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Monday, October 11, 2010

Their Compassion With Your Money

There are more calls for a national foreclosure freeze.  This mistaken major newspaper editorial cites the need for compassion. 
Some homeowners are trying to pay their mortgages as best they can, and the banks should be encouraged -- but not required -- to recognize the honest efforts of those people who are responsible but victims of circumstances. There are many other homeowners who have defaulted either because of strategic defaults -- meaning they can pay and have chosen not to -- or such severe circumstances that no modification short of forgiving most of the principal and all of the unpaid and accrued interest would keep them in those home.  It is not wise, as a policy matter, to try to keep people in homes when they cannot afford the mortgage on those homes, in any circumstance; in fact, such a suggestion amounts to a gift to a special class.
The one problem with all of these solutions is that other people pick up the tab, and are compelled to do so involuntarily.
To compel people to pay for the profligacy of their neighbors is insulting enough.  To then exhort those people to show further compassion is only adding insult to injury.
Then again, it is easy to demand compassion when it would be shown...with other people's money.
Eric Dixon is the president of Eric Dixon LLC, headquartered in New York City.  Mr. Dixon has been a New York lawyer since graduating in 1994 from Yale Law School.  Mr. Dixon handles litigation counseling and litigation stress management for those who are the subject of lawsuits, have been threatened or expect to be sued or investigated.  Mr. Dixon has extensive knowledge of corporate governance, the federal securities laws (including the many anti-fraud provisions and related issues) and election law, and significant experience in representing businesses and their owners and managers in litigation, government investigations, settlement negotiations, complex due diligence investigations and business formations.  Mr. Dixon has also represented over two dozen political campaign committees and candidates for public office, including presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, on ballot access issues.  Mr. Dixon may be reached for a confidential consultation and case assessment at 917-696-2442 or via e-mail at

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