Sunday, October 12, 2008

Predatory Lenders? Lions, Gazelles, and Bear Markets...Oh My!

The economy is everywhere in the news. The media somehow loves economic turmoil and plays the bad economy stories everywhere. In addition to a declining Dow Jones, one of the main themes they keep showing is about "Predatory Lenders". You know what they mean. Lenders that took advantage of well meaning, average, people that just want the American Dream and couldn't afford the loans given to them.

Everytime I hear the term "Predatory Lenders" I have the same thought.... The lender is a lion in Africa and the borrower is a gazelle. The lender/lion stalks the borrower/gazelle slowly gaining ground and keeping an eye on the weakest member of the borrower/gazelle herd. Then, when the time is right, the lender/lion pounces! And, in the blink of an eye the borrower/gazelle is brought down by the neck and eaten....I mean FORCED AT GUNPOINT (or gaping lion's mouth) to sign for a loan the borrower/gazelle doesn't want and can't pay.

Oh my, the poor borrower/gazelle. Barely escaping with life, the borrower/gazelle is saddled with mountains of adjustable rate, sub prime, no money down debt that was never wanted. No, the borrower/gazelle would never have set foot on the African Savannah (Lender's Office) unless dragged there by the lender/lions so they could be hunted. They had no choice. There's no way they could have avoided ending up in Africa. They couldn't have just paid rent in Hoboken and saved up for a down payment instead of being FORCED to take the lender/lion's money for a $350,000 house on $25,000 a year income. Poor gazelle. Naughty lion, shame on you.

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