Foreclosures are awful. So why not stop foreclosing? That’s the question being asked—and answered—as the government and lending banks consider a foreclosure moratorium. Such a move would halt the foreclosure proceedings that ripple across the country, but hardly anyone seems in favor of doing so.
The Fighting Is Over Money
It is worth remembering that the powers that be aren’t exactly advocates for social justice. Right now two of the loudest voices against the move are the White House (of course) and the Securities Industry And Financial Markets Association—a “major securities lobby,” says Reuters. Now, let’s keep in mind that a lobby exists to sway legislation in its favor, and in this case that favor lies with securities and their investors. The lobby has fitful visions of both lenders and the housing market losing money… not so much of the individuals keeping their homes. And while we like to think that the White House is on the side of “the people,” there are many people, with many different interests, represented in this debate.
Fraud Accusations Spur Action
One of the issues is the accusations of banks using fraudulent paperwork in order to foreclose properties. Because of this, major banks have been instituting their own foreclosure moratoriums. Bank of America was the first to do so in all 50 states, but major lenders such as JPMorgan Chase are following their example and suspending foreclosures in the states where judges must approve foreclosures before they’re completed. The Senate and House represent both sides: some worry about the lenders, and some worry about the families experiencing foreclosure.
Everyone Plays A Role
We aren’t lenders, and we aren’t the government. We also aren’t real estate analysts or the leaders of civil protests. From the sidelines, we can’t say who is right and who’s wrong, who will prevail, or what the long-term effect of such a decision might be. But we’re marking the characters in the show we’re watching: the government, the banks, the investors, the lobbyists—and remembering that everyone has an agenda. And they’ll push for their own interests, and claim it’s in ours. But after years of losing money, losing jobs, and losing homes, how much difference can one act make? In The Great Recession, the foreclosure moratorium is only a plot twist.
Tell us in the comments: Is the foreclosure moratorium a good move? Who are you in this story?