Is A “Strategic Default” Of A Mortgage Now A Moral Imperative? (February 28, 2011)

. . .

S          “You have heard of them.  A ‘strategic default’ is a default by a person who could make the monthly payments on the mortgage yet elects to cease making the payments because the property is underwater financially.”

D          “There are a flood of them today.”

S          “A strategic default may be de rigueur today.  Look at the law.  Start with the indoctrination process in law school.  Young law students are taught the theory of ‘efficient breach’ which counsels one to breach a contract if breaching the contract is worth more than performing the contract.  That is defined as ‘efficiency.’  The students who answer obediently get on the law review, clerk for the Supreme Court and make millions representing banks, big businesses and insurance companies.”

D          “And assist in running them into the ground.”

S          “That’s the plan.  They don’t even understand ‘efficiency.’  In practice, the party breaching the contract is not spawning a more efficient use of global resources.  The breaching party simply does not want to pay or perform and usually has far more money and can overwhelm the non-breaching party in court.  The party not receiving payment or performance loses big and usually has little judicial relief.”

D          “With a few exceptions, the legal system seems to exist to protect and serve the interests of the wealthy and the well-connected. I’ll take my direction from no one other than the MBAs at the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) who recommend defaulting on your mortgage if it is not working for you.  The banksters decided not to pay the mortgage on the MBA office building in D.C. (Washington, D.C.), even though the group had the funds to pay.  The banksters strategically defaulted.”

S          “They are indeed an example for all.  When the government bribed and bailed out the banks and other institutions, some contended that the government could not breach the contracts providing for unwarranted and illegal bonuses.  How un-American.  The government should have disregarded every contract and required the banksters to bring suit.  How American.”

D          “Allowing the banksters to file suit would allow them to file in a sympathetic Republican Federal District Court and possibly steer the case to a receptive judge.”

S          “Always a risk in the legal game.  However, before the banksters brought suit, their legion of lawyers would remind them that they could confront defenses and counterclaims.  In court, the government could assert a dozen affirmative defenses and also counterclaim for fraud, deceit, perjury, conspiracy, embezzlement, racketeering, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, obstruction of justice, etc.  Some of the banksters would not file suit which is the least expensive and, yes, the most efficient way of reaching a just resolution.”

D          “Seems that the courts are stacked against the public.  Nonetheless, there is a small chance that an independent judge might hear some of the cases and hold that the bonuses are illegal.  An affirmative award against the banksters is improbable but not impossible.”

S          “Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats ever intended to bring criminal charges against the criminals.  We seem at times to be alone in a lawless world with millions of laws on the books.  We in America have moved from a democracy to a kleptocracy.”

D          “And no one to throw the book at them.  Except that the law and morality are clear.  Homeowners are morally obligated to default on the payment of their mortgages if the property is underwater financially.  The government is morally obligated to default on the payment of the bankster’s bonuses.  In today’s amoral America, a strategic default is both an economic necessity and a moral imperative.”

S          “Perhaps a provision should be added to Title 18 of the United States Code making it a crime not to strategically default if the property is underwater financially.  Not to strategically default is so un-American.  And inefficient.  We just can’t have that.”

D          “Strategically defaulting immanentizes the eschaton.”

S          “Indeed.”

. . .

Mortgage Bankers Association Defaults:  http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-7-2010/mortgage-bankers-association-strategic-default

Home Sales Data Is Overstated:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704476604576158452087956150.html

“Three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong.”  Charles Ferguson upon receiving the Oscar along with Audrey Marrs for the Best Documentary for the movie “Inside Job.”

“Almost everyone counted publicly each and every single day of the event known as the ‘Iran hostage crisis,’ yet no one is counting publicly the days that have passed since September 15, 2008 without a single major criminal indictment of the banksters and their ilk who caused the financial crisis that continues to plague this country today.”

[See the “e-ssay” titled “1000 AUSAs (February 9, 2009).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Do as I do not as I say

Mortgage Bankers Association: Strategically Default Today

Free $1000 an hour legal advice:  Strategically Default On Your Mortgage Today

Efficiency uber alles

Efficiency is Inefficient

If your property is underwater, should you plant seaweed in the front yard this spring?

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