Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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When a Right Isn't a Right

I'm seeing more and more places where people are forced to sign away their right to sue if they are aggrieved. It's especially common in places where people desperately need a service, or have no choice. This infuriates me; a right is supposed to be something that can't be taken away. If it can be taken away, it's just a privilege. But the Constitution guarantees citizens the RIGHT "to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Freddie, Fannie Force Borrowers to Waive Legal Rights
Mary Kane, The Washington Independent: "When the government announced in November that it would use mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to streamline loan modifications for possibly hundreds of thousands of borrowers, officials billed the idea as a fast-track program to fight foreclosures. What no one mentioned is that homeowners would have to sign away their rights to sue, if they wanted to get those loans modified. The waiver of legal rights is buried among a long list of requirements in loan modification agreements for delinquent borrowers seeking more affordable loans under the new loan program, which began on Dec. 15."


In this particular incident, lenders who have just screwed people to the wall and gutted the economy are now demanding that borrowers waive their right to sue if something else goes wrong. That seems like a good way to guarantee that something will go terribly, horribly wrong -- and probably will end with more people homeless and the lenders demanding more money from the taxpayers.

I wish them much jingle mail.
Tags: news
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