Across the country, homeowners have been facing foreclosure after seeing their payments on adjustable mortgages increase while housing prices fell. According to the Palm Beach Post, this problem has even afflicted the Republican senate candidate in Florida, Marco Rubio.
Rubio is reportedly facing foreclosure on a Tallahassee home that he co-owns with David Rivera, a Florida state lawmaker. The duo “stopped making payments in February after a dispute about the amount [of the mortgage payment] once the interest-only period ended.” Rubio’s campaign has claimed that the issue has “been resolved,” even though documents do not show that the foreclosure process has been halted.
Rubio, of course, is basing his entire campaign on his version of fiscal conservatism, and has repeatedly criticized the Obama administration (as well as Republicans) for spending money that it doesn’t have:
“It’s not just good enough to say, you know what, we think Barack Obama’s doing a bad job. You’ve got to say what you would do instead. And I think there’s so much to be done, whether it’s stop the growth of the federal government, stop spending money we don’t have.” [CNBC, 1/12/10]
“President Barrack Obama’s economic policies are wrong, Rubio said. ‘We are spending money we don’t have,’ Rubio said.” [Florida News-Press, 5/13/10]
“Really, in the last 20 years it’s been a battle between the tax-and-spend democrats and the borrow-and-spend republicans. Both parties are guilty of spending money that we don’t have.” [Hotline, 10/23/09]
Of course, if Rubio wasn’t prepared to spend on his adjustable mortgage, he shouldn’t have taken it out. And if he was, in fact, led to believe that he could afford the mortgage or that the adjustment was not as drastic as it was, then he should be pushing for stricter government regulation of the mortgage market through the creation of a consumer financial protection agency.
As the St. Petersburg Times pointed out, “even if the [mortgage] dispute is finalized, it makes Rubio vulnerable to criticism once again about his personal finances. As House Speaker, he charged $16,000 in questionable personal expenses to a state Republican Party credit card, including $135 at a Miami barbershop, and later refunded $3,000 for flights he double-billed to taxpayers and the party.”
Cross-posted on the Wonk Room.