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Senate Committee Votes To Fingerprint Lenders

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-am-who-i-am-because-i-say-so dept.

Privacy 146

tjstork recommends a blog post up at Openmarket.org on the passage by a Senate committee of a fingerprinting provision in a foreclosure assistance bill. The provision would require thousands of people connected with the mortgage industry, even tangentially — possibly including part-time and seasonal real estate agents — to send fingerprints to the feds for storage in a database. No explanation is in evidence as to how this would help the problem of loan fraud. The measure passed the Senate Banking Committee by a bipartisan majority of 19 to 2. "The measure the committee passed states that 'an individual may not engage in the business of a loan originator without first... obtaining a unique identifier.' To obtain this 'identifier,' an individual is required to 'furnish to the newly created Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry 'information concerning the applicant's identity, including fingerprints for submission' to the FBI and other government agencies."

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Knee-jerk (3, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530592)

No explanation is in evidence as to how this would help the problem of loan fraud.

Uh, how about, so they can track the people making fraudulent loans regardless of what identity they assume? Maybe?

Re:Knee-jerk (1, Troll)

marbike (35297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530632)

When most loan fraud is done via identity theft, how does this initiative assist in finding the people committing actual fraud?

Yes, some fraud will certainly occur from within the industry, but the majority is done by people outside.

naturally (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530656)

haven't you heard? when you can't find a way to solve the problem, you do the second best thing. Solve some other problem instead, and market it as a solution to the first problem.

Re:naturally (3, Insightful)

Hankapobe (1290722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530748)

haven't you heard? when you can't find a way to solve the problem, you do the second best thing. Solve some other problem instead, and market it as a solution to the first problem.

I would just call it a knee-jerk reaction which is the typical operating and decision method of our Congress. Of course, if they actually stopped to think and get their facts straight, they would immediately be accused of not doing anything or not acting fast enough.

Re:naturally (3, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531180)

You mean that the job of a politician involves problem solving and that it can be hard ? Maaan, we should better start to favor competence over ideology in politics then...

Re:naturally (2, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531460)

Never happen.

This trend of creeping fascism has to stop.

Re:naturally (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23533110)

If this is creeping for you, I guess your car's meter shows speed in fractions of c.

Re:naturally (2, Funny)

Cally (10873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531516)

Wait - are you saying our elected representatives might act in a way calculated to maximise their own, narrow, short-term interests?

Woa, dude. My whole world just turned upside-down.

Re:naturally (1)

hoppo (254995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532042)

Actually, I would call it aligning the requirements of professionals in the real estate industry with those in the finance industry.

This is no different than what is required of anyone who works in trading securities, from people on the floor of the stock exchange to minimum wage desk brokers at discount brokerages.

Re:Knee-jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23530922)

Gummy bears [theregister.co.uk] to the rescue!

Re:Knee-jerk (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531394)

When most loan fraud is done via identity theft, how does this initiative assist in finding the people committing actual fraud?
Well, consumer credit is a different thing. What they are dealing with is the home equity crisis. While it's not unheard of, it's hard to fence a house -- in the felonious sense of the word. So insiders who are inflating their sales and commissions by falsifying aspects of loan deals are a bigger fraction of the fraud being committed than in something like credit card fraud. So the idea is that this keeps a sharp operator from committing fraud, then skipping town and setting up shop in a different place under an assumed (or stolen) name.

Unfortunately 99% of this crisis fits the standard market bubble paradigm. The difference is that this hits people ... er... where they live. Once the irrational exhuberance is taken out of the market, the opportunity for fraud is greatly reduced.

In fact, we have the opposite problem: investors are spooked. Coming down hard on fraud might help a tiny bit, but primarily investors are spooked by their own collective insanity.

If it makes investors a bit less risk averse, it's worth doing, but I doubt it will. We need to get a bit more momentum going in the credit market. Financial markets have about a ten year memory, so the time to really come down hard on fraud will be in about five years.

Re:Knee-jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23530756)

Does there need to be a reason to take finger prints? Obviously they are not ready for everyones dabs, so it's being phazed in, one group at a time.

Re:Knee-jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23530856)

It's the start of a national database, where everyone's fingerprints will be on file.

Big Brother wants to watch You!

Re:Knee-jerk (3, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531042)

It's the start of a national database, where everyone's fingerprints will be on file.

With certain exceptions, including police, politicans, elite criminals and terrorists.

Re:Knee-jerk (1)

black6host (469985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531548)

I will neither condemn nor approve this (the use of fingerprints in professional occupations) in this part of my post as that is not what I wish to convey. What I do wish to say is that this is not a first. Some may argue my use of the term "professional occupations" but the fact is, here in Florida, someone who wishes to license a business under their Mechanical Contractors license must supply fingerprints.

Now, my own personal feelings:

I'm much more concerned about violations of privacy that affect the population at large, such as monitoring of intersections, public places and the whole debacle of monitoring of communications by the Feds and AT&T.

Again, not to say I approve of this, but our battles are much bigger...

Re:Knee-jerk (4, Informative)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531878)

Yeah the police don't like it when databasing is used to track them. [reason.com] The president of the California Police Chiefs association is petitioning the legislature for a law making sites like this [ratemycop.com] illegal.

Re:Knee-jerk (1)

testcase61 (1294202) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532806)

Actually, pardon the pun, but you've really put your finger on the antidote to this whole Total Information Awareness thing; what I call "Mirrored Surveillance".

Mirrored Surveillance is not hard to understand - it's about citizens videoing, recording, naming, shaming and outing authority figures trying to violate our singular and collective rights.

