I’ve gone back several times to look at that picture below, stuff on the lawn after the sheriff evicted a family. There’s more to it than simply one family’s (perhaps) temporary set-back. Read the caption again:
- The Smiths were paying rent to the owner of the property.
- The owner was not making mortgage payments to the bank.
- The bank foreclosed the property, and had the Smiths evicted.
Why, you might ask yourselves, did the bank not leave the Smiths alone? They were making rent payments which likely were greater than the mortgage payments; why not leave them alone and collect rent from them? See what would happen:
- The Smiths don’t have to move.
- The sheriff doesn’t have to be a villain.
- The bank collects payments on an occupied house.
Looks like a win-win for everyone, excepting the original owner, who’s out of the picture now anyway. You’d think so — I would, at any rate — but there must be more. And since the bank is the one player who could have done otherwise, I have to suspect that the bank is expecting an even bigger payoff this way.
How? I don’t know. One possibility is that lending institutions hope to depress the entire real estate market — a few houses sitting empty in each neighborhood will do that — then move in, buy over-leveraged owners out at pennies on the dollar, hold onto the properties until the market rises again, then make a killing with suddenly-re-valued homes and commercial properties.
And until I can be persuaded that this, or some other scheme equally vicious, is not at the heart of the matter, I’ll continue with my belief that bankers are essentially blood-sucking bastards, middle-level hit-men for the paper-shuffling pirates who plunged us into this financial abyss.
Of such inequities are revolutions made.