TOUGH TIMES HIT HOME IN KANSAS: Lay offs, Home Foreclosures... Know Anybody Affected?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Feb 24, 2009 8:13 PM GMT
    We've been pretty lucky in the State of Kansas... Unemployment hardly
    increasing... my home valuation still is.. actually quite a bit over last year
    (and houses in my area sell quickly)... But...

    Things are slowly changing with regard to employment. A neighbor had to sell his house because he got laid off. A company in which I am licensed had marketing people laid off.. and lots of aircraft personnel in Wichita are starting to lose jobs. Its all pretty much of late....

    So do you know of anyone who has lost his (or her) job or were forced to sell their home (or some other major negative financial problem) due to the economy?? Curious.

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    Feb 24, 2009 9:32 PM GMT
    A lot in the financial services up here. Fidelity is headquartered here, and we've had a few rounds of lay offs. I also have been seeing a number of clients who have been laid off.

    So far, no recent foreclosures around here, but I do know of some earlier.
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    Feb 24, 2009 9:45 PM GMT
    More than I care to discuss but, yeah, plenty of friends have been laid off. I've been lucky so far. My partner's an MD, and my line of business keeps me relatively (emphasis on relatively) safe from economic downturns. I like to think we're both safe, but I definitely count my blessings every day.
  • KansasColt09

    Posts: 179

    Feb 25, 2009 2:34 AM GMT
    I have friends in KC who got laid off from Sprint and are struggling- other than that I don't know anyone right now...hopefully there won't be many more...
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    Feb 25, 2009 3:42 AM GMT
    I've got a friend that lives in the Inland Empire here in Southern California. Almost half of the houses on his block are in foreclosure or for sale.

  • metta

    Posts: 38674

    Feb 25, 2009 4:08 AM GMT
    I live in Los Angeles County. We are not doing as badly as the Inland Empire (riverside & San Bernardino) but we do have several foreclosures. The value of my home has dropped around $400k so far.I knew that they were going to drop but did not realize that they were going to drop this much. Over the short term, it does not matter because I love where I live. I have some amazing neighbors and love living along the river/forest yet being close to the city. Over the long term, I'm hoping that it eventually goes back up.

    I know quite a few people that are looking for work, have changed careers, etc. A lot of the people that are looking for jobs are not on unemployment so the unemployment numbers are not accurate.

    Most people right now are also stressed out about how much their retirement savings has dropped in value.
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    Feb 25, 2009 4:13 AM GMT

    There were a few in my employ of whom I was aware that they were selling homes due to ARM resets. A few foreclosures here and there most often where the wife is on our payroll and the husband has lost high paying employ.

    I have seen most thinly capitalized builders go under. Most simply gave speculative homes back to the bank and walked away. Something I do not think should have been so easy. Our building operations were brought down and we hold slightly reduced real estate assets. Most of the core workforce (engineers, designers, etc) have been moved to offshore projects. The labor force of course is primarily contract and they are doing no work for us stateside.

    In manufacturing we've had layoffs stateside. Offshore operations have taken less pay and less hours at times.

    Oddly, banking operations are good. We've continued to make term loans -- auto and other -- but were very conservative in this area anyway. We've floated far more repurchase agreements in the last six months than the previous two years combined, but we are way way tighter on terms due to yeilds.

    Overall net income was down 38% for fourth quarter 2008. I look for the quarter ending March 31 to be off around 30% of last years similar period.
  • a2507

    Posts: 152

    Feb 25, 2009 5:02 AM GMT
    I'm out of a job since Jan. 8th. Didn't really expect it though maybe I should have.

    I'm an architect by degree but had a non-traditional practice, doing kitchen and bath design for The Home Depot for almost 10 years. Wasn't planning on leaving actually.

    However, Jan. '08 I got headhunted. The pay increase was too much to ignore and working normal hours rather than retail was attractive. The company had been in Tulsa since 1928 and our clients were dept. stores like Macy's, Saks, Dillard's, etc.

    So, mid Dec. I'm sitting at a presentation in Little Rock with one of the Dillards at the table who's very enthusiastic about what's 90% my work and less than a month later, I'm being walked out the door with a box of my stuff. They, of course, waited until I'd finished the stuff they needed for the next presentation which was the next day. I was, however, in good company. This was the 3rd layoff for the company: 187 of the 220 remaining. The prior layoffs had been the contract guys in the shop and just a few others.

    A few days after that I'm out of town w/ my Dad and I get a call and am told that the entire company has folded. Apparently their line of credit was with a local bank and they were cut off. While work was down, there was some stuff out there but you have to float till you get those contracts. No credit: no float.

    The idiots in the Oklahoma legislature are pissing on themselves about things like english only, and slamming immigrants ( when they're not attacking lgbt folk) but aren't doing anything like maybe providing loan guarantees to local banks.

    Which would be better: to have 400 people at this one company paying state income tax and sales tax on purchases, or the same 400 getting unemployement?

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    Feb 25, 2009 5:35 AM GMT
    My renters' ability to pay has become more and more volatile. Most renters in the area tend to live paycheck to paycheck, and it seems some of the paychecks have been getting smaller or lost.

    Middle class here is generally OK, but those just getting by aren't.
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    Feb 25, 2009 6:24 AM GMT
    Lots of empty store fronts in town. Some businesses are announcing expansions one day, and getting foreclosed on a week later. Other people seem to be taking advantage of the low rents to indulge in a little enterpreneurship. I'm not sure the town is big enough to support two new tattoo/body piercing parlours, however.

    My sales to private parties have been down about 30% since October (down 60% in December), although they seem to be creeping up a bit this month. Sales to businesses have remained stable, or grown a bit. I've had to cut down on employee hours a bit, but haven't cut anyone off entirely yet.

    It turns out that the "hot new specialty" that I went to grad school for, twenty-some years ago, finally has a commercial market demand, and not much competition. (Did everyone else give up?) Weirder things have happened, I suppose.
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    Feb 25, 2009 7:27 AM GMT
    Anymore now, there's not one person I talk to that doesn't know someone who's been laid off, my company started a RIF plan in Dec and keeps going each month-- the end goal was supposed to be about 1800 worldwide over several months, 2/3 of that in N America, mostly in eastern MA but KC has been hit and will be again this very week. Yeah I'm nervous! Spint and other service co's are takin it in the shorts in the KC metro. If the GM and Ford plants get hit badly, that's also huge.

    It's possible we'll see nearly 1 million jobs eliminated per mo. in the US. I think the worst news is yet to come. Citigroup $2 a share? I pd $44. Bank of America at $4? I pd $42. My IRA is crap and if I'm laid of, thats the 2nd time in 5 years.

    I don't need money but the people I owe do! Hey there's an idea. Why don't I just stop paying my mortgages like everyone else has...?