State of Lending: Mortgages Chapter

Published: December 12, 2012

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This chapter describes how, even with the recent decline in house prices, owning a home can bestow more financial and non-financial benefits than any other single asset. The chapter reviews the U.S. government's long role in promoting homeownership, and the private sector's shift to risky loan products and weak underwriting during the 1990s and early 2000s. It catalogs the past abuses of the subprime and Alt-A mortgage markets which, along with a fractured regulatory environment, sparked the foreclosure crisis and economic meltdown.

This chapter then outlines the cost of the foreclosure crisis to American families, communities, and our nation's economy. It cites new mortgage reforms in the Dodd-Frank Act and efforts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state regulators that will help ensure this disaster does not reoccur, and argues for preventing even more foreclosures and ensuring that a rebuilt mortgage market will preserve access to credit for families who could be successful homeowners.

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Visualizing the State of Lending

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