As the foreclosure wave has grown into a tsunami-like crisis, advocacy groups such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) have taken to the streets in campaigns to lobby legislators about implementing new regulations that will help stem the foreclosure crisis and curtail predatory lending. When I left the Pima County courthouse yesterday, there was an ACORN protest taking place at the same time that a Trustee’s Sale was going on. An interesting contrast between ACORN’s bullhorn calls to action and the trustee calling out bids.
Unquestionably, the foreclosure epidemic has resulted in some very impassioned debate as to whether and how the government should act. Rick Santelli’s recent rant highlights just how impassioned this debate has become. While Santelli’s rant has garnered much of the media hype, Stuart Varney’s recent interview with ACORN’s Bertha Lewis demonstrates just how zealous some people have become at the prospect of the government aiding struggling homeowners, who many view as irresponsible. Varney was incredulous at ACORN’s suggestion that people on the verge of foreclosure should stay in their homes.
As always, the foreclosure epidemic is far more nuanced than many of the talking heads are willing to discuss. Predatory lending certainly was in force and many people were not informed of what they were getting into. Likewise, many, many people bought far more home than they could ever afford. Only time will tell whether massive government intervention or the force of the market will prevail.