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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Wrong To Protest Foreclosures

While most of the world concentrates on the question of whether Occupy Wall Street protestors will leave New York's Zuccotti Park, I draw your attention to the group's planned Friday protest of foreclosure sales outside of Brooklyn's State Supreme Court.

Foreclosures are necessary in order to heal the housing market, if not the overall economy.

The protest of bank procedures and policies that led to bad credit risks getting mortgages has a point.  The protest, however, should also be targeted at the government policies which induced banks to write mortgages to traditionally underserved segments of the population.

People getting foreclosed upon are not necessarily deserving of any break.  Resisting foreclosure has an unintended consequence of supporting the contention that the homeowners being foreclosed upon deserve to stay in those homes and pay far less -- or nothing at all -- than their neighbors.

That is clearly not fair.

Lost in the protestors' argument is that many other people are paying full freight on their debts. 

Unless there is a universal writedown of all debt -- including student debt and consumer debt -- any principal reduction will be unfair in some regard.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer.


1 comment:

  1. Eric, I think that all debt - student, consumer, medical, etc - should be written off and erased. But if homeowners are under foreclosure, students shouldn't say that it's not fair for them to fight back. The students should stand with the homeowners in their struggle, and then the homeowners should stand with the students to fight against outrageous student debt, until housing and education are both recognized as rights.

    We need solidarity, not divisions.

    ReplyDelete