Blame and the mortgage mess

31 Oct Blame and the mortgage mess

My local paper has a column this morning contending that no one “wins” the blame game about the economic crash and the foreclosure tsunami. Mike Cassidy notes with surprise the chorus of those characterizing homeowners facing foreclosure as lazy, shiftless, greedy or irresponsible. They got what they deserved is the theme of these folks.

Let me add in defense of the now precarious homeowners the thought that many of those homeowners borrowed against the equity in their homes to pay off existing bills, start businesses, or invest in real estate. All of those uses of borrowed money fit neatly within the values that we profess as Americans. To hear some tell it,though, it’s only admirable when it succeeds.

This resort to home equity loans was promoted by lenders who told us that home equity that wasn’t pledged for further borrowing was “untapped” or “idle”. You were a fool, the ads suggested, if you simply lived in a house with more value than the associated loans. Over a year ago I railed against the idea that a house is a multi roomed piggy bank.

While blame does us little good, as consumers we do need to learn enough that we aren’t sucked in again and that we teach our children the financial lessons learned.

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Cathy Moran, Esq.

I'm a certified specialist in bankruptcy law (California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization) practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 30 years. In addition to practicing bankruptcy law, I train new practitioners at Bankruptcy Mastery.
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