I severely underpaid for the condo I got at a foreclosure auction. It was a great steal but as soon as I walked through the door I saw some of the possessions of the family of five who once lived there. Is it wrong for me to profit from their pain?

The premise of a foreclosure auction is that you’re looking to purchase a home cheaply.  You get the low price due to the property repossessed for default then being resold to recoup whatever possible from the lender’s losses.  On one hand, you’re exercising good stewardship of your own resources.  On the other, the family moving out is clearly in distress, regardless of who’s to blame.

You apparently do profit from their pain… but you don’t know all the specifics of their situation:  Were they irresponsible with their money?  Were they exploited by the mortgage industry? Every party in this situation plays a role in the structural violence and inequities the socioeconomic system creates.  Whatever you do, integrate compassion into your response—in what other concrete ways might you help persons affected by the housing crisis and bring about justice in the process should you chose to keep the condo?