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Wasiu Adedeji

My name is Wasiu Adedeji and I am a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.  General Electric – and their subprime lender, WMC Mortgage – is the reason I became a real estate agent.  I had to learn how to short sell my own house to avoid foreclosure.

My story begins in September 2006.  I just started a new job six months prior.  Even though I never bought a house, I had heard from friends how easy their experiences had been.

Making $35,000 per year, I was told I qualified for a $425,000 loan. 

I told my real estate agent that seemed strange.  How could I afford the loan?

He said, “Don’t worry!”  I could rent out the basement.  I could live with other family members.  I could take on a second job. This would be a great investment!  And I trusted him.

A stated income comprising of the potential rental income and those of family members was used to qualify me for the loan.  But the loans my broker put together – a broker I never saw or met before I signed the paperwork – were crazy.

On a $425,000 loan, my interest rate started at 8.07% and could go as high as 14.57%.  Payments started at more than $3000 per month and could have been as high as $5000 if I had stayed in the loan.  To top it all off, even if I had kept the house for 30 years, I would have had a balloon payment of almost $200,000 to keep the house!

Looking back, I should have known better.  I should never have signed those papers.

But – as a real estate agent now – I also know that I was taken advantage of.  My trust was violated.  My ego and self-esteem were severely battered. My life was almost ruined.  But I fought back.  Unfortunately, more than 600 families cannot say the same.

I accept responsibility for what happened to me.  I accept responsibility for what I could and should have done.  And now I challenge General Electric & Mr. Immelt to accept their responsibility as well.