Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lost: Mortgage Lending Unit

I’ve never seen “Lost.” I need to. I want to. I hear nothing but good things about most of it, even the weird middle seasons where they kind of lost their way and were essentially killing time as the ratings continued to be high. It’s in my Netflix queue and once baseball season’s over and I have more free television time, I plan on finally seeing what all the fuss was about.

I am disappointed they never spun off the franchise like CSI or Law & Order, so in my futile effort to break in to the television business, allow me to suggest “Lost: Mortgage Lending Unit” for ABC’s next big television show. Below is the rough plot for the pilot, which may or may not be based on real life events.

The scene: a small, south Georgia college town where a husband, wife and young son recently moved back to after living in North Carolina. Rather than rent an apartment for a few months before buying a house, they are offered and accept a proposal to live with his parents. Sure, it’s not ideal, but it won’t last that long as they should be able to find a good deal on a house in the struggling housing market.

These people are not good
 at their jobs. Some would say
 they're incompetent
After a few months of looking, the couple finds a house they really like at a price that’s right in their price range. The only problem is it’s a short sale, meaning the sellers want to sell it at a small loss rather than enter into foreclosure. Sure it’ll ding the seller’s credit, but not as much as a foreclosure. Unfortunately, these kinds of sales take a while, so our couple is forced to live with his parents for a little longer than anticipated. It’s not ideal, but for the house they want, it’s probably worth a little more frustration.

The Plot Twist: The couple submits an offer in April, knowing it takes a few months for the file to make its way through the short sale process. April turns to May, which turns to June which turns… why am I telling you this, you know the order of the months of the year. Anyway, in August, with the couple and the realtors both the couple and the bank getting frustrated with the lack of movement on the sale, some slightly good news appears. By September 21, everything should be done and a signed contract accepting the offer should be ready. Again, longer than the couple wanted, but for the house they want, they’re willing to endure their living situation for a bit longer. After all, it’s the house they plan on spending the next 30 years living in.

On September 19, two days before everything was expected to be complete, the evil bank central to the ongoing conflict (named: SunTrust…. Wait, that may pose some copyright issues, how about SunRust, we’ll go with that so there’s no confusion), calls to say they’ve lost the file and if the couple wants to resubmit the paperwork, the entire process would need to start over.

Here’s where we’re asking the audience to suspend their disbelief. We have to assume that a multi-billion dollar corporation has no copy machines, no scanners and no electronic record keeping system to keep track of important stuff like, you know, social security numbers, private financial data or other sensitive information. Instead, there’s just a Manila folder somewhere in their evil lair with all that information floating around. We have to believe that despite being told that everything was good just a week ago, the file magically disappears during the day the guy/girl working on it was off. We have to believe that an institution entrusted with keeping the money of thousands (millions?) of customers can’t keep track of a file.

On second thought, maybe this is just too far-fetched of an idea to be made into a series. It’s not like something like this would ever happen, would it?

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