I just heard an appalling radio ad. The narrator, in the role of president of some foreclosure assistance firm, was recounting the story of his parents. How they got a mortgage to buy their home, “did everything right,” and then both got laid off. This dutiful son, so it seems, stepped in, but after seven months could not get the bank to agree to loan modifications. So he “x-rayed” the loan agreements, found illegal terms (“like are in 80% of all mortgages”), and sued the lender. The proud punch line? “Twenty-seven months later, they are still in their house.”

The part of the story overlooked in the ad is, of course, that these probably apocryphal parents weren’t actually paying the loan! That’s a damned big detail to omit.

We all grieve personally for the brother, mother, neighbor, co-worker, laid-off ex co-worker and others who have lost their homes through this dreadful housing and employment market. Still, can it possibly be the right or equitable solution to prevent lenders from seizing the legitimate collateral securing the legitimate loan from people who are truly not paying their debts?

Of course not. Just another example of the greedy something-for-nothing culture that has taken hold of this nation.

Instead of all this nonsense, how about we attend to our “safety net” — remember that quaint notion? We can’t prevent people from stumbling. But we can ease them back onto their feet when they do.

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