8 3 mins 9 yrs

I should be on BBC Sunday Sequence tomorrow morning debating the above issue with a Priest who think is is IMMORAL to buy a repossessed house. What do you think? I reckon it is a faux argument and in fact I will argue that moral good comes from repossessed property. In the first instance, a house is ONLY repossessed when the owner has demonstrated a total inability to meet his financial commitment. This is not a moral failure – there may well be good reasons for this failure – but it is quite obviously a financial breach of contract which will eventually trigger the lender of the mortgage to instigate proceedings leading eventually to repossession. In my view, Banks hate this because it means they will offload in a depressed market and so they will lose out. In this way, the sale of a repossessed house is morally neutral. However, and this is the clincher for me, it actually has a morally positive benefit. When a repossessed house is sold, it tends to go at below market value. This means that it may be possible for a family who could not otherwise own a home to find a place of their own. That is a moral good.

Furthermore, if one took the view that buying such a property is immoral, then it follows that such houses should sit around empty. At a time when people are looking homes, isn’t THAT immoral? Why should we think it moral to have a land bank of empty homes? If buying a repossessed house is immoral, does that logic extend to buying a repossessed car? Shall we close down pawnbrokers? How about discount stores who sell product obtained from distressed manufacturers?

The proposition being put forward by my opponent is utopianism and cannot apply. We live in a world where we ALL seek financial advantage and so long as this is legally obtained, I think it is perfectly GOOD and MORAL.

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  1. I don’t see how it can be wrong.

    I suppose the priest wants to go back to the days where repossessed properties were given over to the church.

  2. Its guaranteed to break into a debate about the repossession not the purchase after the fact, and how it’s cruel that people are expected to pay or get out…. be prepared.

    and unless the people who were evicted trashed the place a repo is always a good buy… but I’m a capitalist.

  3. There is also the moral hazard point. If borrowers know there is no risk of losing the house, they will be tempted to default. Why should a defaulter be treated the same as a borrower who meets his commitments? To me, that would be immoral.

  4. Huge numbers of repossessed houses here were bought by speculators or by the many who very knowingky overextended themselves.

    I’d have no problem at all buying one of these houses.

  5. I should be on BBC Sunday Sequence tomorrow morning debating the above issue with a Priest who think is is IMMORAL to buy a repossessed house.

    Well it depends.

    If someone simply sticks two fingers up to the bank then that’s fraud. However, it’s no less a fraud than banks illegally foreclosing on owners, which has been common.

    The biggest fraud of the lot, and the most immoral acts of all, are those of the central banks, which daily incentivise thousands into taking out loans and mortgages by constantly lying about the true cost of money.

  6. I would have no qualms about buying a ‘repo’, providing you’ve done due diligence and checked out the neighbours.
    I can feel sorry that someone has lost their home through no fault of their own, but I wouldn’t let that stop me buying it.

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