Foreclosed America by Isaac Martin, Christopher Niedt

By Isaac Martin, Christopher Niedt

From 2007 to 2012, nearly 5 percentage of yank adults—about ten million people—lost their houses simply because they can now not make loan funds. the dimensions of this domestic personal loan concern is unprecedented—and it isn't over. foreclosure nonetheless displace extra American owners each year than at any time ahead of the twenty-first century. The dispossession and compelled displacement of yankee households impacts their future health, academic good fortune, and entry to jobs. It maintains to dam any actual restoration within the hardest-hit communities.

While we now recognize much approximately how this drawback affected the worldwide economic climate, we nonetheless comprehend little or no approximately the way it affected the folk who misplaced their houses. Foreclosed America bargains the 1st consultant portrait of these people—who they're, how and the place they dwell after wasting their houses, and what they must say approximately their funds, their neighborhoods, and American politics. it's a sobering photo of american citizens down on their success, and of a difficulty that's checking out American democracy.

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For the next two years, they rented a home and paid their other bills on time, until their credit scores improved enough that they could take out a new mortgage loan at a lower rate. Now they are homeowners again. )4 All of these stories were reported by reputable journalists, and we assume that they are true. But are any of them typical? To answer this question we turned again to the National Suburban Poll. HOW THEY ARE HOUSED In order to identify where and how the dispossessed live now, we lumped together all survey respondents who said that someone in 42 F O R E C LO S E D A M E R I C A their household lost a home because of inability to make mortgage payments, whether that someone was the respondent or another household member.

Lenders also have little incentive to invest in those repairs. 13 Foreclosed homes that stand vacant often fall into disrepair. 14 Maybe for this reason a large minority of adults in displaced households (42%) say that “crime, drugs, and violence” are a big problem in their communities. Only 23 percent of adults in the distant majority say the same. The gap shrank only slightly when we adjusted these statistics for the different income and personal profiles of these groups; the adjusted percentages are 31 percent of adults in displaced households, and 17 percent of adults in the distant majority.

Most people who lost their homes are neither poor farmworkers like the Ramirezes nor celebrity millionaires like Owens. The National Suburban Poll allows us to go beyond the stereotypes. We pooled three waves of survey data—from 2010, 2011, and 2012—to analyze the sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics of respondents who said that they had personally lost a home because they were unable to make mortgage payments in the period since September 2007. We will present plenty of statistical detail, but our fundamental descriptive findings can be summarized simply and without any statistical jargon whatsoever.

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