The headline story in this morning’s Day (Predatory Lending Shatters Dreams Of Dozens Of First-Time Home Buyers) about a local lending scam is a good piece of journalism. Not only did the Day expose an egregious swindle, but it got the AG’s office to investigate, and hopefully, put an end the careers of some of these folks.
I’ve heard rumblings about this for some time, and I was peripherally involved, both as a minor source and as an in attorney, in that I’ve sued all but two of the individuals named in the article for lending related CUTPA violations. Of the two exceptions, one was the lawyer for someone I did sue.
The last case I had involved almost the whole cast of characters, but I never tumbled to the scam being pulled on the buyers, since my clients were sellers. My clients were cheated too, but in a different way than the buyers, and their losses were far less than those suffered by the buyers. I had another case involving buyers years ago, involving exactly the same modus operandi, but only one of the persons named in the article.
I’ve sued one of these people three times, and I’ve come to conclude, partly as a result of those experiences, that there are some people who literally can’t tell right from wrong. Such people are more common than you might think. If you tell them something is wrong, and they shouldn’t do it, they may listen and do as they’re told. But without someone else to act as a surrogate conscience, they are adrift without a moral compass. Those who suffer from this problem, as is the case here, may engage in behaviors in which the potential rewards don’t justify the risk.
The Day’s reporter deserves an award for this one. I know she’s been working on it for months. Here’s hoping she gets one, and that the AG goes after these folks aggressively.