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August 4th, 2008 3:29 PM by David W. Welch
The Orlando Sentinel has truly demonstrated its ignorance today with the article about homes being purchased for $100. When a home is foreclosed they are sold at auction, but they have outstanding loans and other encumberances, which have to be satisfied. The lien holder (mortgage company) usually has the most at stake, so they show up and buy the homes at auction for $100 then put them up for sale at market value to try to recoup some of their loss.
The article is written in a way to suggest that somehow the banks are making out in this deal, and the state is losing tax revenue. I don't feel sorry for the lenders, because certainly some of them went overboard with easy money. As badly as the state is short on revenue, this is not the cause of the budget shortfall, nor the solution. Of course the headline implies that you can buy homes in Orlando for $100 too. It amazes me that this type of reporting is called journalism. Someone once said don't get into an argument with someone that buys ink by the barrel (newspapers), but if you have looked at the paper lately you will see they are buying a lot less ink than they used to. As the local paper struggles to retain some relevance, we can expect this type of reporting to grab the attention of the unsuspecting reader.
I remain optimistic that most people will read any articles carefully and draw their own conclusions.