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Is federal mortgage lending legislation going to hurt consumers rather than help them?

It would be way too easy this morning to nod my head at U.S. House action that would require mortgage lenders to be licensed and would require them to be sure that their clients have the ability to repay their loans.

Then the red flag pops up in my mind.

The question that haunts me with all this promise of governmental protection for homeowners being threatened with foreclosure is:

How much responsibility should consumers take for their own decisions?

I've read pretty widely about the homeowners who have ARMs that reset to a point that they can't afford and then face foreclosure.  The terms of the ARM are not a secret.  Even if the terms of the mortgage are written in legalese with arcane terms, it's still the consumer's responsibility to protect himself.

What about all the consumers who buy way more home than they can afford?  Isn't it the consumer's responsibility to make a sound judgment about income versus expenses?  Doesn't the mortgage broker share responsibility for being stupid in making this kind of loan?

I've watched government up close all my life.  It does few things well.  In Michigan, it does a poor job of protecting at-risk children from abuse and neglect.  That should be a slam dunk.

Maybe, there are just some things that people need to do for themselves. 

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