The Wall Street Journal published one of those stupid 'shoot the messenger' articles about the consumer lawyers who by doing their jobs brought to light the robosigning and document fabrication that has become endemic in the foreclosure process. The article reeked of implicit class bigotry, which will play well with the WSJ's intended demographic. And properly reflects the complete capture by paradigm of the formerly ink-stained wretches who currently inhabit the gilded cage of the higher reaches of salaried journalism.
The denizens of Wall Street whom the WSJ serves elected to jettison the safeguards, procedures and formalities of the credit culture they had inherited. That credit culture had developed over generations. Remember the three C's? Probably not. For the last decade, those pillars of financial innovation shoved money out the door with utter abandon and cut a lot of corners doing that. They lent a lot of money to customers they shouldn't have.
Now, surprise, they're taking the same cavalier approach to getting the money back.
The great public was willing to take the money pushed its way. But when it comes to cowboy recklessness in getting the money back, not so fast, hombre. The legal and judicial safeguards and procedures developed over generations in real property matters exist to protect legal rights. They evolved and reflect a prudent and painfully developed set of accomodations and balances. Just because the financial services sector lost its collective sanity and jettisoned the credit culture is no reason for the judicial system to follow its example.
And the news of the last couple of months suggest that those legal safeguards and procedures need to be strengthened, not diminished. Which, of course, is what the New York courts took a step towards yesterday by rule imposing additional duties on counsel for foreclosing financial institutions.
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