Of course 99% of people will never practice Mirrored Surveillance in any form. But fortunately, only a few guys with balls of steel like this character are required to make the point;

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=133_1210305250&p=1 [liveleak.com]

Note how this INS Brownshirt wilts and finally bends the knee as the awesome power of the Bill of Rights is unflinchingly applied to her.

Re:Knee-jerk (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532044)

With certain exceptions, including police...

AFAIK, most states require that a peace officer submit fingerprints...

...and yes, his/her own fingerprints...

Re:Knee-jerk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532472)

I don't support fingerprinting everybody, but

Unless a politician entered office before they were 18 (or 21), it would be hard to see how they could keep their fingerprints out (going forward of course, existing pols may well exclude themselves)

But I do agree that "jobless" criminals and foreign nationals will be the ones who aren't in the database.

Re:Knee-jerk (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23533124)

Hey, problem solved. Just round up everyone not on file, check whether they work for The Man and if not, off to Gitmo with 'em!

Re:Knee-jerk (0, Offtopic)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531206)

Fingerprints are a 'unique identifier' in the same way postit notes with your password on that you leave on anything you touch. Except worse, as with postit notes you could actually change the password you're leaving everywhere.

Re:Knee-jerk (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531356)

The current mortgage crisis was caused by a bunch of well meaning, but otherwise lazy or stupid people making loans that shouldn't have been made. The contribution of criminal activity (the sort of thing fingerprint tracking would discourage) is not significant.

Re:Knee-jerk (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531994)

The current mortgage crisis was caused by a bunch of well meaning, but otherwise lazy or stupid people...
You assume ignorance in an activity where ignorance is not an excuse.

Re:Knee-jerk (2, Interesting)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532482)

I've heard information otherwise. Like giving multiple no-money-down-cash-back mortgages to people with no visible means of support, then they turn around and sell the mortgages to 'Wall Street'. I hear in the greater Chicago area you can easily find the same name half a dozen times on the "abandoned house list" of homeowners. It seems more like this was a grass-roots organized crime activity which the support industries were complicit with. Not to say that good people have not been caught up by not understanding what they were signing (adjustable rate mortgages, balloon payments) which is unfortunate. Kind of like the stock market crash of 1929 and the reverberations it caused world wide, but not nearly so bad this go around.

First they came.. (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531368)

For the doggies pooping on the path...

Then they came for the usurers..

Then they came for the real estate agents..

Re:Knee-jerk (2, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531920)

This is just another excuse for tracking people. It's a Total Control/Total Surveillance initiative. Haven't heard of it yet? It's happening slowly throughout the world. In the "free" world it happens slowly and in the guise of protecting people.

Of course an educated and relatively egalitarian public (that is a public were economic abuses and monopolistic practices don't occur) will be naturally immune from abuses. But this is not what the Elite wants. The Elite would rather have a small percentage of poor people selling drugs and robbing liquor stores to excuse their abuses. Yep mortgage fraud may not be in the same category, but it is still an excuse.

Sometimes I wish that the people who are so adamant about their right to bear arms would actually demonstrate their rights against those that wish to oppress them (well not them, but the common folk). I can't see this happening however as power massages power.

Re:Knee-jerk (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532072)

So that makes it ok to track citizens that are not under a court approved investigation? Personally, i don't think so. This will also branch out to other things as well, since you might be committing fraud when you buy that bottle of beer.

I remember when your SSN wasn't supposed to be used to identify you other then for tax purposes and we see how well that intent was stuck to. ( and if you honestly believe at lie that they fed you, then you are a fool ).

goodluckwiththat (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530622)

Good luck in getting Guido "The Killer Pimp" Loanshark to send in his finger prints...

Re:goodluckwiththat (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530648)

Good luck in getting Guido "The Killer Pimp" Loanshark to send in his finger prints...

Oh, I'm sure that Guido will be sending in fingerprints. They may or may not be his fingerprints, you understand ...

Re:goodluckwiththat (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530724)

Warning, may contain traces of knuckles.

Re:goodluckwiththat (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531566)

Listen, this guy's a killer, and a pimp, and a loanshark. Careful who you disrespect, yanowaddaimyn?

Re:goodluckwiththat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531766)

Is he also, by pure coincidence I'm sure, a nigger?

Re:goodluckwiththat (3, Insightful)

surmak (1238244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530708)

Chances are they are already on file.

Just like some other law I can think of... (4, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530674)

No explanation is in evidence as to how this would help the problem of loan fraud.
... you mean, kinda like the PATRIOT act cutting down on terrorism?

Re:Just like some other law I can think of... (1)

securitytech (1267760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531082)

We haven't had another successful terrorist attack on our soil. What was your expectation of the Patriot Act? More attacks? Whether it steps over/on civil rights is obviously debatable, but it's efficacy, at this point, is not.

Two men sit in a train... (4, Insightful)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531182)

..from New York to Philadelphia. One of them keeps throwing pieces of bananas out the window and after a while the second man asks why he does this.
Why, it keeps the elephants away.
-But there are no elephants here.
See how good this works?

Get the point? :-)

Re:Just like some other law I can think of... (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531256)

We haven't had another successful terrorist attack on our soil.

The news seem to disagree:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents%2C_2002 [wikipedia.org]

And there have been a couple of others that, while (intentionally or unintentionally) not causing any fatalities, were quite successful at terrorizing. Or does a "successful terrorist attack" need to kill at least X people ?

Re:Just like some other law I can think of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531496)

This is a fallacious argument. The fallacy of post hoc ergo proctor hoc applies here. You have not given enough evidence to prove your conclusion but instead rely on the chronological assumption that since no terrorist attacks have occurred since the Patriot Act was adopted, it has prevented terrorist attacks. To prove this, you would need to show how a specific attack was thwarted by the Patriot Act instead of relying on temporal evidence you have given.

