Friday, May 15, 2009

The Reality of the Housing Crisis

In “My Personal Credit Crisis,” Edmund L. Andrews brings to light the human nature of the housing and credit crisis. It is often forgotten that there are stories out there whether individuals or family that reflect the naivety of homeowners and the draw to live the “American Dream.” We have become a society obsessed with a grandiose ideal that America is a house with a white picket fence waving to our neighbors every morning like Jim Carrey’s Truman. It is a reminder that many bought into this exceptional ideal and lenders had no problem facilitating their “American Dream.”

With all the fervor over the banks and insurers alike the common thread that is missed is that these “professionals” convinced people it was of no worry, it would be alright and now people are suffering. People. Some bet on love, a bonus that never came, a steady job, pension, a promotion, new jobs, and some were so into the idea of a “house” they never stopped to think of all that came with it. Actual people, who were living their lives, working their jobs and essentially they were swindled, the lack of ethical standards amongst lenders to this day is astounding. As Atrios so aptly put it “the ability to repay a loan was of no concern.”

Each story might be different and have its own twist or explanation, but it is infuriating when members of Congress, the Fed and commentators want to dehumanize this crisis (taking banks over people in arguments, missing personal stories in papers and banks refusing to save foreclosure). People are losing their homes, their dreams and their livelihood. Not everyone is as fortunate as Andrews, as he for now is still in his home; some are already out to dry and homeless. To worsen the situation, we are a credit obsessed America and hopefully it has hit its zenith of destruction because if not this crisis will tear at us further.

Congress has passed legislation that brings us back to a bit of reform, regulation and logic, but it is prudent to remember to not go back to any type of legislation that might bring out the piranha-esque financial sector that viciously and vapidly ate the mortgage system to its core. It is apparent that even an aware and informed individual such as Edmund Andrews, can be victim to “professionals” treating people as digits, dollar signs and bottom lines while taking advantage of our pursuit of the “American dream.”

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message.

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