Most of you reading this have financed a home or car, or refinanced at some point in your lives. If you’ve done this in the past several years, you know that the forms required are voluminous, with everyone engaged in CYA. In fact, there are forms to sign to prove that you’ve read and signed the other forms.
But this is all forgery of a type, tasks over result, not at all ensuring what was intended.
Most of the time the banker, realtor, or auto dealer will start through a huge pile of forms explaining briefly what each is for (“This explains your rights of revocation,” “This breaks down interest costs”) and showing you where to sign and/or initial. One pile is for them, one pile is for you. This takes about 20 minutes.
Of course, if you read all the forms, since it’s the first time you’ve seen them, this would take well over an hour. These governmentally-mandated forms, or bank-paranoia forms, are to ensure and prove you’ve been apprised of all rights and possibilities. However, they only serve as a task completed as quickly as possible, since it’s rare to read them or to discuss details beyond the brief explanation. Of course, should you ever try to claim something inimical to the lending institution, the forms would be quickly cited as to why you do owe them your first child.
This is where we are today, sinking in a flood of regulatory superciliousness while no better off understanding our rights or possible leverage. It’s more than a little ironic that the “protection” of the consumer has resulted, in reality, in the protection of the lender proving that rules and regulations—but not necessarily understanding—have been met.
Have you ever opened instructions for a clock radio or television or blender? The first four pages detail how not to kill yourself, not how to listen to music or prepare food.
© Alan Weiss 2016