Re:Just like some other law I can think of... (1)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531930)

but it's efficacy, at this point, is not.
...I'm hoping you simply have a very dry sense of humor.

Seems to me.. (3, Interesting)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530734)

that all the problems these days can be solved either by litigating or by making laws enabling the government to collect more and more personal information.

This panacea coming to the country near you soon.. stay tuned!

Police states and the sad case of Fritz Thyssen (5, Interesting)

westbake (1275576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530992)

Those of you who think you can make a buck off a police state would do well to remember learn the fate of Fritz Thyssen [wikipedia.org] . He was an industrialist and early supporter of Adolf Hitler, in part financed by Prescott Bush [prlog.org] . He made plenty of money re arming Germany and he approved of racial purity laws. By the time he realized the Nazis believed all of the crazy things they said, it was too late for him to do anything about it. He was thrown into a concentration camp and was lucky to survive the wars he did not approve of. If you don't think the Neocons are just as crazy as the Nazis you have not been listening to them long enough [stallman.org] .

Re:Police states and the sad case of Fritz Thyssen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531514)

hi twitter. I see you're still playing [slashdot.org] the "dreadfully easy" sockpuppet "game".

you even created another [slashdot.org] account today. it just boggles the mind.

Re:Seems to me.. (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531056)

that all the problems these days can be solved either by litigating or by making laws enabling the government to collect more and more personal information.

This being something which fools believe, though increasing taxation appears to go along with this. Probably to pay for all the increased paperwork and spying.

Solves *A* problem (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530740)

But it doesn't solve the kind of problem that makes a "foreclosure assistance bill" seem like a good idea.

What they should do is pass a bill that requires new loans to be made under the following term:

For collateral backed loans, turning over the collateral relieves the debtor's obligation.

That forces the banks to assume the risk of risky loans instead of the borrower. Which is right and proper because they'll have a better understanding of what those risks are, anyway. Of course, they'll have to charge more for their money, and that will mean that some people won't be able to buy the house they want (and housing prices will drop somewhat to accommodate *some* of those people), but those are the people that would have found themselves homeless with thousands of dollars of debt after a pretty-likely future foreclosure, anyway.

Re:Solves *A* problem (3, Insightful)

znu (31198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530870)

How would that ever work? The bank would effectively be assuming all risk for a decline in property values, but wouldn't share in any upside.

Re:Solves *A* problem (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530964)

Yes, but knowing it going in, they can price the loans accordingly.

The problem is that their customers (borrowers) are buying business-grade money, but they aren't thinking like businesses about the risk, so they are *far* less prepared for a decline in property values coinciding with a drop in income or increase in interest rates.

Re:Solves *A* problem (5, Insightful)

znu (31198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531296)

In order for it to make sense for a bank to assume the same level of risk that would be involved in a direct real estate investment, it would have to charge an interest rate so high that it stood to make at least as much money as it would make from a direct real estate investment. (A "direct real estate investment" here meaning the bank just buying the property in its own name, and probably renting it out while waiting for it to appreciate in value.)

Charging interest rates that high wouldn't just put home ownership out of the reach of a huge fraction of buyers, it would also remove a major incentive for home ownership. You'd be paying interest rates so high that they would, on average, offset any appreciation in the value of your property.

There would be virtually no takers for such loans. As a result, housing prices would probably drop significantly (there would be much less demand), but you'd basically have to pay for a house with cash up front. Financial institutions and those few individuals with hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in liquid assets would end up snapping up all the property at severely reduced rates, and everyone else would simply have to rent, ultimately resulting in a massive ongoing wealth transfer away from the middle class.

Oops.

Re:Solves *A* problem (1)

menace3society (768451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531850)

You fail to realize that homeowners can get away with giving up their house to the bank anyway--they only have to declare bankruptcy, and all that does is ruin their credit without helping the bank out in any material way. The current program only works if the homeowner has actually bought a second home or other substantial assets they can be forced to sell to relieve their debt obligation. These people are in the vast minority, anyway, and are not the cause of the credit crisis.

The credit crisis was caused by banks offering variable-rate mortgages on overvalued properties and assuming that virtually zero risk for the transaction considered individually (thanks to the house as collateral, and government insurance) meant zero aggregate risk. However, their behavior created a bubble and the price of houses soared--it's easy to convince someone to pay a lot for a house when you can show them a nice, small monthly rate. This led to speculation, which meant higher prices, and a credit volume of credit being extended. Once there was a slight dip, all those VBRs jumped the bubble burst.

I think it's fair to say that if the bank is going to accept something as collateral on a loan, then that thing is (or ought) to be valued by the bank at whatever the loan amount is. Otherwise, I could offer a six-pack of beer as collateral on a million-dollar loan, yes?

However, as you say, this will lead to much higher mortgage interest rates. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, as lately people whom one wouldn't advise to buy a house have been doing so, but it does decrease opportunities for everyone across the board. I think a fair compromise could be to split the difference evenly. For example, if I buy a house for $450k, and the house immediately depreciates to $300k and the bank forecloses, I am only on the hook for $75k of the remaining money, and the rest would be a loss for the bank. The advantage is that this discourages foreclosure except where the borrower cannot make payments under any circumstances.

Another alternative would be to specify that the house would be worth always be worth at least certain percentage of the mortgage amount in terms of debt repayment. This way, if we specified that the house was worth 90% of a $500k mortgage, once I make $60k worth of payments, the bank cannot foreclose the property without paying me back the extra $10k. Again, this discourages foreclosing, and makes it so that the buyer and the bank share the risk, instead of trying to dump it all on the buyer.

