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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Don't Look to McCain for Help with the Mortgage Crisis

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John McCain believes that the number one issue for Americans is national security. According to the Associated Press, and shortly after Governor Charlie Crist of Florida endorsed him as a Presidential candidate, Mr. McCain said, “Even if the economy is the, quote, No. 1 issue, the real issue will remain America’s security [. . .]” This statement shows he has not wavered from his campaign’s main ideological sentiment that was conveyed before presumptively winning his party’s nomination and, which, is still ardent today, “I am running because of the transcendental challenge of the 21st century, which is radical Islamic extremism,” (New York Times, 1/28/08). Unfortunately, financial security and national security aren’t even on the same plane of national issues; they’re not even at the same airport.

It seems highly unreasonable to assume that a majority of the nation facing a sub-prime mortgage crisis and a housing market that continues to depreciate, has the spread or threat of Islamic-fascism as their number one concern. And it’s almost certain that anybody who assumed the responsibility of an option ARM loan in the last five years is more focused on their wallet and finding a way of keeping their home out of foreclosure, than anything the presumptive candidate of the Republican Party has to say in regards to the Middle East.

Mr. McCain is also very dubious that the government will need to or should even have to step into the mortgage crisis conundrum and help find solutions for borrowers that were taken advantage of by lenders and their insidiously worded Truth in Lending Agreement (TILA) forms. Why punish the good people at Bear Stearns, Countrywide, World Savings, etc., who deliberately misrepresented the facts in regards to the loans that consumers chose, while given the impression it was in their (borrowers) best interest, to borrow. Mr. McCain believes that, “[Americans] bought homes they couldn’t afford [. . .]” (New York Times, 3/25/08). But that is not true. Consumers got into loans that were shown to be affordable, when in fact lenders were not disclosing all the facts in an unequivocal manner. These loans were written in a way that hid pertinent details that would have allowed the borrower to make a fair and informed decision as to whether or not this was still a preferable loan. Instead, lenders were vague and ambiguous on what would trigger an increase in monthly payments and how the monthly payments weren’t even covering the entire interest that was accruing monthly.

Maybe we just have to assume that Mr. McCain was confused and really means that the lenders bought into a system they couldn’t afford, but that’s doubtful, considering he doesn’t even understand how the mortgage crisis precipitated and how it’s likely to get worse, “Only 55 million [homeowners] have a mortgage at all and 51 million are doing what is necessary [. . .] to make their payments on time. That leaves us with a puzzling situation: how could 4 million mortgages cause this much trouble for us all?” (New York Times, 3/25/08). The lenders should be paying the price for their avarice ways, and the borrowers should be able to look to their elected officials to help them find the proper methods to help assuage the burden brought on by a myopic financial platform that these lenders began executing five years ago. After reading some of Mr. McCain’s other comments made today, it is probably in the best interest of a borrower to seek legal advice from a lawyer in order to see through the lingering haze of lender misrepresentations that are an apparent contributor of this subprime quagmire. The attorneys at Kiesel Boucher Larson, LLP know how deceptive the TILA forms were written and will be able to represent the disenfranchised borrower of an option ARM loan.