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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ruthlessly Hawked

NEWS: AFP writer Justin Cole reported yesterday that US mortgage lenders targeted minorities and people with low incomes in recent years as the "best candidates" for subprime home loans, with devastating economic consequences, a report claimed Tuesday. The report by the United for a Fair Economy (UFE) advocacy group said subprime mortgages, home loans issued to Americans with scant finances, were "ruthlessly hawked" and that a "solid majority of subprime loan recipients were people of color."

The report's authors said many blacks and poor Americans were deliberately targeted by lenders marketing a range of money-making home loans that were sometimes confusing for borrowers to understand.

"Hungry for new and different products, the financial services industry added features to these loans -- exploding adjustable rates, balloon payments, penalties for early re-payment -- that hobbled their recipients financially and made it unlikely that they would be able, after a brief honeymoon period, to repay the loans at all," the report said.

COMMENTARY: The social injustice of the poor in cases such as this is not the fact that there are poor or weak people in the world. Those we will always have with us as Jesus said. But, it is the reality that in our society we actually treat badly the humble, the weak and some of the most honest persons among us.

Unjust business practices that prevent families from keeping their homes contribute greatly to the problem of homelessness. The prophet Amos describes the evil this way … “You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain… You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts. Therefore the prudent man keeps quiet in such times, for the times are evil.” (Amos 5:10-13).

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1 comment:

Liz said...

I was watching some political candidates last night and some said - this is highest time in history of homeowners. They were very proud of that. Some did retort and say - 'let's see what it is like in 1 year". I personally know a few people who are already impacted by this problem - a brother in law who lost his company, an elderly woman who has to make a life change and can't sell her house, and a friend who is being foreclosed on. This problem is going to affect all of us for a very long time!