Although Dave Dayen and Abigail Field have already given a well-deserved shellacking to a remarkable piece of bank PR masquerading as “insight” at Reuters, “ Evidence suggests anti-foreclosure laws may backfire ,” it merits longer-form treatment as a crude macedoine of anti-homeowner messaging.
The way Big Lies get sold is by dint of relentless repetition. In the wake of the heinous mortgage settlement, foreclosure fatigue has set in . A lot of policy people want to move on because the topic has no upside for them. Nothing got fixed, the negotiation process took a lot of political capital (meaning, as we pointed out, it forestalls any large national initiatives in the near-to-medium term), and Good Dems don’t want to dwell on a crass Obama sellout (not that that should be a surprise by now). But the fact that this issue, which ought to be front burner given its importance both to individuals and the economy, is being relegated to background status creates the perfect setting for hammering away at bank-friendly memes. When people are less engaged, they read stories in a cursory fashion, or just glance at the headline, and don’t bother to think whether the storyline makes sense or the claims are substantiated.
Just look at the headline: “Evidence suggests anti-foreclosure laws may backfire.” First, it says there are such things as “anti-foreclosure laws.” In fact, the laws under discussion are more accurately called “Foreclose legally, damnit” laws. Servicers and their foreclosure mill arms and legs have so flagrantly violated long-standing real estate laws in how they execute foreclosures that some states have decided to up the ante in terms of penalties to get the miscreants to cut it out. As Dayen points out:
No state law in this country disallows legal foreclosures. If the banks