"Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from ourselves."
I've written a little here on the topic of economics. Pity that it comes up as often as it does in this context: in 2008 in the United States of America, we've reached a point where people can't be responsible for their own irresponsibility, and it is the duty of "the government" to protect them from themselves and businesses alike. Today's hobgoblin isn't the mortgage "crisis", but the pay-day lenders.
Here's a typical story:
Janet Hudson, 40, ran into pay day loans when she and her fiance broke up, leaving her with a young son and a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment. Short on cash, she took out three small pay day loans online totaling $900 but fell behind with her payments. Soon her monthly interest and fees totaled $800.
"It almost equaled my mortgage and I wasn't even touching the principal of the loans," said Hudson, who works as an administrative assistant.
After falling behind on her mortgage, Hudson asked Rochester, New York-based nonprofit Empire Justice Center for help. A lawyer at Empire, Rebecca Case-Grammatico, advised her to stop paying off the pay day loans because the loans were unsecured debt.
"For months after that the pay day lenders left me voice mails threatening to have me thrown in jail, take everything I owned and destroy my credit rating," Hudson said. After several months, the pay day lenders offered to reach a settlement.
But Hudson was already so far behind on her mortgage that she had to sell her home April 2007 to avoid foreclosure.
"Thanks to the (New York state) ban on pay day loans we've been spared large scale problems, but Internet loans have still cost people their homes," Case-Grammatico said.
Emphasis most definitely mine. Here's the thing: don't take out the loan if you can't pay it back. She "ran into" the loans? Sounds like an accident, doesn't it? I know people are struggling; I'm not without a heart and it's unfortunate. But when we stop expecting adults to act like adults, we're doing people an enormous, and painfully unnecessary disservice.
Side note: you think that the lawyer working for the agency in question, she with the dual/hyphenated last name, might be a leftist?
What's my solution to these crises? It's called self-government, about the only government that should be involved in the regulation of mortgage lending and pay-day loans.