What do you think caused this mess anyway? I did think for a while that it was lenders letting people get in over their head, but in my case, I was fine with my debt/income ratio until I was no longer employed for a long period of time. I realize that several things played into me being unemployed but the place I worked still had a decrease in income or they wouldn't have replaced me with two temp, part-time people so they wouldn't have to pay benefits like they paid me while on salary. Also, these people were hired because they had been working some place else that could no longer keep all their employees. And there have been no openings around here in my field with mid-level experience all year. So, I tend to think the problem is lack of employment availability. But what caused this "freeze" in business in the first place? I don't see how it could be just banks lending too much money because it has destroyed large business as well as private individuals and small businesses. Was it just the people at the top (whether government or private business) pocketing too much money instead of putting back to the business and employees?