About that foreclosure suicide

Tanta at Calculated Risk does some digging, and wonders why mainstream media missed important facts, like why the cop said (with no proof) that the couple must have had an adjustable rate mortgage, why the husband said he had no clue about the foreclosure yet had filed for a BK three times recently – and so on.

Tanta doesn’t have the answers yet, just questions, plus justifiable outrage at the predetermined spin by mainstream media as to what the story is about. In this case, the spin is the suicide must be due to a predatory lender, even though there is no proof of this and Tanta, after a little research, shows the couple do not appear to have been in anything approaching serious debt, plus he was making good money.

I do not doubt for a moment that Carlene Balderrama was under severe psychological stress. Whatever kept her going through six years of an inability to make her mortgage payments, clearly the reality of the day of foreclosure sale was too much to bear. What I do object to is the transformation of this story into an urban legend about “predatory lenders” and the effects of an RE downturn based on no evidence whatsoever. I object to these reporters’ unwillingness to deal with the facts available to them that surely complicate this currently popular narrative. I object to cops running off at the mouth with unsubstantiated claims and a husband and his co-worker heaping blame for the family’s financial woes on a dead woman who can no longer defend herself, and I surely object to it when it gets used to slander a mortgage servicer who was, apparently, the only party involved who ever took this woman seriously enough to call 911.

While you may sympathize with the predatory lender spin, her primary point is that media often twists a story to fit their predetermined bias, and that that doing so for an apparent suicide is sickening.

  • Well, I certainly agree in this case that the lender shouldn’t be crucified. However, something must be done to keep another crisis like this from happening. A bit of regulation on the part of lenders would help from having this glut of foreclosures. Dale

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