The resentment felt by America’s troubled homeowners has finally manifested in a physical form. While testifying at a congressional hearing, the mortgage chief of the second largest mortgage originator in the United States invited disgruntled borrowers to “come to me” if they felt bank representatives were not providing sufficient help to keep them in their homes.

After he delivered his figurative invitation, 50 disgruntled activist-borrowers erupted from the audience, alleging the lender reneged on its promise to help troubled homeowners. His bluff having been called, the mortgage chief declined to personally speak with anyone and left the hearing.

An activist summarized, “He ran. He ran like a dog with its tail between his legs. He was scared to death because he doesn’t really want to talk to homeowners.”

first tuesday take: Lenders freely give out more promises than anyone in the world. But when they are held to the promises they make, they are prone in practice (and in law) to slink away, as dramatized in the occurrence above. At their core, lenders deal in an artificial paradigm – the management of money – not in the tangible world of flesh and blood (or real estate ownership for that matter).

At the very least, the mortgage chief could have given his card to the activist borrowers and extended a minimal modicum of interest and sympathy. However, this subservient posture is likely difficult to obtain for an industry leader so used to enjoying his dominant position as a conduit of the nation’s money supply (and all the hubris that comes with the dissemination of our nation’s medium of exchange).

This event is symptomatic of the growing anger held by borrowers against lenders, whose adversarial relationship is nearly as old as the advent of money. Could the public at large finally be waking from its apathetic slumber? If so, where are all the picketers arguing for the boycott of mortgage bankers in front of the lending citadels, those single-purpose towering altars to lender vanity?

In re: “U.S. bank chief mobbed by angry borrowers,” from Reuters