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TMFHousel (92.50)

Presented Without Comment: American Idiots



November 26, 2010 – Comments (12)

From this morning's Wall St. Journal:

"Linda Frakes struggled to rent a home and buy a car after bankruptcy. A used-car dealer ultimately gave her financing on a Jaguar.

Alright, I can't resist a comment. Only in America can you be bankrupt, near-homeless, and think you're entitled to a Jaguar. 

12 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 26, 2010 at 11:52 AM, Teacherman1 (< 20) wrote:

I remember whan I was much younger, thinking of how fantastic a Jaguar looked, even when sitting parked. Then I met someone who owned one and found out why I saw more of them parked than being driven.

Only a person with more money than sense, and with a spare car to  drive, or a foreign car mechanic (also with a spare car to drive), could actually afford to own one. 

Good luck Linda. If you are single, look for a good mechanic to date. 


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#2) On November 26, 2010 at 12:06 PM, vriguy (86.71) wrote:


Linda clearly has made what I'd consider a bad decision, for the same reason as Teacherman. That said, she may or may not be an idiot, I do not know enough about her situation to judge. Maybe the lease was the least bad choice she had. 

The used car dealer probably is not an idiot - he's dealing with a diminished and impoverished client base, has access to cheap money, and is probably charging a rate that factors in the probability of default.

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#3) On November 26, 2010 at 1:08 PM, TMFBabo (100.00) wrote:

I think vriguy makes a good point about the car dealer, but it sounds to me like there's a good chance Linda hasn't learned from her bankruptcy.  

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#4) On November 26, 2010 at 2:29 PM, truthisntstupid (98.26) wrote:


Some people go through their whole lives never grasping this simple truth

Money is more fun to have than to spend.

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#5) On November 26, 2010 at 2:34 PM, Option1307 (30.39) wrote:

Idiot! Ha.

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#6) On November 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM, kdakota630 (40.20) wrote:

A Jaguar probably isn't the best choice when it comes to reliability, but there's no mention of how old the car is.  It could've been cheap and the oldest car on the lot.

Without more details, I personally would refrain from calling her an idiot just yet.

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#7) On November 26, 2010 at 2:46 PM, TMFHousel (92.50) wrote:


Fair enough. Perhaps I've jumped to conclusions.  


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#8) On November 26, 2010 at 3:07 PM, rd80 (98.00) wrote:

I've been very happy with a used Jag I bought about five years ago.  It was coming off a one-year business lease with 10k miles.  Commute in a Jag vs. commute in a Hond-ota - wasn't really a tough decision.  No problems I can blame on the car with over 60k more miles on it.

But, I wasn't bankrupt when I bought it and it would have been a really poor choice for someone trying to rebuild finances.

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#9) On November 26, 2010 at 3:42 PM, zymok (24.84) wrote:

Here's the article.

She paid $1400 up front and financed the rest at 18%. Her monthly payments are $300, and she's pulling $330 weekly unemployment.

Sounds pretty idiotic.

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#10) On November 26, 2010 at 5:09 PM, TMFBabo (100.00) wrote:

Upon reading zymok's article link, I see she also rented a "house" instead of something cheaper.

The "she's not an idiot" argument is that she went with the people (car dealer and landlord) that would finance the car and would let her rent the house versus rejecting her outright like everyone else.

Still, I think she made poor choices on both counts. She could've rented the oldest thing on the lot from the same dealer that was willing to offer her financing.

On renting a home instead of an apartment (or something smaller), the landlord clearly offered a different property - it seems she could've rented something cheaper but opted for convenience when she wasn't in the position to demand it.  

The article paints her as having ingenuity, and she sure must have the gift of gab to talk people into letting her finance the car and rent a house without a job.  Still, they were poor financial decisions given the circumstances, since it seems like both the car dealer and the landlord would've allowed her to downgrade to something cheaper in both situations.

I praise her persistence, but not her financial choices. 

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#11) On November 27, 2010 at 10:29 AM, mardukkorn (48.12) wrote:

Everyone without exception deserves a life of luxury and it can be provided for. That is the promise of Heaven after all.

Let us think beyond mere human limitations, everything is possible, nothing is forbidden.






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