Re:Solves *A* problem (1)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532546)

Small nitpick: it has nothing to do with ARMs. ARMs are *usually* cheaper than FRMs, even in the long run. The problem was with balloon rates, teaser rates, and other tools that make the loan cheaper upfront than it would otherwise be. That can be done with FRMs, too, in the form of buydowns. The bank gives you this nice low rate for two or three years, and you have so much money that you can buy your nice SUV, HDTV, etc., and then OOPS it resets to prime+7 (which means the LOWEST possible interest rate you can get is 7%!). And then you can't refinance or sell the house because it's now worth less than the amount you owe.

If people would have generally stuck with normal ARMs, we wouldn't be having these problems--but then again, housing prices wouldn't have skyrocketed as much, because some of those people with ballooning payments wouldn't have been able to get a normal loan.

Re:Solves *A* problem (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532322)

Charging interest rates that high wouldn't just put home ownership out of the reach of a huge fraction of buyers, it would also remove a major incentive for home ownership.
Or, it would stop banks from playing the fishing game where they reel people in once they're hooked. Buying a house would mean saving first. It would probably mean an end to consumerism.

Re:Solves *A* problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23530998)

What do you mean "wouldn't share in any upside"? They aren't interest-free loans. In fact, he said they would be even more expensive than today's loans.

There is no problem - really. (4, Informative)

Hankapobe (1290722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530930)

That plan would put owning a house out millions of people's reach, I'm afraid.

I volunteer helping some of those folks that were "victimized" by the "evil" mortgage industry. In every case, folks just bought too much house than they can afford. And a few times, they bought a few houses. Folks don't leave any wiggle room in their budget - at all. So if they lose a job, or they get sick, or a divorce, or any combination thereof, they get behind in their payments. There's nothing in their budget for savings.

A lot of those folks bought a house with one of those interest only loans counting on the house price increasing dramatically in the first couple of years, sell it for a huge profit, and buy more. Folks pyramided their profits with the expectation that home prices can go only up. The mortgage industry went long because these folks were able to make the payments. now, the economy slows, folks lose their jobs, and now they can't make their payments - bankruptcy and this current crisis.

Here's the real problem: in America we have this budget by payments mentality. In other words, we can afford something as long as we can make the payments and of course that's counting on having a job that gives raises every year and asset prices always increasing. Some folks actually lied on their applications - FYI.

There's no evil entity here to blame and there are no victims: just some folks who don't know how to mange their money and were too optimistic about the economy and the real estate market.

Re:There is no problem - really. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531044)

Indeed. But if the loans were priced properly, they wouldn't have been able to borrow themselves into so much trouble. The problem is that, although many people got greedy and willfully ignorant about the housing market, they're now stuck with huge remaining debts and no assets to cover them. Plus, they still have to find and pay for some kind of housing, so it's not like they can just keep paying the current premium.

I'm not saying there are bad guys that need to be punished. In fact, it's a case of "too-good" guys in some ways. But the situation needs to be resolved in a way that makes it harder to happen again and bailouts is not going to do that.

If we, the taxpayer, are going to bail out the debtors and therefore save the banks, then the banks need to give us something in return.

*except the folks who lied on their applications. I've got no sympathy for that.

Some are able to live in their homes w/o payments (1)

nido (102070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531392)

When banks collateralized their mortgages into Asset Backed Securities, they usually lost the paperwork. And if they don't have a document trail proving that they own the house, they can't collect on Foreclosure Day.

Who Owns Your Home? [kuro5hin.org] has all the links.

Re:There is no problem - really. (-1, Troll)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531820)

There's no evil entity here to blame
Everybody knows the jews are behind it all. This is just a symptom of the whole fiat money (i.e worthless paper) scam started by moneylenders bamboozeling some inbred english idiot like george 3rd.

Re:There is no problem - really. (1)

menace3society (768451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531880)

It's also the responsibility of lenders to take your finances and such into account, and to consider the risk. If someone has a high-paying job in a volatile industry, the bank would probably charge a higher APR and give him the option to pay down principle early if he wanted. If someone had a stable job and could afford exactly $350 in payments a month, a dumb move would be to set up a plan where he'd pay that amount. Then, if prices of other needs rise even slightly due to inflation, he can't make his payments anymore.

The original logic behind FDIC was that the government would only insure accounts at banks that exercised good judgement in lending. That standard appears to have fallen, or vanished.

Re: no victims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532066)

There's no evil entity here to blame and there are no victims

What about the people next door to the forclosure which is empty and trashed? What about the the investors in those mortgage securities (probably your retirement fund...).

Uh, that's already how the system works (1)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531524)

If a debtor defaults on a mortgage, they surrender the collateral (the house.)

Your proposal is already in effect, and has been for almost a century.

Re:Uh, that's already how the system works (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531772)

And after the bank sells the house, the debtor still owes the remainder if there is any (and in a declining market, the remainder will be substantial. In a rising market, a rational debtor would sell the house before foreclosure rears it's ugly head).

There are some remedies for the debtor in this case, but they are all unpleasant to the debtor, and the recent spate of bank failures indicates that the banks themselves weren't prepared (i.e. they were not charging the correct fees to compensate the risk and/or were granting loans they shouldn't have been) either.

Re:Uh, that's already how the system works (1)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532670)

That simply isn't true in most states. It's called a "nonrecourse loan".

California, for instance, mandates nonrecourse loans for all primary mortgages.

Lots of problems left. (1)

westbake (1275576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531776)

Bankers have been saved without relief for debtors [gregpalast.com] (another source [cepr.net] ). It's a good idea to prevent a general collapse because we use a fiat currency but leaving thousands of people ruined won't do enough. Trickle down has made a lot of executives very rich while leveling US manufacturing and consolidating all other commerce. The people responsible for the predatory lending crisis deserve to be treated like criminals. Many of the debtors are the victims of some very shady deals [afro-netizen.com] , which include intentionally inflating the value of property in cooperation with lenders. There's a lot of scandal here from top to bottom.

