Authority Of Banks Essay

1154 words - 5 pages

There is a wonderful passage in john Steinbeck’s epic novel The Grapes of Wrath that describes a scene of dialogue between a landowner and a ‘squatter’ where the landowner tells his tenant, “If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank-or the Company-needs-wants-insists-must have-as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them.” Banks are indeed monstrous entities to many who have been forced to face them in the last two years in foreclosure proceedings. How else to describe the actions of banks such as Indymac and its successor, One West Bank, who are attempting to foreclose on the property of Irene Jones, an 89 year-old widow from Oakland, California when they have twice been ordered to stop proceedings by the Superior Court of Alameda County? Solutions on how to destroy or weaken powerful monsters are rarely simple, but absolutely vital for the well-being of not only those suffering under its clutches, as well as to those who will fortunately escape the fear of ever having to face it in similar circumstances.
The first step in any reconciliation, and if there is to be any hope of moving forward into a better future where the mistakes of the past are unlikely to be repeated is to have some measure of accountability from those most responsible for the current situation. The majority of homes that were foreclosed on were those with subprime loans, where income verification performed by lenders was virtually unheard of for borrowers and the consequences since have been disastrous. Not even the process of automatic stay from foreclosure proceedings granted to debtors who enter into bankruptcy is permanent; at most it is a minor reprieve that allows people to temporarily remain in their homes for longer than they might have without the court’s protection. All banks have the right to seek relief from the process of automatic stay and they all make sure their attorneys take full advantage and file motions in court as soon as they can. It is a rare event when a bankruptcy attorney represents clients at the hearings for these motions because most of them know the futility of it. They understand that by the time most clients decide to seek help from a lawyer, the banks are already too far ahead in the process of retrieving their property. This is why it’s imperative to prevent banks from any avaricious pursuits through immediate changes.
The purpose of any bank is to keep, and not give away, money. It is a little understood fact that once a person deposits their money into a bank it ceases to be theirs. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, according to conventional wisdom, and yet most people would argue that banks are established for the protection and convenient retrieval of their funds. In reality, banks use the money given them and create more for themselves through loans, on which they can charge interest and collect more than just the capital...

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