There was a time…and it was not so long ago…that losing one’s home to foreclosure was viewed not altogether differently from being arrested for domestic battery or ramming a telephone pole in a drunken stupor. In other words, it was viewed as a personal, moral failing of a fairly high order.
The Great Depression, Part II, has gone a long way to changing that. While the ranks of foreclosure filers are indeed filled with the irresponsible, the gluttonous, and/or the stupid, there is also a bunch of otherwise-earnest who have simply been crushed by the greater forces at work in the world over the last few years. I could have just as easily been one of those, a prospective real estate investor who, honestly, never quite got around to building a portfolio; had it not been for my procrastinating nature, I would have been one of the many, most assuredly.
Reports are finding that many apartments are now relaxing their standards for applicant tenants with foreclosures on their records. That’s both good and bad, I suppose, but probably a necessity; given the rapidly-growing number of consumers with at least one “life event” (credit-speak for a bankruptcy or foreclosure) on their credit histories, what choice do merchants of high-dollar goods really have? Ultimately, it is the process of retail consumption, the double-edged sword though it can be, that will serve as the engine that lifts us out of the current economic doldrums, and its rejuvenation will require effort, sacrifice, and a measure of risk assumption on the part of all parties.
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