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Clients First: The Two Word Miracle by JoAnn Callaway, Joseph Callaway

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The Guilty

Would JoAnn and I be better off without the tough clients? Maybe. Would we be less stressed? I don’t know.

We recently heard a gentleman speak to a group of real estate agents who represented banks in selling their foreclosure properties. He pointed out the government wanted homeowners to first attempt to modify their mortgage terms—and only if that effort failed should the home go to short sale or foreclosure. This was not a popular notion with this group, as their livelihood depended on a flow of bank-owned houses to sell. The speaker pointed out that of the loans that were modified, more than 90 percent would end up back in default and go into foreclosure anyway. All the agents nodded their heads, agreeing that this was a terrible waste of time and effort. This modification process could delay the sales process by a year or more. These homes were tied up by wasted effort. The government, they all agreed, should just let the homes go back to the banks so that these agents could sell them.

Then the speaker referred to our system of justice, which presumes innocence. He quoted the old adage that it is better for ten guilty individuals to go free than for one innocent person to be punished. The next thing he said moved this somewhat jaded, yet not insensitive, crowd, for they had all seen, firsthand, children’s toys left in an empty house or a family dog unfed and abandoned in an overgrown yard. He said, “If we are able to save only a few homeowners from the anguish of ...

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