Three weeks ago, I read Andrew Lenza's post What the Mind Has Spawned, the Hands Have Wrought: The Weighty American Dream of Home Ownership.
Andrew's post dealt with broken dreams, with disillusioned former homeowners, in Andrew's words, "Too weak to lift another Dream, too broke to afford a new one".
There were an estimated 1.2 million foreclosures nationwide in 2006, with a significant increase in 2007.
And it's not over yet.
How will real estate professionals bring the millions who have become disillusioned with the concept of home ownership back into the fold?
Over three-quarters of a century ago, when the Great Depression threatened home ownership in America, the government responded by making a commitment to the "American Dream" of owning a home. And since that commitment was made, the result has been a tremendous boost to the American economy, an engine that has sustained and fed our economic growth over multiple generations.
Today, the disillusioned feel the rug has been pulled out from under them.
Do we just write these people off?
Once the blame game has run its course, once real estate agents and mortgage brokers have finished lecturing consumers who may have speculated in real estate or just plain folks who overextended themselves in housing and short-term credit, the problem will remain.
All the lectures and moralizing in the world won't make this go away.
The ranks of the disillusioned are growing. They do not represent a tiny or insignificant segment of the American publc.
How do you suggest we restore their belief in the American Dream of homeownership?
Will these folks trust our industry again? Will they trust themselves enough to try again?