A major subprime lender, Loans4You, which was not quite major enough to get a bailout from the government like Baer Sterns did, has “found new life” making loans to homeless people for cardboard boxes to sleep in.
“Sure, it doesn’t sound so good at first,” said company spokesman Joseph R. Canterwaller, “but consider that we are helping the very people affected by the subprime crisis. Many of these folks became homeless as a result of our bad loans, so we feel an obligation to respond to their needs.” He also pointed out that many lesser subprime lenders have gone under completely, and that as survivors, the company is “helping to bolster the economy by staying afloat.”
“We provide entry-level loans for new box-owners, and our cardboard homes are made from the toughest refrigerator cartons available. We specifically tailor our loans to the needs of our customers, even covering two or three-room shelters,” Mr. Canterwaller said.
Answering critics who say such companies make risky loans, the Loans4You spokesman said, “These loans are rock solid. We’ve done background checks on all our customers, which is something we never did before, as you know. While we know they don’t have jobs, we still require that applicants be resourceful, hard workers. Most engage their entire family, from toddlers to spouses, in such gainful employment as dumpster diving, restaurant backdoor begging, street panhandling and the like.”
Others in the loan industry see this as a positive development as well. Steven Stackhouse of payday lenders Cash and Carry, Inc. told this reporter, “These loans can be packaged and sold to brokering houses, who package them with other groups of loans, resell them, and so on – creating wealth all along the chain. This could revive the entire economy!” When asked if this wasn’t the cause of the crisis in the first place, Stackhouse replied, “Doesn’t matter. It’s all cyclical. If we can prop up the economy for another ten years, by then who knows what will come along? Perhaps a dotcom boom!”