Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Burning Down The Housing Industry

For awhile there, I was thinking about making some comments on the horrifying story about how privatizing the fire departments might not be that good an idea.

But this week, something bigger and nastier that can affect everyone's homes has popped up in the news:

...But oddly, when it's revealed that financial institutions have behaved irresponsibly (and in some cases criminally) casting their own industry into disrepute, ruining countless lives and (further) destroying the economy, we are told that they cannot be held responsible, or even be required to stop their irresponsible and criminal behavior, because it will slow the recovery and the poor average worker will be hurt. We've been told for two years now, as wave after wave of financial wrongdoing and malfeasance has been revealed, that it is in our best interest and the best interest of the country that we allow the big banks and their various affiliates to continue on unmolested lest something even worse happens...

...You have to love the idea that average Americans should stand pat while the mortgage industry continues to defraud them so they can protect their alleged investments in mortgage securities. I guess there's a sucker born every minute.

At some point one would hope that this racket would become obvious to the American people: they are being held hostage by financial elites who insist that they be allowed to get away with murder or they'll blow the whole place up and take everyone down with them...

It seems that over the past two years, the banks had been speeding through the foreclosure paperwork for hundreds of thousands of properties that there has been mass confusion over which properties belong to whom, and even if certain mortgaged homes are even foreclosed.  There are reports of people's homes being auctioned off by banks while those same banks are telling the homeowners that they still own their properties.  Reports of fraudulent signatures and false papers are rampant.  Attorneys General of 40 states are starting investigations and the banks have had to freeze their entire foreclosure processes.

As someone who's unemployed, struggling with the help of his parents to pay off a mortgage while I search for work, the possibility that I may have to sell my townhouse/condo is a primary concern.  Problem is, I can't sell in this housing market from Hell.  And this foreclosure crisis is making it worse.  Freezing the foreclosures makes the market more uncertain.  The whole mortgage lending process may be under investigation before too long.  And in this environment people are not going to be interested in buying homes.

It'd be nice to think that someone can come along and fix this all: establish some serious oversight, ensure that the paperwork has been resolved, provide stability to the home-selling and mortgage-lending markets.  But the banks can't be trusted.  The government is tied up right now with partisan bullshit by a Republican Party obsessed with deregulating everything and demonizing any effort to fix our economy (unless it involved cutting more taxes... again... and again.  AND FUCKING AGAIN).

The Latin phrase for "We're screwed"?  Anyone?  The Google Translate isn't all that effective...

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