This paper explores the U.S. housing crisis from the perspective of homeowners and communities that are experiencing foreclosure. Many existing foreclosure studies rely on large quantitative datasets that, although helpful in answering some questions about foreclosure, lack the depth and nuance to unpack how and why foreclosure happened within individual households and what it means to communities. This study brings to the forefront how people wound up in foreclosure, what foreclosure means to them, and what it means in their communities from their perspective. It adds a deeper perspective to our understanding of the disaster and reminds us of the human costs of the U.S. housing crisis and why transforming the system is necessary. Finally, it concludes with a discussion of moral hazard as applied to borrowers and financial institutions.
- predatory lending