Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sub-Prime Borrowers - my solution

Sometimes (ok often) I wish I had a foundation like the Bill & Melinda Gates or John D & Katherine T. MacAuthor foundations where I had a lot of cash to help solve some of the world's problems.

I've been ranting here on and off about predatory lendors and what has now become known as the the sub-prime loan crisis. The problem is not that these are bad properties that people have gotten themselves into - it's bad loan terms. Now granted, they probably got talked into buying more house than they could afford, but many are working hard to try and keep their house (let's set aside the issue of speculators and just limit this to people who are trying to keep their primary residence).

I'd love it if I could set up a fund where the foundation buys the property for what they owe the bank (regardless of what it's worth) and then either rent back the property to them or setup some sort of lease to own arrangement. If the previous owners decide to walk away the foundation still has the property. Property values were inflated and are resetting to a more correct level, but we're still talking real estate and over a decade or two the properties will likely go up in value so it's not a completely losing proposition for the foundation, you just have to have the resources to weather out downturns.

I hope some foundation, or organization or some government program is doing something similar.

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