I'm going to default on my mortgage! I promise!


It's been about a week or so since I've ranted about bailing out people who are behind on their mortgages. So it's time for another one, don't you think? Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, has a brilliant idea for mortgage lenders: forgive part of people's loans if they're at risk of defaulting.

Did you just read what you think you did? Yes! Bernanke gave a speech mentioning "unnecessary foreclosures" and what banks should do to help the poor borrowers. I've never heard of an "unnecessary" foreclosure before. If you can't pay for your house, you shouldn't get to keep it, and a foreclosure is necessary.

But Bernanke is telling banks that they should just reduce principal on mortgages to give homeowners some equity and avoid foreclosure. So here we go again. Buy more house than you can afford. Make some late payments. And your reward will be that you don't have to pay back all of your mortgage. Does that sound fair to you?

It doesn't seem fair at all, but I want to sign up anyway. Do you think my mortgage company will believe me if I promise them that I'm going to default? Do you think they might reduce the amount that I owe them? It can't hurt to try!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Originally published