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February 11, 2007


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Funny stuff. One could surmise that this "predicament" results from religion. I think I may have overheard Mel Gibson speaking tangentially in tongues about this in the background of the Passion played backwards at two-times speed. Consider that the certain religion out there that has that issue with charging interest and stuff probably doesn't have too many followers causing or suffering from the "bunch of junk" that Mr. Howard has.

Anyway, for most people, buying and financing a home are the biggest, most important transactions they will make in their lives. If they put as much effort in researching and understanding that process as they do in researching and understanding the differences in DLP, LCD, and CRT. Or Progessive or interlaced scanning. Or vertical lines of resolution. Or contrast ratio. Or HDMI v. Component v. firewire v. DVI v. etc. inputs.

The salespeople, however, are a different story. It seems the brokers/loan officers spend about the same amount of time the HDTV salespeople do on learning their products, which is to say, "not much." Come on, people, this is your livelihood, especially the brokers/loan have risk. Not too many HDTV salespeople go to jail for being dumb or lazy...they just lose their commission when the Couch potatoes return their TVs, because HDTV content isn't really available in their area.

It really doesn't take a law degree to be able to understand that that "start rate" of 1-1.25% doesn't stay that way forever and that it may not cover all of your interest. It also doesn't take a law degree to understand that the an interest-only payment period may extend past the fixed period on a hybrid arm. NOR does it take any education at all to understand that if you consolidate your credit cards into a mortgage payment and max out your cards 6 months after you last refied, you could land in financial difficulty.

Oh, nobody seems to understand how BMW's iDrive system works. I'm sure somebody crashed a Bimmer and landed in a "bunch of junk" driving while reading the manual or fiddling with the knob, but do we really need Congress to get involved?


We seldom "need" Congress to get involved, but like crack heads, we got the jones so bad, and it IS our drug of choice. Sure beats the hell out of personal responsibility in the minds of many. That said, how many people of average intelligence can successfully wade through the mountain of paper that buries the average borrower? The sheer volume overwhelms them. Worse, this crap is written by lawyers to be perfectly clear to other lawyers, so the average Jack and Jill hasn't got a prayer of understanding it. If we're going to put the responsibility on the borrower to understand, the disclosures have to be understandable, and they're simply not.

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