Which Strategy is Best ?
Before we get to that, let’s exercise our powers of logic for a bit first.
What is the higher value, the laws promulgated by the state – subject to the whim of each successive legislature, governor, bureaucrat and low-level flunky……. Or the laws of God – unchangeable, immutable and eternal?
A rhetorical question, you say.
Let’s look at an age-old problem in society: Divorce.
What are some of the causes for divorce?
- Disagreement about raising children? Or even whether to have them? Yes.
- What about friction with in-laws? yes.
- Career change or extended unemployment? Yes.
- Divergent tastes in religion? Yes.
- Cheating by a spouse? Of course.
Speaking of… What does the Word of God say about adultery? It is sin. Period.
Do people do it? Yes. Are they ashamed? They should be.
Does the civil law frown upon adultery in most states? Not even a little bit.
Does the state’s neutrality or nonchalance lessen the embarrassment for the one who destroys his or her marriage by committing adultery? Absolutely.
What about money problems, you ask.
“They” say that money problems are the #1 cause of divorce in America.
I would argue that the family unit was bruised to the point of tearing, well before the money problems reared their ugly head, and that money problems are just one symptom of spiritual discord, and not the cause – but that is a topic for a Bible study at another place and time.
You see my point.
I propose to you that the “Short-Sale Strategy” or the “Strategic Default” is yet another example of an action that is counter to our moral compass, and that the granting by the state of permission to do the same, amounts to an erosion of morals and morality within our culture.
When the state acquiesces, and local attorneys spend countless thousands of dollars to appear on television, radio and newspaper advertisements and rationalize that it is your right to walk away, simply because your equity has disappeared – then we have the behavior that we now see across the culture. “It’s not my fault”.
“The mortgage company defrauded me”. “They should have known I didn’t qualify for the loan”. And on and on.
We can walk away from our obligations because it is legal. Legal by today’s definition.
Wait a minute. Are you going to cheat on your husband or wife because the state says it’s no longer a factor in justifying divorce? Which makes adultery legal? I don’t think so.
When a man of honor can preach from a sacred pulpit that (a) short sale is biblical; (b) that it is spiritually justified;
(c) that it is perfectly acceptable behavior for people of faith to practice – along with the relevant chapter, verse and passage of Scripture to prove it – then I will withdraw my objections and remain silent on the matter.
In the absence of such justification from the Word of God, then I will advise and counsel my clients that, unless your back is broken and you cannot work to pay your just debts; that you indeed signed your name to a legal and binding contract and covenant, and you are bound to honor your word and your integrity.
Where does it say that? Pretty much everywhere.
It is God that gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant …. Let your yea be yea… thou shall not covet… thou shall not bear false witness… thous shall not steal…
Bottom line: It’s not our money. It’s His. It’s not our place to try to compensate for “market” losses – and after all, isn’t that the reason you’re looking to short-sell your house? Because the market zigged when it should have zagged?
Here’s the test: If you had $ 100,000 equity in your home, would you still be walking away? No you say?
Because the asset is worth saving? I rest my case. You’re walking away not because it was a bad deal on the day your signed, but it became a bad deal when the real estate market tanked.
And now you’re looking at jumping through a loophole that man invented, so that you can circumnavigate around God’s command that we honor our word, that we read contracts, that we not strike hands foolishly, that we not gamble?
So, get up extra early tomorrow morning, and go to work. Be an honest steward. Pay your debts. Let the rest of the world do what it wants. Let the stars crash into the ocean, but remain steadfast in your integrity and your word.
You will be the better person for it, and the world will beat a path to your door, and it will seek to learn from you how to held your head up while everyone else was hiding in a hole because they defrauded their creditors with the state’s and the politicians’ permission.