My banker friend R. (who shared the sad story about the Oregon homeowner who’d waited until it was too late to get help avoiding foreclosure) told me his thoughts, as a real estate banking professional, about that story and about the “mortgage mess” in general.

“In this case, the reason the man got behind on his mortgage isn’t the important thing. People tend to want to look for blame. I think it’s almost ingrained in us to do that now. It doesn’t matter if the man originally got his mortgage by looking only for the lowest rate and not seeking the advice of an experienced mortgage lender. It doesn’t matter if he lied on his application to inflate his income. It doesn’t matter if his mortgage lender got him approved for a mortgage that was high risk just to make a commission. I don’t know if any of those things happened and frankly don’t want to know. The bottom line and lesson here is that the homeowner waited too long to get help, just hoping that things would ‘work themselves out’. I don’t know this individual well, but it’s pride, in my experience, that has been the reason people don’t seek help.”

“It’s important to remember”, added R., “in this mortgage environment, banks really don’t want to own your home. There are options to help people in trouble, and it’s extremely important to get out in front of the trouble immediately. It could be the difference between losing or keeping your home.”

My goodness, R.! You must have been reading my bankruptcy blogs – I couldn’t have made the case any better than that!