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Interim Report to Congress on the Root Causes of the Foreclosure Crisis


Report Acceptance Date: March 2009 (82 pages)

Posted Date: April 08, 2009

This study of the root causes of the current extremely high levels of defaults and foreclosures among residential mortgages represents the interim report to Congress by the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pursuant to Section 1517 of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 (P.L. 110-289). The problems in the mortgage market are routinely referred to as a "foreclosure crisis" because the level of defaults and foreclosures greatly exceed previous peak levels in the post-war era and, as a result, have drawn comparisons to the levels of distress experienced in the Great Depression. This interim report contains a review of the academic literature and industry press on the root causes of the current foreclosure crisis and a plan for further discussion of policy responses to the crisis. A final report will expand upon this interim report with additional data and analysis of trends in the market as well as a more detailed review of policy responses and recommended actions to mitigate the current crisis and to help prevent similar crises from occurring in the future.

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