Debt, credit, and loans

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 1.For almost a millennia, the world’s three great Abrahamic Religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam absolutely forbade the lending of money at interest. This was the original definition of usury- the lending of money at ANY rate of interest. This seems to be strong evidence that the wisdom of the ages knew well the inherent dangers of credit to the debtor. Today, the legal definition of usury is the lending of money at EXCESSIVE debt. As a consumer in the 21st century, what are the dangers of excessive debt and, in your view, who or what has created these dangers. What remedies would you enact to protect both the creditors and debtors in todays world. 2.The 2010 housing and banking crisis brought on some significant new federal legislation in the form of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In the history portion of the Act, both lenders and debtors were faulted for the problems that resulted in the large number of consumers who lost their homes to foreclosure. Loans made without sufficient verification created much of the problem along with abusive credit practices in the industry. One potential remedy proposed was a federal anti-deficiency law that would prevent lenders from receiving anything other than a collateral interest in the home of which monies were lent. In other words, if a homeowner defaulted the lender could receive only the property back and no additional monies. This was defeated at the federal level, but enacted in a minority of states to create an incentive to NOT lend more than the clear value of the home. Is this a sound idea or should lenders and debtors have the freedom to arrive at any agreement they choose? 3.Credit contracts continue each year to become more sophisticated as well as more voluminous in the content. Many consumer advocates argue that we have reached the point where the contracts are overwhelmingly at odds with the goal of having both parties have a clear understanding about the terms of the credit contract. Like-kind problems are cited with internet user agreement contracts. Many western European countries require such contracts to be written in more plain language and some limit the length of such contracts and require no fine print (instead requiring 12 or 14-point font for these contracts). Is this a necessary or good idea for us to consider?

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