"Blighted titles" | Oct. 3
Give home buyers lawsuit immunity
If the Florida Legislature is interested, here's a legal solution to a bad foreclosure, and the resulting "blighted title." Give the unrelated good-faith buyer after foreclosure or short sale immunity from suit in the same way a retail buyer of goods at a store is protected from the store's creditors.
Yes, this would be harsh on some property owners who might lose their home due to flawed foreclosures. But in those relatively rare cases, they'd still be able to sue the foreclosing bank, win, and be compensated by a jury, including receive punitive damages.
This would settle the good title issue and restore the willingness of title insurers to issue policies, thus restoring confidence in land titles and allowing the foreclosure mess to be cleaned up as quickly as possible.
Rolf H. Parta, Bradenton
TARP set to expire | Oct. 2
Economy better with TARP's help
The TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) was one of the most controversial legislations ever enacted. Yet, in retrospect, it may prove to be one of the most important in our modern history.
Before the TARP was enacted our GDP was cratering at about 6 percent a year, monthly job losses averaged about three quarters of a million a month and the Dow average was dropping by as much as 700 points in a trading day. Today the GDP is advancing at about 2 percent a year, the free fall in job losses has stopped, and the Dow average is over 50 percent higher from those dark days.
Also we can thank the TARP for saving the U.S. automobile industry by making the bankruptcies for GM and Chrysler orderly. GM soon will be a publicly traded company again.
Without the TARP and the rest of the government response we would most certainly be in Depression 2.0 now, and according to economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, (Democrat and Republican, respectively), GDP would be 11.5 percent lower, employment down 8.5 million jobs and we would be experiencing deflation.
Most people assume that the $700 billion was frittered away never to be seen again. In fact, all but less than 10 percent has been repaid and some of that remaining amount may eventually come back.
I know that TARP bashing scores political points, but when you realize what would have happened without TARP, it gives one pause.
George Chase, St. Pete Beach
$3.8 billion loss | Oct. 2
Postal Service could trim costs
So, the U.S. Postal Service expects to lose about $6 billion this year? Even though the Postal Service claims that the reason is due to the steep declines in mail volume, I think that there may be other reasons. Perhaps the Postal Service could benefit by practicing some penny-pinching techniques.
For starters, it could review its policy regarding sick days. Instead of handing out free sick day passes, whereby many employees will use them as "playdays," employees would have to prove that they were sick before they were paid for days missed.
That alone could save a lot of good money being spent for naught.
Vacation days could also be scaled back, giving two to three weeks maximum.
Employee benefits are a perk, but not necessarily a necessity.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater