Sunday, January 22, 2012

Eviction by Big Gov't - whose meme is it?

Texana Hollis, age 101, first hit the national news in September because HUD foreclosed on her reverse mortgage and evicted her. They also trashed a lot of her possessions, though many were recovered.

Now HUD is saying she still can't move back in because, according to HUD's eternally silver-tongued spokesman Brian Sullivan, the house isn't "safe" or "sanitary". Also, he says, it's damaged, and per Sullivan "the damage already done in the house 'far exceeded what could've occurred that day'." So I guess we should feel comforted that HUD's own trashing is only part responsible for making the place unlivable.

Fortunately, Ms. Hollis is taken care of for the moment. A kind friend with the wonderful name of Polly Cheeks is hosting her while this all plays out. But the Detroit News does not relate whether HUD is paying her for her assistance, which it damn well should be. Because this means that, as far too usual, a woman with a culturally instilled sense of responsibility is compensating, at her own expense, for a failure of public services, and greedheads are profiting from her kindness.

So here's my question: the left has a long history of objecting to foreclosures on old ladies, but how do right-wingers feel when Big Government does the foreclosing?

I mean, when the evicting authorities are banks, it's the right-wing party line to blame debtors for irrationally believing what the TV ads and loan officers told them, right? But if the evicting authority is HUD, then is it OK for Republicans to object? Because this is Big Government in action against a little old lady, right? If the eviction was by eminent domain they'd be howling their heads off, right?

Of course in actual fact the eviction of Texana Hollis seems to have been a public-private partnership. HUD almost certainly will have gotten involved in this case as the public insurer backing up a private lender's reverse mortgage. And I'm sure the folks who are actually in the business of lending, collecting and evicting don't see any deep moral difference between the lender and the insurer on this loan. But for the ideologues who insist on hating big government and loving big business, what happens to their brains when it's obvious the two are colluding in an outrage?

I've just been wandering some odd corners of the Internet on a search for "Texana Hollis" with "Big Government", and nobody on the right really seems to be running with her story. But I wonder about some other case. Maybe if it was a matter of saving a farmstead in the Plains States instead of a bungalow in Detroit?

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