“Subprime victims are the new heroes.”

From Yahoo News:

The Politics of Foreclosure

Who says bipartisanship is dead? From President Bush to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, to Mitt Romney and John McCain, virtually everyone in Washington agrees: The government must Do Something to stop home foreclosures across the country. These leaders agree on the total presumption of homeowner innocence. The borrower-as-victim and lender-as-predator storylines are etched in stone. Can’t let reality get in the way of election-year pander-monium.

Special guests at the State of the Union address are usually extraordinary heroes, entrepreneurs or citizens who’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. On Monday night, one of those guests was an Indiana woman whose claim to fame is that she called a 1-800 number and was assisted by the “Hope Now Alliance,” a group Bush convened, which, according to him, “is helping many struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.”

Subprime victims are the new heroes. Welcome to the politics of foreclosure.

I certainly have sympathy for borrowers who may have been misled. But for every “predatory lender” out there, you can find a predatory borrower. For every fraud-minded loan officer or mortgage broker, you can find a homeowner who secured financing and bought a home he knew he couldn’t afford with little money down and bogus or no income verification. Washington is silent about this reckless behavior, which it is encouraging both tacitly and explicitly.

The true victims in this “crisis” are those who paid for homes within their means and those who waited to enter the housing market. A reader in New York City wrote me last week:

“My husband and I patiently sat back and watched while our friends made a killing in real estate over the past six years. … Now, after several years, we are ready to move to the ‘burbs, and we feel it is responsible people like us who are going to get hurt by this mortgage mess. We’re the ones who have to sit back and wait for housing prices to fall, while our government, looking to protect only the homeowners, keeps prices artificially high with bailout programs and artificially low interest rates.

“What about programs to help out renters who didn’t make any money in this bubble because we were responsible? What about government intervention to lower the still-high housing prices so we aren’t locked out of the market? A natural correction in the housing market is in order, but the government seems hellbent to prevent it from taking place. In the meantime, we are priced out of the market because we aren’t willing to get in over our heads financially (unlike some of these revered homeowners).”

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8 Responses to “Subprime victims are the new heroes.”

  1. Outofstater says:

    I missed the State of the Union and was unaware that “subprime victims” are our nation’s new heroes. What cr@p! The special guests are supposed to be people we want our children to emulate. They couldn’t find a firefighter who saved six people from a burning building? An Army troop who went above and beyond? This makes me sick. Sorry, but being totally ignorant about money and taking out cr@p loans so they can live beyond their means is not something I want my children to aspire to.

  2. thatBIGwindow says:

    So much for Bush being for “personal accountability”

  3. HEHEHE says:

    That says sooooooo much about this country.

  4. How many more days till he is out of office. I think someone could get rich making a calandar with the count down days on it. This is absolutely wrong. The hero’s are the people who have help people rebuild after natural diasters and we have so many around this country. I saw a show on Oprah and Bill Clinton was promoting his book and a child had earned hundreds of thousands of dollars to help people. They are the heros. AGH!

  5. t c m says:

    i don’t know one person, from my fairly liberal to fairly conservative friends, who is in favor of this bailout – most are very upset at paying for other people’s greed and stupidity –

    so, who are the politicians trying to please? i have to think that, unfortunately, there are so many people out there with their hands out, waiting for the govt (i.e. – the rest of us). to take care of them, that they outnumber the responsible people – otherwise, the politicians would not be proposing a bailout.

    it’s sad – but the politicians know the truth, but nevertheless, go ahead and treat borrowers like victims – because, politically, it works for them. is the normal everyday joe, that slogs to work all day, and tries to do the right thing, really that outnumbered?

  6. DG says:

    Its not about the borrowers at all. They are just the marketing image or figureheads. Many banks and financial institutions made a ton of money the past few years and will indirectly reap the most benefit from any bailout. Guess who is funding the campaigns of many a politician…..

  7. RoadTripBoy says:

    I’m no fan of Dubya, but the democrats are equally egregious on this issue. This bailout during an election year is a “can’t lose” proposition for politicians. They get to buy votes from the masses by appearing to take action on the foreclosure crisis (really a reckless lending crisis) and, at the same time, bail out one sector of their campaign contributors in the process. It’s a win-win. The only losers are responsible citizens.

  8. Greg says:

    Eventually the dollar will collapse and force everyone to face reality. It is just a matter of time.

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