Profiting on Foreclosure?

Q. There are many homeowners who have been foreclosed on by banks and other lending institutions, some illegally. Now those homes are offered at bargain prices. Is a would-be buyer obligated to steer clear of such transactions, knowing that the home was taken illegally by a lending institution? By buying a home like this, wouldn’t I be morally guilty of taking advantage of someone else’s misfortune? Wouldn’t I be promoting such actions like this? 

W.D., Kewaunee, Wis. 

A. Here’s a reply from TCA columnist Father Ray Ryland, Ph.D., J.D:

I commend your sensitivity on this point. Under Congressional pressure, lending institutions began making home loans to people who appeared to be great risks because of their very limited financial circumstances. All those loans were passed from institution to institution. Any sale of a foreclosed-mortgage home is doubtless far removed from possession by the original owner. In my opinion, therefore, to buy a home at bargain prices would not be taking advantage of another’s misfortune.