The United States banking industry is stuck in a cycle:
Lend on very good homes, to very good creditors, for low interest rates
Lend on average homes to average creditors for average interest rates
Lend of bad homes to bad creditors for high interest rates
Watch as the financial system collapses
Rinse and repeat.
Right now we’re somewhere around stage 3, as lenders find fewer and fewer individuals of good and average credit scores with healthy assets to lend on. Unless we change our thinking in this regard, it is our fear that history will eventually repeat itself.
A part of breaking out of this cycle is to understand the idea that a loan is not a right. A right is a moral or legal entitlement to a thing. None of us have the moral or legal entitlement to someone else’s money- that is called theft. Rather, we do have the right to be viewed equally within the process of attempting to obtain a loan (this is why discrimination on the basis of race, religion, etc is illegal). However, it is important to understand that that equality of examination may still result in some not obtaining a loan.
Some will not meet income guidelines
Some will not meet down payment guidelines
Some will not meet asset guidelines - the home will fail to qualify
We might agree that individuals in the greatest country on earth should have the ability to access the dream of owning a home. We might agree that “something” needs to be done. However, reducing the qualification of the above is a direct path to cyclical financial collapse. The issues that keep some from home ownership are far deeper than a few regulations and banking policies. They stretch back 100 years to immigration laws, red lining, the antebellum south’s policies, the great migration, and others. There are very real injustices that have affected generations. Recently, in a House committee meeting a few congress persons suggested that appraisers were to blame for the injustices in the data. This is deeply disturbing. Ryan Lundquist has written an informative article on the topic that we hope you will take time to read:
In short, appraisers have a public and fiduciary trust to report the real property conditions and market value of a property - not produce reform one property at a time. This would betray the principles of the entire profession. Loan officers/Underwriters also have a trust to write good loans. Congress too has a trust, to ensure that the playing field is level for all participants and to discipline those who tip the scales. Appraisers have been inaccurately blamed in the past (our lobby in Washington is nonexistent, so we’re an easy scapegoat) but power rests in the hands of many others to produce solutions to these looming issues.