How to fix the housing crisis - Eric Schneiderman

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How to fix the housing crisis – Eric Schneiderman

How to fix the housing crisis – Eric Schneiderman

Times Union- By Eric Schneiderman

The foreclosure numbers for May are out, and the picture for New York is grim. Foreclosure filings are up almost 50 percent compared to May of 2011.

The economic cost of foreclosures is staggering. On average, each foreclosure carries around $245,000 in direct and indirect costs.

But it’s not just a matter of numbers. People are uprooted, children are pulled out of school, jobs are lost and lives are destroyed.

The causes of the crisis are complex, but the big picture is clear. Years of reckless deregulation set the stage for irresponsible and sometimes illegal behavior, in the mortgage market and on Wall Street. Shoddy lending practices, and opaque financial engineering to resell shaky mortgage debt to investors, drove housing prices upward during the bubble years, far past the point when the market should have started to cool. When the bubble burst, millions of jobs disappeared, more than $7 trillion in home equity evaporated, and the U.S. economy sank in to the longest and deepest recession in 70 years.

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