What the Mortgage Settlement Means for the Housing Market

Friday, February 10, 2012

housing, house, foreclosure, foreclosing House in foreclosure. (Respres/flickr)

On Thursday the government approved a $26 billion settlement for homeowners who’ve been foreclosed upon or are currently at risk. Approximately two million Americans will get a $1,800 settlement check, which is a lot of people but not a whole lot of money: the Joint Economic Committee of Congress found that the average foreclosure in 2008 cost $7,200. This money also won't cover losses accrued by local governments who lost tax revenue, or neighbors whose own property values fell.

Paul Kiel is reporter at ProPublica. Gordon is a resident of Davie, Florida who lost his home in December of 2008. He currently lives in a mobile home.


Paul Kiel

Comments [2]


In all of the mutliple appearances of "Gordon from Florida," I don't feel like I know much of anything about him.

When did he buy the house that was foreclosed? Was he working at the time? What happened to his income? What happened in the course of his mortgage? Did he default on that mortgage? What was the price of the home, what were the mortgage terms, and how deeply had Gordon defaulted? Was there any "wrongdoing" by any bank in the way that Gordon obtained his mortgage? Was there any "wrongdoing" by the bank in the processing of Gordon's foreclosure? If so, what was it?

What is the absolute worst thing that any bank did to Gordon? What is the loss, to GMAC and/or its parent corporation, as a result of Gordon's default? How was Gordon damaged (other than by losing the home on which he stopped making payments) by the foreclosure? To my knowledge, we were never told if any robo-signing had been involved in Gordon's foreclosure; let's presume that there WAS one or more documents that had been signed by bank officers, saying that they had reviewed Gordon's mortgage when in fact they hadn't. In that case, what was the real harm to Gordon? Was he not still in default, no matter what?

John Hockenberry never asked any of these questions; have they ever been asked? Aren't these among the most important, most relevant questions that could be aksed? Was there an earlier segment with Gordon on a prior date where these questions were resolved? And whether or not it was old information, isn't it important in the context of this story?

Feb. 10 2012 11:55 AM

"...destroyed families, erased retirement security, and cast as a cruel myth the whole idea of the American dream.."

Is that the Democratic Party platform? Perhaps it should be since didn't the "progressive" Community Reinvestment Act, "progressive" politicians with federal regulators meddling with normal lending practices and indignant pressure by "progressive" housing groups with legal aid from Obama years ago set the stage for the current crisis?

Feb. 10 2012 10:47 AM

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