Every new loan that is larger than the last contributes to increasing over-all economic instability. The outcome of such has historically been a crash corresponding to the magnitude of this debt distortion. According to analysts, by 1999 twenty-five percent of all sub-prime loans were made in a predatory
manner. Some lending practices were modified after 2002 as others learned from Household International’s nationwide $484 million predatory lending settlement. Ameriquest didn’t learn, or got cocky, depending on one’s opinion. The $325 million settlement agreement covered approximately 725,000 loans valued at more than $109 billion made by Ameriquest from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2005.
As we study the subprime crisis by mid-2005 anybody and everybody started selling new mortgage products, no-doc, interest-only, adjustables, and other new ideas. Lenders financed illegal aliens subject to deportation, vacation homes, and mortgage brokers sold questionable products to any lender that would buy them. The boom was on. By 2006 the first adjustables started to default. Was the boom just predatory lending? Were the products worse than Household and Ameriquest products, or was the servicing of those products predatory in nature? Perhaps the answer lies with the fact that companies saw how little Household International and Ameriquest paid in fines relative to how much they made in profits. It becomes a question for a ‘moral values in today’s business’ college course. The outcome of such has historically been a crash corresponding to the magnitude of this debt distortion, and that fact remains set in stone. Just look at 1929.