While our federal government continues to chase many mortgage lenders for so-called "predatory lending" practices, perhaps we should check in on the situation of far and away the biggest predatory lender of all, the federal government itself. Its most odious practices are in the area of student loans. I find the term "predatory" a stretch when applied to a mortgage loan for a house, given that in the worst case the borrower got to live in the house, and even if he gets foreclosed and has a deficiency balance he can normally discharge that in bankruptcy. Not a pleasant process, but sometimes life can be tough. Compare that to federal student loans, where the government lends inexperienced 18 - 24 year-olds open-ended amounts, often for dubious and overpriced trade schools, and then flatly forbids discharge in bankruptcy. Many borrowers' finances are ruined for life, and they don't even have marketable job skills to show for it. Now that's predatory!
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