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From Eduardo Peñalver’s “Lawyer Up the Prey” (subscription):

In the wake of extraordinarily sloppy record-keeping during the mortgage spree that created our national housing bubble, many of the banks that have subsequently foreclosed on millions of homes have done so without producing the requisite documents. Instead of slowing things down to get their paperwork in order, these banks frequently foreclosed despite lacking proof that they were entitled to do so—in some cases knowingly submitting false affidavits to state courts. As a result, up to hundreds of thousands of properties have been sold by banks improperly. Laws in the majority of states allow lenders to foreclose without significant judicial involvement, putting the burden on homeowners to sue the bank and prove that a lender is not entitled to foreclose. Lacking the resources to hire a lawyer, the great majority of homeowners facing foreclosure were in no position to expose the banks’ fraud.

From Fr. Nonomen’s “Wedding Crashers” (subscription):

They paraded into the church for the wedding rehearsal like a Kardashian posse—all twenty of them, eight groomsmen, nine bridesmaids, and three toddlers. When I welcomed them, one smiled faintly, two others kept texting important messages, and the young lady with the wrist-to-shoulder tattoos sat down in a pew, made herself at home, and started touching up the polish on her nails. The rest simply ignored me. It was clear none had been inside a church since confirmation and hadn’t the slightest clue how to behave in a place of worship. We could just as well have been knocking back some tequila in Eddie’s Pool Hall and chatting about the Bruins.

I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me. After all, I was warned about it many years ago, by an old and seasoned pastor who told me that he would much rather preside at a funeral—even the most tragic funeral—than at a wedding, any day of the week. At the time, I didn’t understand. But now I know exactly what he means.

Also, fiction from Valerie Sayers, Jo McGowan on tragedies that test convictions, and Harold Bordwell on art and “the apple’s pride of place in our Edenic imaginations.”

Dominic Preziosi is Commonweal’s editor. Follow him on Twitter.

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