Liddick: Regulatory hits and misses
So, is all regulation misguided or wicked? No. Some degree of it is necessary to civilized society, as the Founders recognized. Case in point is Colorado Initiative 84, whose goal unites me with the Colorado Progressive Coalition: if a bank wants to repossess your home for failure to pay your mortgage, they should at a minimum be required to show they have a right to do so.
You read that right: Colorado is the only state in the union which allows a bank to repossess a home solely on the say-so of an attorney, who may or may not be familiar with a property's “chain of title” — that paper trail showing who has the legal right to foreclose. Initiative 84 would demand that lenders prove standing, usually through documentation registered with the clerk of the county in which the property is located.
I have some quibbles with the initiative. It makes the registration requirement a constitutional provision rather than law, but since the legislators — Democrat and Republican both — have been unwilling to act, well … That's what initiatives are for.
The Colorado Bankers' Association argues Initiative 84 will be so expensive that the secondary mortgage market will “grind to a halt.” Nonsense. If I can afford the fee to register my original deed of trust when I make the mortgage, the lender can jolly well afford it when it's sold to another institution. This is the way things worked before the relevant law was changed in 2006, and there's no evidence it won't work now.
The CBA also argues that the Initiative will drastically reduce the number of mortgages funded, and would “stifle borrow-lender communication” on foreclosures. Oh, please. Banks didn't have any trouble making mortgages before 2006, and if anyone has recently tried to “communicate” with their lender about an impending foreclosure, they'll recognize the latter objection as laughable. The current situation is what is untenable.
So, a commonsense conservative position on regulation: a pox on that which creates more problems than it solves, but full marks when actual problems are addressed. Common sense will tell us which is which — if we bother to pay attention.