Re:Solves *A* problem (2, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531818)

Oddly enough, you can do that already. Itâ(TM)s called a non-recourse loan. If you want one all you have to do is go down to your bank and ask for it. Corporations do it all the time. The reason why you donâ(TM)t hear about these loans is that the interest rates are higher and the down payment requirements are larger. It makes no sense for the average person it do. And let us just remember two things. First â" countries that have strong laws protecting the borrow tend to have higher interest rates. If the bank is going to assume extra risk for declining property values they will need to be compensated. Second â" those evil sub prime loans are reasonable for dragging millions of people in poverty into middle class home ownership. Yeah, the past few years the party got out of hand. Changes are needed, but no reason why you need to toss the baby out with the dirty bathwater. By the way, change does not mean doing random things â" like fingerprinting. I have worked in the securities industry compliance area and I have been fingerprinted. People committing securities fraud do not go to jail because of fingerprints. For a real life experience, not much help at all. Sigh, these goes a little more humanity for nothing.

Re:Solves *NO* problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531868)

For collateral backed loans, turning over the collateral relieves the debtor's obligation.
That would do no good. Neither banks, nor loan originators end up holding the entire note. They are bundled, packaged, split, and then sold as securities. The entity or person holding the note is holding something akin to a bond mutual fund. What are you going to do with 1/1000th of a house?

Re:Solves *NO* problem (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531988)

You all sell the house and split the proceeds. Duh.

You get a return on your money because you're risking it. The risk is that if the debt doesn't get repaid, your fraction of the house might not be worth what you paid for the note.

More risk should equal more return. Pawning off the risk on some third party shouldn't even be on the table.

My suspicion (3, Interesting)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530762)

This just looks like a subtle way to destroy Prosper.com

Tis just the begining (1)

bobwrit (1232148) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530778)

Of the US gathering a fingerprint database of the whole nation.

NASD (2)

vinniedkator (659693) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530854)

This is something that the NASD has been doing for years for people with securities licenses. This isn't something new. However, I don't really see the benefit of doing it. Maybe they are cross referenced with some law enforcement databases.

Will this affect me? (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530882)

I'm a lender on Lending Club and I've got money that's not going to come back to me for another 3 years. Anyone got a guess about whether or not it will affect me?

Re:Will this affect me? (1)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530950)

Ask a lawyer, not slashdot.

Re:Will this affect me? (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530990)

Sometimes questions can provoke interesting discussion, which is the reason I come to Slashdot.

I'm not here for legal advice; I'm here to get a variety of perspectives.

Re:Will this affect me? (1)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531060)

Fair enough. As long as you have that perspective, you're safe.

Re:Will this affect me? (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530972)

I am assuming the lenders did not sign a load agreement directly with you, but with Lending Club, in which case I'd be very surprised if it affected you. I'm not in the US, and not familiar with Lending Club, but I have used Zopa in the UK, and I've never been party to a loan agreement - the load agreement has been between Zopa and the lender. I've just provided capital to Zopa.

Re:Will this affect me? (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531854)

Considering that those people don't actually pay back their loans, I'm guessing the answer is no ;-)

j/k, j/k, you're good, you're good

prosper (1)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530886)

I wonder what this would do for sites like prosper.com?

Fingerprint everybody (3, Insightful)

PingXao (153057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23530906)

Take DNA samples, too. Add cameras EVERYWHERE. Why pretend that isn't the goal, or that the majority of people are against it? One day, it might help the children by catching ch1ld pr0n predatr0s. Or catch that mafia guy down at the loan store who talked me into that loan I can't afford. Or the creep that sold me that gas guzzler last year.

Here's something I would really like to see: Drug tests for every elected office holder, every day. Make the results public as soon as they're available. No exceptions. Another would be to implement transparency on all elected office holders' bank accounts. Let the sun shine in.

Re:Fingerprint everybody (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531090)

Here's something I would really like to see: Drug tests for every elected office holder, every day. Make the results public as soon as they're available.

Which drugs would the tests be for? If the tests were for everything currently illegal there might be a long wait for all of the results...

Re:Fingerprint everybody (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531316)

All of them. Blood, urine and hair tests. Alcohol, Viagra, nicotene, marijuana, *caine, caffeine, oxycontin, all of them. At such frequency that there's less than a 1% chance they can smoke a joint, do a line, or pop a pill and turn up clean on any given test. Maybe do like they do to the armed forces, and just randomly select a small subset to test every week, and make sure somebody actually sees that all collected bodily fluids *actually* come out of their body. (Note: not volunteering for that one)

It can't be more expensive or inconvenient than turning realtors into data collectors for the feds, can it?

Oh, but who am I kidding: they're a special, privileged class, better and more trustworthy than me, and they don't need oversight of any kind. It's ridiculous that we'd even want to apply "little people" standards to them.

Typical American Response. Ignore the real problem (4, Insightful)

GISGEOLOGYGEEK (708023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531032)

Yes, Americans run out and throw away your privacy as fast as you can without thinking about it! The mortgage crisis was caused by a lack of fingerprints? Right!

You should have done what Canada and many other countries did DECADES ago to protect your citizens from the banks, protect your banks from your citizens, and to ensure the market could not be manipulated into such a crisis .... enact regulations that require a loan company to ensure:

- that mortgage applicants actually have the income needed to support paying back the mortgage! DUHHH!
- that a large enough down payment is made that if a small drop in the home's value happens, it won't eliminate the collateral the mortgage was secured on. (currently minimum 5% downpayment)
- that if a downpayment is not significant (under 25%), the mortgage applicant must have mortgage insurance.

