Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure, not just because a few bought homes they couldn’t afford, but because the collapse in unsustainable investment schemes has led to the destruction of huge numbers of American jobs. Many people who could afford to pay their mortgages when they bought their houses now cannot, because they no longer have any work.
In the face of this problem, America’s banks could choose to work with homeowners, to adjust the payment schedule so that people can stay in their houses, and banks can still get the full value of their mortgages, but just at a different schedule. Unfortunately, most banks aren’t doing this. They’re adopting an all-or-nothing posture, and kicking people out onto the street.
The American Bankers Association is sending scads of lobbyists to Washington D.C. to lobby against a legislation in Congress that would provide an alternate route to mortgage adjustment. The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, passed by the House, and being considered by the Senate, would allow bankruptcy judges to restructure mortgages on family homes to make them more affordable.
That’s already an authority that bankruptcy lawyers have for second homes. If it works with the vacation homes of the wealthy, why can’t it help out with the places working families actually live?
Yesterday, hundreds of Americans went to the American Bankers Association offices in Washington D.C. to ask that question. They came to protest the ABA’s hiring of lobbyists to oppose mortgage restructuring for family homes.
In response, did the American Bankers Association open their doors and listen? No. The offices went into lockdown mode.
Why can’t the geniuses behind the free market withstand a little free speech?