wage. Companies that need qualified applicants for a specific skillset pay more.

I have a friend who’s a decent engineer. Worked with him for a few years. But he went down the path of specializing in Microsoft SharePoint. He has almost all the SharePoint certifications there are. Now does consulting and demands $140+/hr. No problem getting it. He’s currently on a long term contract (3+ years) guaranteed 40/hr week, and many times overtime - which he gets paid for. On average he’s paid over $300k/yr. He is no better then the engineers that work for me. But his skillset is highly sought after. He offered me a job to work with him…but I HATE SharePoint.


If you’re not going to display the intellectual honesty to quote my entire sentence, and then proceed to tell me I’m wrong based on the half that you cherrypicked in order to attack my viewpoint, I see no way forward for this discussion.

For the record, despite the fact that it’s written down one post above yours, the entire sentence was (emphasis added):