Confessions of a Subprime Lender: An Insider's Tale of Greed, Fraud, and Ignorance
Former subprime lender Richard Bitner once worked in an industry that started out helping disadvantaged customers but collapsed due to greed, lack of financial control and willful ignorance. In Confessions of a Subprime Lender: An Insider's Tale of Greed, Fraud, and Ignorance, he reveals the truth about how the subprime lending business spiraled out of control, pushed home prices to unsustainable levels, and turned unqualified applicants into qualified borrowers through creative financing. Learn about the ways the mortgage industry can be fixed with his twenty suggestions for critical change.
Good, not great, and self-serving.
By P. B. Sims - July 26, 2008
Wow(!), there sure are a lot of reviews here that make this book sound like the definitive work for explaining the mortgage meltdown. I'm not the smartest bulb in the room (at all) when it comes to this kind of stuff, but I found I knew most of what was discussed in the book before I read it. To be sure, it's an easy read (of the lazy summer weekend kind) and a fun one (lots of incompetent borrowers, sleazy brokers and greedy investors - this is mostly an anecdotal book), and it does a pretty good job of simplifiying things, but in the end, I was disappointed. Worth the money and the time, but less substance than I expected.
The thing that irked me the most is that Bitner REALLY lets himself (and to a large degree, other lenders) off the hook here. Oh sure, in the end he says he blames himself too, and 'gee gosh', he should have known better, but I never get the impression he really means it or takes any real responsibility. Of all the institutions and people he blames for... read more
Bitner Nails It
By Theodore Alan Miller - July 2, 2008
I read Richard Bitner's book from cover to cover and did not want to put it down. As one who has been in the mortgage business for over 30 years, working in various industry segments including retail origination, wholesale lending, correspondent lending and private mortgage guaranty insurance (residential loan default insurance), I was impressed by how Richard managed to put all the key pieces together on the subprime crisis and did it with such an honest, insightful and refreshing candor.
After all my years in a business that insured lenders and mortgage investors against residential mortgage loan defaults, I understood we were headed for trouble with massive mortgage defaults, simply due to all the irresponsible lending practices with loan programs that had multiple layers of risk where buyers had little or no skin in the game and originators had even less. There is lots of blame to go around and Bitner does not spare any of the many participants from being assigned their... read more
Descriptive, but lacking
By another opinion - August 23, 2008
This book will basically confirm what you already know about Subprime loans, if you believe that lots of people knew the system was broken, but chose to look the other way because it was profitable. The author talks about how the system encouraged and accomodated fraudulent players, while "consciencious" players (such as the author's firm, of course) played by the rules and remained completely above the fray. The author was shocked by the behavior of other subprime middlemen, but his company made millions and grew due by focusing on these types of loans.
It's a quick read, and useful if you know nothing about the industry, as it identifies the basic players participating in the provision of subprime loans, and their functions. I suspect you could get as basic a primer on the internet for free, without the specific examples provided of system abuses.
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