A Tempest In A Teapotby Brad Warbiany
Resolved, that The Powers That Be™ believe the following:
- Foreclosures are bad.
- Falling house prices are bad.
- Banks losing lots of money is bad.
It’s not hard to understand why. Politicians sell a version of The American Dream where it’s all lollipops and homeownership, and people getting tossed from their property or deeply underwater on their mortgage have a very personal understand that they’ve been lied to. Likewise, they’ve been selling access to Tim Geithner’s glory hole for years, and they know that if banks have no money, there’s nobody left to buy that access.
So they blow the mortgage robosign scandal WAY out of proportion, keeping supply off the market and thus prices inflated. There have been a few isolated instances of improper foreclosure, but the VAST majority have been people who are in default on their property losing them to the banks. The banks aren’t exactly the good guys here, but neither usually are many of the people who spent their housing ATM all the way up the bubble and now wonder why the party ended.
Not only that, they keep non-paying residents in homes upon which they’ve defaulted while prudent renters that are waiting for a chance to buy calmly pay their bills every month. It’s gotten so bad that one publicity-seeking lawyer is now advising clients to break back into the foreclosed properties they once lived in and drag the legal battles out even longer. It’s a sad day when the vast majority of us realize that the country has become a place where following the rules makes you a sucker.
We have political month-from-an-election grandstanding about a full-scale moratorium on foreclosures (yay, gift to the squatters!) and banks who will gladly halt their foreclosures in order to avoid actually realizing the mortgage losses on their balance sheets.
And, of course, in what seems like a continuing effort by the political system to screw me personally, this all happens RIGHT at the time that my wife and I are looking at property, finally ready to make the jump back into home ownership. And the two places we’ve identified as desirable? Both short sales. As if short sales weren’t maddening enough, now we have to worry whether we’ll have some trepidation on the part of the bank or some nutjob lawyer advocating questionable legal tactics to muck it up.