Stop overusing the term 'deadbeat'

I'm offended by your oversimplified labeling of all struggling borrowers as 'deadbeats,' and I'm going to start shouting you out when you use the term improperly.

David Grubbs / Billings Gazette / AP / File
Alicia Lang of Billings, Mont., stands in front of her home, Oct. 13. Lang refinanced her home and was told later the bank in charge of her home loan would foreclose because the bank was going out of business. These days, people are losing their homes for countless reasons, some due to their own bad judgment, some to fraudulent lending practices, and some a tragic combination of circumstances. Stop lumping them all together as 'deadbeats,' OK?

How many more blogs and newspaper op-eds must I read that casually refer to homeowners who are behind on their mortgages as "deadbeats"? As if they all took loans that they couldn't afford. As if every single homeowner in arrears was reckless at the time of signing for their mortgage.

Let me help you out with this, bank apologists:

Mr. Smith is earning $150,000 in 2005 and he's been with the same mid-sized business for 15 years.

He buys a home putting down 20%, borrowing the rest with a responsible and respectable 30-year mortgage.

The Credit Crisis hits 2 years later, through no fault of Mr. Smith's. His investment portfolio is halved, the value of his house is crushed as well.

His boss at said mid-sized company calls Mr. Smith in to his office to tell him that, due to cutbacks, he would have to be let go.

Mr. Smith spends the next 9 months job hunting. He finds nothing. This is because the same banks that hold the note for his mortgage also won't supply credit to his community's businesses, so there are no jobs to be had.

Mr. Smith sells off what he can to keep his kids clothed and fed, maxes out his bank-supplied usurious credit cards and sells off his investment portfolio (at its lows) just to make ends meet while looking for work. He eventually falls behind on his mortgage.

Now, is Mr. Smith a reckless Deadbeat or are you just a blackhearted lowlife animal for calling him one?

Think the case above is the exception? Think most people behind on their mortgages are lazy or profligate? Well you need to get out more and talk to people who reside outside of your fantasy bubble.

There are deadbeats and then there are erstwhile victims of the environment that the ultimate deadbeats in the financial sector brought about. And bigshots take note - it could happen to you. Reversals of fortune are as natural and frequent in this world as grains of sand in the desert. I'd be careful running that mouth of yours as if you're guaranteed your station in life in perpetuity.

I find your lumping in of all struggling borrowers as "deadbeats" to be offensive and I'm going to start shouting you out when you use that term improperly.

Show some respect.

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