I have a confession to make: I love HGTV, the cable television channel devoted to people buying, renovating and flipping houses. I find the network’s programs to be entertaining, and I enjoy watching pleasant people achieve a degree of happiness in their housing choices. (I also have a bit of a crush on Hilary Farr, the stylish host of “Love It or List It,” but I will save the details of that mild obsession for another article.)
However, I need to admit that HGTV has a somewhat puerile notion of how the housing market works. There is plenty of focus on granite countertops and open concept living spaces, but there is very little detail on what is required to purchase a home – and there is even less on the financial responsibility in maintaining payments on a home loan.
In view of this deficit of programming on the true nature of housing finance, I would like to propose a cable network that focuses exclusively on the subject. And in consideration of the programming trends that dominate today’s TV landscape, I believe that this new network’s line-up should be packed with reality television, competition game shows and celebrity worship.
With that in mind, I am proud to present the debut programming of the new Housing Finance TV Network:
Did You Read the Loan Documents?: Remember all of those wacky people in 2008 that claimed they were duped into signing mortgage documents they didn’t understand? Well, in this game show, prospective homebuyers are quizzed on how well they understand the mortgage paperwork that accompanies their loan transaction. Game winners get to sign their loan documents and receive their financing, while losers get a complimentary copy of Elizabeth Warren’s new self-serving autobiography.
Edifice Wrecks: In this game show, deadbeat borrowers awaiting eviction for nonpayment of their mortgages come up with ingenious ways to destroy their properties before they have to remove themselves from the premises. From cement in the drains to sledgehammers in the walls, it is demolition derby at home – and the winners are rewarded for the most creative forms of destruction to the property that is no longer owned by them. (This could also double as educational programming because it would offer a view of homeownership that the certain regulators and politicians and their apologists in the mainstream media never acknowledge.)
The New Mission Impossible: In this reality series, we ride along with extraordinary business professionals on multiple missions: they hunt down elusive characters that absconded with other people’s money, help bring comfort and support to emotionally and financially frayed, and ensure that people will not be forced out of their homes. All of this occurs while they are under vicious attack from the media, regulators and self-proclaimed consumer advocates. Yeah, you guessed it – this is a show about the daily work of mortgage servicers.
Law and Order – The Mortgage Fraud Files: This true-crime series puts a spotlight on how mortgage fraud continues to create billions of dollars of damage to the economy and how federal law enforcement is trying to stop this lethal disruption. But truth be told, we’re afraid that this series probably won’t last very long: according to a recent report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector Journal, the FBI has put mortgage fraud investigations near the bottom of its list of priorities. And, hey, you can’t have a true-crime series if the law enforcement agents can’t be bothered to fight the crimes in question.
Golfing with Angelo Mozilo: The man with the tan and the great deadpan is back, and this time he is cruising the country clubs of the world in pursuit of the perfect 18-hole game. Guest stars include some of the most notable Friends of Angelo – including Chris Dodd, the former Senate Banking Committee chairman – for a glimpse into the ex-Countrywide leader’s champagne and caviar life. (We were planning a program about how Eric Holder’s Justice Department successfully indicted and convicted the Wall Street executives at the heart of the 2008 crash, but that type of fantasy show would be better on the SyFy network instead.)
Secrets of the CFPB: In this history/adventure series, we attempt to take the viewer where no cameras have ever been before: inside a CFPB Advisory Council Meeting. And if you thought those zany Freemasons were aggressive in guarding their mysteries, wait until you see the lengths that this regulatory agency goes to ensure that the public, the media and elected officials are kept in the dark!
Keeping Up with the Cordrays: Move over Kim, Khloe and Kourtney! In this reality program, we follow Washington’s highest paid bureaucrat – enjoying a salary greater than Vice President Biden and Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts – as he finalizes the plans for his new headquarters (designed by the favorite architects of Dubai’s emir), swats off attempts to enable greater transparency at his agency and builds a political foundation on badmouthing the mortgage banking industry. Rumor has it that there might be a mid-season surprise involving a run for the Ohio governor’s position, though we believe that the season might be cancelled in January if the GOP wins control of the House and Senate in November.
About The Author
Phil Hall has been (among other things) a United Nations-based radio journalist, the president of a public relations and marketing agency, a financial magazine editor, the author of six books and a horror movie actor. Also, as you will discover, he is not shy about stating his views.