fbpx

SOUND OFF

LAST WEEK’S QUESTION:

Are lenders solely to blame for the subprime-mortgage crisis?

Why or why not?

NO — 58 percent

YES — 42 percent

LAST WEEK’S QUESTION:

Are lenders solely to blame for the subprime-mortgage crisis?

Why or why not?

NO — 58 percent

YES — 42 percent

HOW YOU SAID IT:

NO: “People shouldn’t have been buying houses they couldn’t afford. Do the lenders deserve some of the blame? Yes, but most of the blame should go on the people who took out these loans knowing they couldn’t afford their house if rates went up.”

—A. Tony Wright,

Dauphin County

NO: “Lenders aren’t solely to blame for the mortgage crises. It takes two sides to generate a mess like this — one side greedy enough to sign for a mortgage they can’t afford and the other side to pander to this greed.”

—Rose Anderson,

York County

NO: “Most of the time, it was greedy brokers doing whatever it took to get someone approved.”

—Carl Knaub,

Cumberland County

NO: “Two words: personal responsibility.”

—Linda Eyer,

Dauphin County

NO: “These loans were subprime because the individuals who took them out had less than sterling credit, and they knew it. They also knew they could not afford what they were buying. When do we ever get back to personal responsibility?”

—Steve Kelly,

Cumberland County

NO: “Borrowers are definitely (to) blame for the subprime-mortgage crisis. They should have been totally aware of the commitment that they were making and should not be bailed out by any government, federal or state. Lenders should also not be bailed out by any government, federal or state. Perhaps both should be a bit more careful in the future.”

—Ron Hoover,

York County

NO: “How about the media? We understand that news is what you sell, but are you prepared to take any responsibility for sensationalizing news in order to have a more exciting product to sell?”

—Annette Means,

Dauphin County

NO: “While large, nationwide lenders that rely on deceitful business practices and have little interest in the financial health of local communities are largely to blame, there are other factors involved in this debacle. As a society, we also must accept blame for the absolute lack of quality financial literacy programs available for our young people and the public in general. Unscrupulous lenders cannot operate in the light of knowledge. They prey upon those who misunderstand the impact of the excessive fees and those who are not able to see the crime of stealing equity from a home owner, especially one who is likely in financial distress. Organizations such as the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers and the Independent Community Bankers of America have long sought to provide resources to schools and community groups to support community based financial literacy programs. As a community we must do better at educating and empowering our children, friends and neighbors so unscrupulous lenders cannot prosper at the expense of our communities.”

—Frank A. Pinto,

Dauphin County

Pinto is the president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers

NO: “The mortgage writers are one of the main people at fault here, but take into the account all the people who bought houses knowing they couldn’t afford them; or didn’t do any research on how the loan works; or even read over the loan documents; the appraisers who kept valuing these house higher than they actually where; and last but not lease look at how these loans where then bundled and sold on the open market, and no one questioned the risk then.

I believe the majority of the blame lies on the people who bought house who couldn’t afford them and thought they could flip them and make money. (Look at any of the condo-flip sites. People would buy and sell condos with out ever seeing the actual property.)”

— Joseph Silbaugh III,

York County

YES: “Although we have the best economic system in the world, in terms of wealth-building for individuals, corporations have become too large and concentrated. Because of that, the term ‘caveat emptor’ — let the buyer beware — has taken on a new dimension. The sophistication of large corporations has outpaced the sophistication of the consumer. The resulting huge gap lends itself to abuse — thus taking advantage of the consumers’ lack of knowledge, which results in lack of understanding, which results in being taken advantage of.

Sophisticated corporations have a duty to make sure the consumer understands fully the ramifications, both short- and long-term, when entering into a complicated transaction, especially something as important as financing a home. It is this lack of education of the consumers by the lenders that led to this tragedy. Worse yet was the hyping of the product to reel in unsuspecting consumers.”

—Steve Clever,

Cumberland County

YES: “It is a business’ responsibility to conduct itself in a reasonable manner. Lending money in a risky loan criteria is irresponsible.”

—Dean D. Huth,

Rutherford County, Tenn.

YES: “I worked part time for a mortgage broker about two or three years ago, and people who had bad credit, an income of less than $25,000 and the concept of paying a bill on time was beyond their ability.

Since I did not have a lender to help them, I would ask the simple question. Would you loan a friend $150,000 with spotty job history, a low credit score and a poor bill-payment history, etc.? Why then would you expect a bank to give you a loan as well?

In my opinion … if a bank did make this type of loan, financed 100 percent of the mortgage, then they deserve to lose money, and the credit managers deserve to lose their jobs. It is just poor lending practices.

Less than 10 years ago, there was a similar downturn in the real estate market that forced a lot of regional banks to merge and sell assets at bargain-basement prices. Just remember Maryland National Bank. They had to sell the country’s largest and most premier credit-card company, MBNA America, to pay the bills and later merge with Nations Bank, which later became Bank of America.

You just cannot look at the profit potential without weighing the risk.

A small profit is better than a big profit with lots of risk.”

— Jeff Bruening,

York County

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:

Should the federal government eliminate income taxes in favor of a national sales tax? Why or why not?

Business Events

Best Places to Work in PA

Thursday, December 03, 2020
Best Places to Work in PA

2020 Icon Honors

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
2020 Icon Honors

Nonprofit Innovation Awards

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Nonprofit Innovation Awards

Reader Rankings Awards

Thursday, June 10, 2021
Reader Rankings Awards