Predatory Landlords, Debt, and Repairing the World

Dr. King said that,

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. ”

The question is how does such “restructuring” happen?

Following up on my earlier post regarding debt as a problem of financial self-defense, particularly in the case of apartment renters who are forced to live in a lemon or face Breach of Lease, Biblical Law may have something to say about the long term consequences of artificially pushing people into debt (talking about otherwise frugal folks who do not spend profligately).

I respectfully submit that we have had one possible tool in our hands for several thousand years, and it may need to be examined in the context of our present debt crisis -the release of debts, both short term and long term, at different times.  Below is a handout from one of several talks I gave on the relationship between debt and community building, this one from the book of Deuteronomy: DCBM20August_Reeh_Class.

AfterNote: while debts do “expire” at different times in each state and DC according to the type of debt, only two states actually “extinguish” expired debts, and only Maryland prohibits lawsuits being brought against debtors for already expired debts!              Lawmakers in every country need to act to prevent this sort of financial and emotional bullying (in the case of landlords, offering apartments which do not suit, and then reneging on promises to fix issues, while in other cases, offering credit knowing that those who accept are at a relative disadvantage).
In the USA, each state regulates how long one can be sued for a debt, but even then, if the debtor does not know to defend, or is unable for some reason to go to court even if h/she knows, oftentimes creditors sue illegally and win. Now this cannot happen in MD, but of course debtors are still free to harrass up to and beyond the Statute of Limitation (‘expiration’) of the debt.

May we look to our collective good, as one Human Race, and to the potential of each and every Human Being.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

my resume: JonesPolicyResumePublic
June 26th, 12017 HE

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8 thoughts on “Predatory Landlords, Debt, and Repairing the World

  1. You know! I’m sitting with a debt at the moment: I was working part time for a local (South African) bank. Via email, I received an invitation to accept a credit card to the value of R2000 – just before Christmas! So (silly me) I took it, and of course couldn’t find other employment once my contract with the bank was over. They had a system, now recently declared unlawful, where the bank would sell the debt of defaulters to a private company who would then hound one for the money. The bank itself was never at risk. So, indeed, artificially creating pitfalls for the unwary and often the needy or desperate, deepens poverty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup! Very sorry to hear this, but thank you for sharing yet another example of predatory powerful who exploit the vulnerable (which is each and all of us at some moment or another).

      Lawmakers in every country need to act to prevent this sort of financial and emotional bullying (in the case of landlords, offering apartments which do not suit, and then reneging on promises to fix issues, while in other cases, offering credit knowing that those who accept are at a relative disadvantage).

      In the USA, each state regulates how long one can be sued for a debt, but even then, if the debtor does not know to defend, or is unable for some reason to go to court even if h/she knows, oftentimes creditors sue illegally and win. Now this cannot happen in MD, but of course debtors are still free to harrass up to and beyond the Statute of Limitation (‘expiration’) of the debt.
      Very sad system.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Not for much longer, it doesn’t have to be: if we all work together to change it for the better through “cooperation and non-cooperation” -that is why I adhere to Voluntary Simplicity…

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        2. There is a tag as well as an entire category for cooperation, but I’m not sure that I ever took the time to write a post or create anything for non-cooperation, as Gandhi explained it so much better himself.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit and commented:
    This is a timely article. Gives some reasons for the increase in homelessness. My Brownsville, Brooklyn neighborhood is undergoing gentrification. My rent is rapidly approach $1K per month. Obviously when I retire next year I won’t be able to live here enjoy though I Love the neighborhood. I will be pushed out to the edges of the city limits all due to lack of money and inability to pay high rents. Food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch, very sorry to hear of your rent increase. That’s been happening in DC as well. Various groups have been working to fight back, particularly to get the city to enforce its Affordable Housing laws (I’m not sure if the District still has rent control), but it is an uphill battle. 😦 Best wishes, and if I can come up with some useful ideas for you (do you have a renter’s collective in your building or complex?), I will try.

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