The Alliance-independent. (Lincoln, Nebraska) 1892-1894, October 06, 1892, Image 1

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NO. 17.
H r
nrcnni n
The Beal Situation and Prospect of Ne
braska's Mortgage-Bidden Peo
ple Orops and Interest
Causes and Effects What Becomes of
Nebraska's Surplus Remedies
Proposed "Stand Up for
In the foregoing discussion nothing
has b3en treated save the mortgage
statistics gathered under our state law
for the year ending June 1st, 1892.
The former table shows simply the
mortgages filed, the mortgages releas
ed and the increase during that year,
The chief object of that discussion was
to show the tendency of things, and to
prove that the producers of the s'ate
are becoming more and more deeply
ani hopelessly involved in debt, and
not rapidly getting out of debt as some
"prosperity shriekers" are shouting.
How well that has been proven the
writer leaves to the judgment of all
fair-minded men. The object of this
article is to show the situation at the
clo38 of the present year as nearly as
may be possible.
The fifty first congress passed a law
requiring the census bureau to take a
throughout the nation. This was done,
" and some of the results have been given
e to the public. So far those results have
most signally vindicated the claims of
' the so-called "calamity howlers." They
have also done much to startle the in
different, aad set people to thinking
and reading.
Last May the national bureau pub
lished its census of Nebraska mortga
ges. No attention was paid to chattel
mortgages, only mortgages on farms
and city lots were considered.
The following is a summary of the
if- shown by the national census of Ne
braska mortgages:
The whole number of mortgages made
during the ten years ending January 1st
' 1890, was 337,872; and the whole amount
nf Aoht. soured bv these was $274,368.-
358. Of this debt nearly one-half $132,
902 322 remained in force Jan. 1st 1880.
Of this amount $90,506,908 was on
farms,, and $42,395,354 was on town and
ci'y lots, six-fcevenths of which was in
Douglas and Lancister count'es.
The number of acres mortgaged was
over fourteen million, or more than 58
per cent of the whole number of taxed
The average size of farm mortgages
was $844 and of city mortgages $880.
The debt per capita for the state was
$126 or $630 per family.
The average rate of interest was a
little over 8 percent
The assessed valuation of all taxable
property in the state was about $180,-
The total mortgage debt was 74 per
cent of the assessed valuation of the
These startling figures collected and
published to the world by a republican
administration were received almost
in silence by the old party press of the
state. They wer8 barely referred to
and then dropped. Perhaps their effect
on the editors was paralyzing.
Taking the table published by the
national census bureau and table No. 1
male up from the stat9 records as a
basis, I have worked out and tabu'ated
the figures found in table No. 2 pub
lished herewith. The following expla
nation will enable the reader to under
The first column is taken from the
national census bulletin, and shows the
total real estate mortgages (both farm
and city) in force Jan. 1st, 1890.
The second column shows the increase
of mortgage debt from Jan. 1st, 1890
to the c!oso of this year, Dec. 31, 1892,
including chatttl mortgages.
The numbers in this" column were
worked out by the following method:
The increase in farm and city mortga
ges as shown in table No. 1 was taken
as a basis. The increase for one vear
was multiplied by three to get the
probable increase for three years.
Where table No. 2 onhi shows the in
crease for 9, 10, or 11 months the prob
able increase for three years was found
by multiplying the increase per month
by 36. D?creases were treated in the
same manner. This method presup
poses that the increase during the three
years has been at substantially the
same rate, which is certainly a reason
able supposition. To the increase in
real estate mortgages thus found wa3
added the increase in chattels for one
year as shown in table No. 1. This in
crease was not multiplied by 3 as in
the case of real estate mortgages. That
would hardly be fair. Chattel mortga
ges rue for so short a time, that the In
crease for one year may fairly be taken
to represent th9 total amount in force.
To illustrate the manner of working
out theso res'llts take the case of Butler
county for instance: The increase in
farm mortgages as shown in table No. 1
is $70,914; the increas3 in city mortga
ges is $14,018; total increase for one
year $84,932. This multiplied by three
gives $254,796 estimated increase of
real estate mortgages for the three
years of '90 '91 and '92. Adding now the
increase in chattels as shown in table
No. 1 we have $361,469 as the estimated
increase of mortgage debt for three
The third column shows the total
debt in force at the close of this year
The numbers were found by adding
together the numbers found in the first
two columns.
The fourth column shows the amount
of interest accruing on these mortgage
debts during the present year. The
numbers were worked out as follows:
The interest on the total real estate
mortgage debts was calculated at
eight which is a little below
the average rate. To this
was added the interest on
the chattel mortgages in forci
at 20 per- cent. This is equivalent
to one and a half per cent a month
compounded quarterly. This rate ii
probably below the averare, " for in
many (probably one-half) th9 counties
in the state, the customary rate on
chattel loans is three per cent a
The fifth column contains the debt
per capita. This was made np by
allowing an increase of population 6ince
January 1, 1S90, of about 12 per cent,
and dividing tho whole debt of each
county by the whole number of people.
The sixth column shows the amount
of interest per capita for the year.
The average debt and interest per
family may be found by multiplying
the per capita by 5.
In making these estimates the official
figures have been taken as a basis in
every case except that of Buffalo
county. In that case a deduction of
$500,000 was made from the amount re
turned as ''released'' on account of the
repeated release of blanket mortgages
is explained elsewhere. -
as shown by table No. 2 is as follows:
Total debt Jan. 1, 1890. not including
chattel mortgages, $132,902,322.
Total increase from Jan. 1, 1890, to
Dec. 31, 1S92, including chattel mort
gages $36,213,230
Grand total of mortgages in force
December 31, 1892 $169,115,558
Total interest for 1992. . . . .$15,045,030
Mortgage debt per capita. $143
Interest per capita for '92. $12.71
Mortgage debt per family of five.. .$715
Interest per family of five . . .$63.55
While in one sense this burden of
debt and interest rests on all the
people, and affects the prosperity of the
whole commonwealth, it 6hould be re
membered that it rests directly on tho
shoulders of the debtors. It is im
possible to state what - is the burden
per capita when calculated for the
debtors alone, but of course it is vastly
greater that the burden per capita for
the whole nennle. . , .V -
x 1 -. .
When the "prosperity shriekers" arc
forced to take notice of mortgage
statistics, they always try to dissipate
their real force, by making allowances
for tbis or that; and explaining away
the figures.
In this discussion I have made every
reasonable allowance that could be made
in order to make the argument and the
conclusions absolutely unassailable:
The chattel mortgage increase for
one year is taken for the total chattel
mortgages in force.
The interest has been figured at a
rate lower than is actually paid.
No deductions have been made for
over 1900 releases by foreclosure oa
farms and lots, nor for the thousands of
foreclosures on chattels, and the many
cases of transfer of property to satisfy
the mortgage without the formalitv of
It should also be remembered that
these tables do not represent the whole
indebtedness of the people. There is a
vast amonnt of money loaned every
trAAHAn naitontiol enrtn rUir mnA lit 1 t
surance policies, and other valuable
collateral. There ar8 store-bills, doctor-bills,
and bills of many other kinds
that would aggregate many millions of
dollars, none of which appear in these
Then there are county, city, precinct
and district bonds, state and county
warrants unpaid and drawing interest,
and bonds of private corporations all of
which would amount to many millions ;
more, ii ine trutn 01 wnat is snown
in these tables is appallinj, what would ?
It is impossible for the mind to grasp
such vast sum?, or to realize their mag