If you think education is expensive, try foreclosure.

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ForeclosureThis year’s collapse of mortgage lending—also rendered as a crisis, a bubble bursting, the inevitable result of misguided policy x, and so on—has gotten a lot of press recently.

In response, some have called for more regulation, tighter credit, or another solution that’ll make the problem worse. In welcome contrast, this Springfield Republican story highlights the first requisite of a healthy marketplace: well-informed buyers and sellers.

HAP, Inc. led by Pioneer author Peter Gagliardi, helps both lenders and borrowers know exactly what they’re getting into.

HAP’s “Yes You Can” homebuyers’ fair offers good rates and clearly stated terms to borrowers—but only those who’ve taken the time to learn more about home finance. In turn, HAP introduces those educated buyers to lenders—but only those willing to offer good rates and clearly stated terms. Gagliardi describes them as “the kind of lenders we’d like our clients to do business with, not the kind of people that play bait-and-switch or lure people into mortgages that they can’t afford.”

Before either the state or the Feds make another attempt to fix the housing market, they should consider HAP’s example. A market is a game for buyers and sellers; at best, a third party can help both sides play by the rules, and then step aside.