Every once in a while, I receive an email that threatens to expand the level of parody and sarcasm beyond the ability of the human mind to contain it without erupting in cornucopia of burst cranial blood vessels like a bag of Orville Redenbacher Kettle Korn in the microwave after 45 seconds on "high." A recent post in which I envisioned the CFPB "telling an auto loan lender that if a dealer from which it buys paper ever causes emotional pain to a buyer's pet parakeet, the lender is on the hook for the vet's bill," inspired one bank executive's inner snark blossom to fully bloom. He or she shall remain anonymous, primarily because this most excellent rant was communicated, without naming names, by a friend of this banker. This banker obviously has a full grasp of the new paradigm in consumer lending.
"How clearly illustrative of the hell I live in every day: “…if a dealer from which it [a bank] buys paper ever causes emotional pain to a buyer's pet parakeet, the lender is on the hook for the vet's bill…”. Don’t forget that asking the borrower to honor the terms of the loan to which he or she agreed is in fact considered an unnecessary infliction of emotional distress. The parakeet will pick up those vibes in the house and stop singing. This will only further depress the borrower, who is still by the way driving the $80,000 car for which he or she is not paying, because the parakeet’s song is what keeps that buyer motivated to get up every day. If the borrower doesn’t get up and go to work every day, the bank can’t get paid for its loan. So the bank has a vested interest in keeping the parakeet happy and in this case a vet may not be enough. This parakeet needs a behaviorist. A parakeet whisperer, who understands the parakeet and can help restore the parakeet’s emotional well-being, only after which there can be a hope for the bank to be repaid for its loan. The borrower should retain the car, because after all the car will be necessary to transport the parakeet to its bird shrink, without which the loan on the car can’t be repaid. Now you can clearly see why it’s in the bank’s best interest not only to not be paid on the loan, but to in fact pay all expenses for a parakeet psychiatrist to get that parakeet singing again. And there is no way to make sure this happens unless a government bureaucrat has a nice office from which to read all the reports the bank will be required to produce justifying that the bank has done all it could and spent money on everything possible to get that parakeet happy, or to otherwise force the bank to do more to help the parakeet. Doing so from a cube would be, well, inhumane – though I can’t resist pointing out that I see a few parallels between the parakeet and the bureaucrat (both are sitting miserable and silent in a small cage and pooping on everything that crosses their paths….)"