Too many Americans still ignorantly believe that the mortgage crisis was accidental!

It was entirely predictable and preventable. It was entirely based on the greed of your unregulated banks!

Your housing market had prices that were rising so fast ... driven by easily obtained mortgages ... that your banks could make a killing by intentionally handing out mortgages to people who couldn't make the payments, forclosing on the mortgages and reselling the houses at a higher price to the next sucker!

I spoke to a young up-and-coming American mortgage broker recently who was not just entirely blind to the damage his industry had caused to the American (and world) economy for a short term again, he was dumbstruck with adoration and respect for the professors of American business schools that had come up with the idea and was going to attend a conference hosted by them soon after! He referred to his favourite mortgage applicants as NINJA's ... No Income, No Job Applicants!!!

Once the market turned, and prices stopped increasing, the mortgage pyrimid scam became unprofitable. Suddenly your banks couldn't resell all their stolen houses, suddenly your banks were stuck with huge amounts of debt that they couldnt carry.

But instead of stopping and minimizing the losses, and preventing the ruin of the American economy, they kept going! They intentionally carried the scam so far that not only could they not be punished for it lest it destroy your banking system, you as taxpayers were forced to bail them out for your own protection!

So you got scammed into mortages you couldnt afford, got your houses stolen back by the scammer, and are now paying off the debts through your taxes! It's the great American way! Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of being a victim of fraud perpetrated by other Americans!

So go out and submit those fingerprints. It will solve EVERYTHING!

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (4, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531214)

- that mortgage applicants actually have the income needed to support paying back the mortgage! DUHHH!


A friend of mine is a mortgage broker and explained the problem. The Feds demanded the mortgage industry provide more loans to minorities. All too often, minorities applying for loans did not have sufficient income to qualify. If they turned them down, AS THEY SHOULD HAVE, they would have been accused of discrimination. This whole mortgage crises was created by the Feds forcing the industry to give loans to people who had no chance of paying them back.

A secondary problem was idiots rolling over interest-only loans, hoping the market would keep going up. Interest-only loans aren't much different from gambling.

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (1)

Varitek (210013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531288)

A friend of mine is a mortgage broker and explained the problem. The Feds demanded the mortgage industry provide more loans to minorities. All too often, minorities applying for loans did not have sufficient income to qualify. If they turned them down, AS THEY SHOULD HAVE, they would have been accused of discrimination. This whole mortgage crises was created by the Feds forcing the industry to give loans to people who had no chance of paying them back.
Horsecrap. The mortgage issuers were packaging up mortgages into supposedly AAA-rated bond-equivalents and selling them off. They were lending money to people who couldn't afford to pay because they weren't taking on any of the risks. It has nothing to do with minorities and everything to do with moral hazard.

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531538)

This is the excuse that the mortgage industry uses. It is why friends of mine, with six figure incomes, could not secure housing until they went to their proper part of town. It is why lawsuits were filed against financial officers at auto dealers for engaging in a pattern of offering loans at higher rates than equally qualified person who were of a more desirable color. The excuse still works, but is getting old given the median income in all racial groups is enough to own at least a modest home.

In any case, I don't think loaning to minorities is causing the current issues. For one thing, I don't think that so-called minorities are the primary people who speculated on property in florida, and other places, assuming that the price would go up by the time that development was finished and they could flip for a quick profit. Why banks would lend to such speculators, often with no obvious source of income, is beyond me. Furthermore, the NYT published a graphic on the largest foreclosures, and the cities are not those one associates with urban minority populations. Place like Merced, minneapolis, fort myers. Though these do have the minority population, and everyone has to take blame, the finance industry blaming it on government regulation is just weak.

This is why. Many years ago, Texas has a good regulation. The regulation was based on the idea that a persons home was not a liquid asset, but a vital possession. As such, texas allowed a person a great deal of protection to keep the home. The taxes would be fixed after 65. Your home could not be easily foreclosed or taken in a bankruptcy. In many jurisdictions taxes are easily disputed so people would not lose their houses due to excessive taxes. In exchange for these protections, Texans did not have the right to home equity loans.

That is until the financial industry bought out the Administration of George Bush and won his support to change the law. We now have a state of speculators instead of home owners. Prices went through the roof(tripled in 8 years) because the financial speculators wanted them to. Homeowner lost their house to due high taxes. Speculators moved in, borrowed against the house, and then moved out when they could not borrow leaving a blighted block. this was not due to government regulation forcing mortgage companies to loan to minorities. This was a calculated attack on the home owner back bone of america.

The sad thing is that the financial industry has made it bag of gold, and now is crying foul. Many of the mortgage holders are walking away, which they should, and the financial industry doesn't like it. Instead of renegotiating loans, they are begging the government for a bailout. It is sad. Those of us with eyes saw what was happening all those years ago, but all anyone else could see is free money. Now, as always, they are blaming it on regulation and minorities. The fact that the mortgage brokers were greedy bastards had nothing to do with it.

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23533128)

This is why. Many years ago, Texas has a good regulation. The regulation was based on the idea that a persons home was not a liquid asset, but a vital possession. As such, texas allowed a person a great deal of protection to keep the home. The taxes would be fixed after 65. Your home could not be easily foreclosed or taken in a bankruptcy. In many jurisdictions taxes are easily disputed so people would not lose their houses due to excessive taxes.

If you owe me $200,000 and you have a $200,000 house, why should I be the one stuck with the bad debt? Why are you somehow morally and ethically superior to me?

And what is so magic about age 65? That is fundamentally unfair - tax the seniors the same as everyone else. If the local municipality needs a certain amount of revenue to run their operations, everyone should share the pain (and complain about it, and vote for changes).

