Subject: Foreclosure & Financial Crisis

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    The Hawaii Model Succeeds

    Before Hawaii's new foreclosure prevention law passed, Hawaii had the 11th highest foreclosure rate in the nation. One in every 41 homeowners was losing their largest asset. Banks argued that it was "no use" to give families loan modifications because…

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    DeMarco Out; Jim Carr Stirs Up Conversation

    Jim Carr, who published his bold vision for restructuring the housing finance market here earlier this week, is making waves with it, getting conversation stirred up about why housing, foreclosures, and housing finance reform are not campaign issues, such as…

  • States Undercutting Historic Mortgage Settlement

    Early this year, in a settlement with 49 state attorneys general, the five largest banks in the United States—Citi, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial—agreed to pay $2.5 billion dollars to states to settle a…

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    Where’s the Debate on Housing?

    Last week's presidential debate passed without any mention of the continuing housing crisis affecting millions of American families. Nothing on either candidate’s website provides any specifics on this issue, let alone answers the fundamental question about what is the role…

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    Debt Strikes—Mortgage and Student

    I wrote on Monday about ESOP's mortgage strikers. The concept made me think of the student debt strike efforts. At first glance, those not following what's happening in higher education may think of people complaining about student debt as lazy, entitled…

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    Mortgage Strike!

    Shelterforce began as a tenants' rights newspaper, and our early years were full of accounts of rent strikes—a powerful weapon to get reluctant landlords to make repairs or otherwise improve conditions. Now Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People, a combination housing…

  • Will Your State Be Punished for Taking Foreclosures to Court?

    In the near future, nearly half of the United States could experience increased mortgage fees. FHFA acting director Ed DeMarco announced a proposal to change its standard practice of treating all states equally by creating a new mortgage fee structure…

  • Can These Neighborhoods Be Saved? More Thoughts from Detroit

    In my last post, I described the picture in what I call Detroit’s ‘middle-ground’ neighborhoods. In recent decades, those neighborhoods, mainly single family homes, have housed the city’s solid working class and middle class families, and are now widely in…

  • An Open Letter To The Candidates: We Need Housing Solutions

    Last week, a coalition of housing, civil rights, and consumer protection groups issued an open letter to President Obama and Governor Romney asking what they would do, specifically, to address the housing crisis in America, and seeking a meeting to…

  • Underwater America, the Battleground States, and Electoral Votes

    Republican Platform: Taxpayer dollars should not be used to bail out borrowers and lenders by funding principal write-downs. Democratic Platform: Too many people still owe more on their homes than they are worth. And so, with detached whimpers have both…

  • Where Are the Candidates on the Foreclosure Crisis?

    For the last two weeks, one politico after another has railed about our damaged economy and declared their intention to solve the problem. Without question, unemployment remains a serious issue that must be dealt with head-on. However, one issue that…

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    The Missing Piece of the GOP’s American Dream

    This week, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and members of his party hammered home the point that this country needs leaders who will do what is essential to preserve the “American Dream” not only for ourselves, but for future generations.…

  • Get Specific on the Homeownership Crisis

    Now that the presidential tickets are set, it’s time for the candidates to get specific about problems and solutions critical to our economic recovery and future prosperity.  Along with job creation, they should start with Home Opportunity—the cluster of housing,…

  • Persistent Poverty in Rural America

    Poverty rates are on the rise and more Americans are living in poverty than at any other time since the Census Bureau began measuring its occurrence. According to 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) figures, 40.7 million people have incomes below…

  • 7 Questions Candidates Need to Answer on the Housing Crisis

    Aside from Romney VP pick Paul Ryan proposing to abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, any talk of fixing the ongoing housing crisis has been notably absent in 2012. This week, however, Home for Good, a national campaign to inject housing…

  • Racial and Gender Diversity at the Top Is Good, But it Can’t Stop Greed

    Last month Wells Fargo, the nation's largest home mortgage lender and fourth largest bank, agreed to pay at least $175 million to redress blatant discrimination against African American and Hispanic borrowers. The irony is that this settlement—the second largest in…

  • Gabby, Ryan, and Home Opportunity for All

    Not even Olympians are immune from America’s homeownership crisis. The Associated Press reported this week that the parents of U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte are facing foreclosure in Florida, while the mother of gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas filed for…

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    Geithner Steps Up in Defense of Principal Reduction

    Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took a bold step toward guarding families’ homes from unnecessary foreclosure. He wrote an open letter in defense of principal reductions—a vital option that reduces the original amount of a home loan for struggling homeowners.…

  • It’s Time for Home Opportunity

    Dramatic developments this month have underscored our nation’s progress, as well as our continuing peril, when it comes to Home Opportunity—the deeply held idea that everyone should have access to an affordable home under fair conditions.  These developments, both positive…

  • Eminent Domain to Stop Foreclosure: Clever, but Not the Only Solution

    This article first appeared on Huffington Post. The heat wave may have broken, but the news is still hot on the latest scheme to deal with underwater mortgages: getting them from the lenders through eminent domain in order to modify…

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