Who Will Clean Up the Mortgage Mess?

This baby was out in the open for all to see if they wanted to. The politicians blindfolded themselves. The home ownership rate rose to more than 69 percent of households. For practical purposes anybody and everybody in the United States who wanted to own a home could. The people who hung back seem to have been limited to those too infirm to mow a lawn. So the construction industry hummed, furniture marched out of the stores alongside of the new appliances and the wheels of commerce turned so fast they blurred.

For some hundreds of thousands of lower-income minority home seekers the whole thing was a swindle and a bad enough swindle for the Federal Trade Commission to look into what happened. These people were told by real estate agents, appraisers, mortgage brokers and bankers that when they signed on ye olde dotted line they would be buying a house.

But they were not. Their no-down-payment mortgage with its trickery terms and the sneaky fees connected with consummating the deal left the would-be home buyers without any practical hope of building up equity in the property. In essence, under the guise of selling houses, the swindlers were renting to them. The people were renting but at the same time they were their own landlords, responsible for all expenses connected with the property. A more costly form of renting would be difficult to devise. Inasmuch as some of the fattest, most prestigious financial institutions have been partners in screwing those who can least afford it, let’s hope that, lured by the scent of large class action settlements, the lawyers will swoop in to exact a dollop or two of retribution and compensation.

As of now Hillary Clinton has been talking about bailing out some people who will be evicted from their rental/purchase homes. Her scheme would put more money in the crooks’ pockets to stave off foreclosure. The only other approach would be government action of some kind to the effect that, on account of their conduct, the real estate and mortgage people would lose any claim on the property and their buyers’ debt would therefore be canceled.

That will never happen. What will is anybody’s guess.

Who Will Clean Up the Mortgage Mess?