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531724)

Sounds like your friend doesn't want to take blame for what he and his coworkers did. If you really want to understand what your friend doesn't want to tell you, listen to this show [thislife.org] . There's plenty of blame to spread around without slipping into racism.

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531938)

A friend of mine is a mortgage broker and explained the problem. The Feds demanded the mortgage industry provide more loans to minorities. All too often, minorities applying for loans did not have sufficient income to qualify. If they turned them down, AS THEY SHOULD HAVE, they would have been accused of discrimination. This whole mortgage crises was created by the Feds forcing the industry to give loans to people who had no chance of paying them back.
That is the biggest load of crap. The problem here is that loan originators don't end up holding the note. They get their commission and then sell the obligation to be bundled with thousands of others and sold as securities. There was a huge demand for these securities because they were thought to have very low risk and a decent return. In order to feed this demand originators came up with all sorts of garbage loans and the industry didn't properly evaluate the risk. The industry got greedy and Joe Shmoe home buyers made some really stupid decisions. It has nothing to do with minorities. It has to do with someone making $45k a year buying a $500k house. Everybody involved should have known better but the originators were knowingly deceptive. Period.

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (4, Insightful)

scbomber (463069) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532210)

OK, you're (or your friend's) fundamentally confused.

1) Most of the people defaulting on loans are not, in fact, minorities.

2) All the anti-discrimination provisions of federal housing law are public. Try http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea08.shtm [ftc.gov] for a start. None of it has anything in it about lowering standards, only prohibiting discrimination.

3) People can accuse of discrimination all they want; if they can't prove it who cares? There's no way defending those cases would be as expensive to mortgage companies as having the loans blow up.

So, sorry, but this problem cannot be blamed on the economic actors in the situation who had the LEAST control over what was happening. Aim Higher!

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23533076)

3) People can accuse of discrimination all they want; if they can't prove it who cares? There's no way defending those cases would be as expensive to mortgage companies as having the loans blow up.

Riiight. Will your bank say that when Jesse Jackson and other minority "leaders" are picketing outside and CNN is running a story on a slow news day? And even if you are legally in the clear, juries often award millions when they see a sad poor plaintiff and a deep-pocketed defendant.

So, sorry, but this problem cannot be blamed on the economic actors in the situation who had the LEAST control over what was happening. Aim Higher!

There were many bad actors:

- borrowers, for borrowing large amounts that they couldn't afford
- banks and brokers, for lending large amounts to borrowers that the borrowers couldn't afford
- fraud by borrowers on mortgage applications
- fraud by banks and brokers on mortgage applications
- investment banks creating overly complex CDOs to sell those mortgages to investors
- credit-rating agencies giving these CDOs their safest AAA ratings when they are far riskier

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531488)

"Yes, Americans run out and throw away your privacy as fast as you can without thinking about it! The mortgage crisis was caused by a lack of fingerprints? Right!"

There's no doubt about it...

Thats what that old army post was for...

all the best,

drew

Re:Typical American Response. Ignore the real prob (1)

urbanrealtor (1295226) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532062)

I really don't understand how that got an insightful score. It wasn't. It just sounded like an ignorant rant. Greed is the job of banks. That they act stupidly when not regulated is not exactly a ground-breaking observation. Fingerprinting is required in many states for all people involved in lending and real estate. That is appropriate. It cuts down on property theft and identity theft. It is generally used as a way of screening out applicants in the industry. If you saw the amount of personal property and personal private information that we put our hands on, you might think differently.

A better idea: Fingerprint CEOs (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531070)

Fingerprint the CEOs and anyone with the final approval to accept or decline a lone, and leave everyone else alone.

If your bank uses an automated approval process, then designate some human being to sign off on the rules the automated process uses, and fingerprint him.

Even better, skip the bureaucracy and don't fingerprint people, just hold the companies responsible if they don't do due diligence on their hiring.

Geesh, this is banking, not munitions transport.

As a realtor and lender... (1)

urbanrealtor (1295226) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531124)

I think this is something that really should be done. The level of important information that passes through our hands is astounding. While some of this is public info (eg: trust deeds, some business income statements) a whole lot of it is private info (eg: socials (which you totally need for lending and buying), dl #'s, private account numbers). The problem is that in most states the education and bonding requirements for our positions and/or licenses is minimal or non-existent (eg: a local company used to offer to get you your license in one weekend). I am writing this as I host an open house full of nice things owned by a family that I have only ever met once. Fingerprinting lets government know if you have a record before approving licensure as well as helping the chain of custody when investigating information or property theft.

double edged sword (2, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531236)

Hmmm, there's a few aspects to this...

  1. Does it prevent loan fraud -- nope, of course not. Surely no-one with even passing insight into the issue would think otherwise.
  2. It does, however, cause banks some hassle. And, aside from the legal profession, there are fewer institutions on Earth that deserve hassle more than bankers (which rhymes with .....?)
  3. The downside of that though is that you can bet the associated charges (real or imagined by banks) will be passed on to the consumer.
  4. It will further desensitize Joe Sixpack into thinking, "well, maybe fingerprinting people for ......(insert any profession you like here) is ok after all, I mean bankers have to do it"

Re:double edged sword (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532242)

#4 is and was my immediate concern.

another federal boondoggle (1)

slashdotard (835129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531650)

the states already do all this. It is effective and will always be far more effective than any federal level law.

Wot da hell ever happened to educating people? That is the most effective thing against lender fraud. But, no, the stupid and ignorant must be protected instead (after all it's the stupid and ignorant who can be most easily manipulated).

This usurps states' rights and appears to be unconstitutional on the face of it. The states already do background checks on lenders, real estate brokers and agents, loan brokers, et cetera, ad nauseum. There is no need for yet another useless federal program. The federal government has no right to do this but I know that will not stop them.

