Today's news tells us that the federal government is going to bail out sub-prime borrowers by extending the initial teaser interest rates up to five years. While my initial reaction is to criticize the expectation that the government save those who lack personal responsibility, I recognize that many of these bad loans never should have been legal in the first place. The feds wouldn't have to fix this mess is they hadn't created it. More importantly, I have to believe that better and more frequent use of real estate lawyers would have stemmed the growing use of these risky loans. Here in Illinois, many people buy homes without using a lawyer. In other states, attorneys are rarely used for home purchases. We lawyers are virtually never asked to attend refinance closings. A lawyer's sole ethical responsibility is to look out for the best interests of the client, both short term and long term. Had more people gotten us involved in their lending transactions in recent years, they would not need the federal government to swoop in to try and save them. A real estate lawyer would go over the loan paperwork in detail, making sure the client knew what to expect now and when their interest rate adjusted. Careful consideration would be given to whether the loan product offered to the client was truly best for their needs. I for one hope that this current mess will convince more people of the value of attorneys in all real estate transactions.