Letter: Where is our Fifth Amendment? | Letters to the Editor

To the editor: Extract from the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution: “… private property must not be used for public use without fair compensation.” “

How much clearer can that be? Massachusetts mortgagees and homeowners are forced by the state to allow their creditors to stay on their property without paying their debt. The victims are the mortgagees and the owners.

Before the pandemic, one of my home buyers chose not to make me his monthly payments. The lockdown process has been initiated, but has been blocked by the pandemic moratorium. At the time of this writing, the occupants have been in this house for almost three years without paying a dime. During this time, I have to pay their insurance, taxes and firefighters’ fees to protect the property. And, I have a mortgage to pay, so I don’t lose the property. All because the government orders it.

It is illusory and naive for lawmakers to assume that these creditors will make up for missed payments – they will simply move on to other homes. So where is my “fair compensation”? I suggest that compensation checks distributed by state and federal authorities are probably more effective in supporting vaping shops, tattoo parlors, and marijuana retail stores than in paying rents and mortgages. Is it fair and equitable? Why am I forced by the government to let these people stay in my house?

We are all sympathetic to this situation where people have lost their livelihoods due to this pandemic. But what gives the government the power to enlist me to remedy this? I submit that this should be the responsibility of all of us as a whole, and not of the privileged few. We have all read how difficult it is to find affordable housing. How do you think this moratorium will have an impact on this? I suspect there will be fewer people staying in the homeowners business after this as it is now clearly understood that the government can arbitrarily trample on this Fifth Amendment at any time.

I propose that these homeowners and mortgagees receive tax credits to compensate for the loss of payment. I am convinced that the credits will not be abused any more than the stimulus controls.

Jon Macht, Pittsfield

About Mary Moser

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