It appears to be yet another federalisation plan, similar to the health care bullpuckey that Clinttoon wants to force everyone into and the federal welfare program that has been so successful at destroying families and creating new and serious problems by forcing social changes. It will be as useful and effective. It will make it far more difficult to get a legitimate mortgage, preventing many from owning their own home. It will do severe harm to business by delegating the administration of this law to unelected, capricious and unaccountable bureaucrats.

I for one... (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23531754)

Am glad to have this valuable reminder that fraud is something that little people do. Seriously, does anybody actually believe that the architects of our current lending debacle are a bunch of two-bit conmen running around with cheap suits and suitcases full of fake IDs?

1960's Peace Sign, We Are Divided Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23531784)

Plenty of people mock the 1960's hippies, but fail to see the truth:

The hippies were not weak and useless by themselves, any fruitful movements were penetrated by government intelligence and rendered useless, read history and discover this for yourself.

In the 1960's you see people breaking away from the cattle control of the government and doing their own thing, forming their own communities. Today any serious break away group or community, whether they be truly peaceful or whether they harbor ill intentions, are penetrated and scattered. I'm surprised the Amish are allowed to exist in today's world, but I'm sure they are heavily infiltrated and kept under constant observation. There have been attempts to bring them into the grid as I'm sure they will be swallowed into it given enough time and excuses.

Do you hate the war in Iraq? The futile and immoral war on drugs?

Posting online and talking about it do nothing, YOU (via taxes) ARE FUNDING these things you hate! You are as guilty as the ones who directly participate in it!

Without OUR funding, there would be no war in Iraq, there would be no war on drugs! Why do you continue to fund matters you don't agree with? Because you are scared of this same monster throwing you in jail?

Why do concern yourself with matters outside your "illusion of control" when you continue to fund them?

If you pay into the things you hate, hate yourself first, you are to blame, there is no hand washing, you are the problem.

Where do we go today? First, read "Food of The Gods" by Terrence Mckenna. See how the television is the worst drug of all, controlling and manipulating our perception. Timothy Leary was right, and hallucinogenic drugs are banned and some schedule I because they allow us to break free of the lies and brainwashing, you wouldn't know unless you've tried them.

Why are mushrooms in cow shit illegal? Didn't nature give these gifts to us?

Why is marijuana illegal? Why do we allow government, controlled by big Pharma, to control and dictate to us?

Why do we cower in fear and OBEY?

Why are so many of us scared to peacefully stand up and say ENOUGH? Because we might lose time at the computer, game consoles, etc? Because standing up for our rights and liberties which have been stolen from us would deprive us of our enjoyment? "But I have a family..." is not a good excuse, if you do not defend your freedom you do not deserve to live in a land where people went to war and died to protect them.

Anyone who cares about protecting our freedom is labeled a nut or added to a database. This has to STOP. Maybe the image of the dirty street dweller shouldn't return, but damnit, the peace sign and all it embodies should make its way back into the culture, we need to unite, we are divided, and we have already began to fall.

If you do nothing but talk and blog while funding the corrupt system, you are the corruption you hate. Change does not happen by people funding and rewarding a broken and corrupt government.

"All governments are liars and murderers" - Bill Hicks

Bumper stickers won't cut it, we need to come together, right now.

Precursor to Microchipping Humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23532068)

Fingerprint / Eye scans are just to warm us up for the eventual mass-mandatory-microchipping

Get ready for "Digital Angel", think "Splenda" for a product which causes your dick to rot.

Sounds similar to SEC fingerprinting regulations (2, Insightful)

malchus842 (741252) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532152)

I work for a large financial services firm. Everyone who comes to work there is required to undergo a background check and criminal records check, which includes fingerprinting (and running those fingerprints for matches in criminal and disciplinary databases). The goal with the SEC is, at least partly, to ensure that someone who has been convicted of securities fraud cannot sneak in after suspension of their license, etc.

Note, I'm not a licenses broker or any such thing - I'm in IT. But the rules apply.

Big Deal (2, Insightful)

Kostya (1146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23532732)

Work for any financial firm (and if you write software for in a big city, odds are you are or have worked for a financial firm at one time) you have to get fingerprinted. No one throws a stink about that. After this ridiculous mortgage crisis, is it any surprise they extended it to include lenders?

Maybe I'm just used to it, so I don't see the big deal. But I think I have been fingerprinted at least 4 times over the past 10 years in order to work for financial firms.

Meh. Perhaps it is something to get worked up over. But it isn't really a new thing--perhaps it is to many here? This practice, or something like it, has been in place for years in the greater financial market.

Microsoft IE tactics (2, Informative)

turthalion (891782) | more than 6 years ago | (#23533036)

This smacks of the same tactics Microsoft used to force IE on everyone. When they were ordered to un-bundle IE from the OS, they responded by doing so, but then making IE a requirement for everything... want to use Platform Builder? You need IE. Want to use Visual Studio? You need IE. Want to play Al Unser Jr Racing, and read the Help? You need IE.

This sounds like the establishment wanting the FBI to have fingerprints on everybody (you're all potential criminals, after all), but knowing it will never fly. So instead... you want to lend somebody money? That's a fingerprintin'. Next, it will be "Want to borrow money from a fingerprinted lender? Well you need to be fingerprinted too, or there's a security gap."

Next it will be buying a gun, car, getting a US passport (even if you're native-born). Then it will be your health insurers before giving you coverage.... before you know it, bingo, everybody's on file.

And then it will be, well, everybody's on file, so when your new baby is born, we'd better get them fingerprinted, chipped, tagged, whatever, or else there'll be in danger of being kidnapped, sold to the Far East, ground up for medicine, etc. You don't your child to be the only one not being tracked do you? That will make him a target!

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