Successful home ownership requires the availability of
appropriate mortgage products. In the years leading up to the
collapse of the housing market, home buyers frequently accepted
mortgages that were not only wrong for them but catastrophic for
the economy as a whole. When the housing market bubble burst, so
did a cornerstone of the American dream for many families.
Restoring the promise of this dream requires an unflinching
inspection of lending institutions and the right tools to repair
the structures that support solid home purchases. The American
Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform focuses on the causes of
the housing market collapse and proposes solutions to prevent
another rash of foreclosures.
Edited by two leaders in the field of real estate and finance,
Susan M. Wachter and Marvin M. Smith, The American Mortgage
System examines key elements of the mortgage meltdown. The
volume's contributors address the influence of the Community
Reinvestment Act, which is often blamed for the crisis. They
uncover how the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac invested outside the housing market with disastrous
results. They present surprising information about low-income
borrowers and the strengths of local banks. This collection of
thoughtful studies includes extensive analysis of loan practices
and the creation of unstable mortgage securities, presenting data
largely unavailable until now. More than a critique, The
American Mortgage System offers solutions to the problems
facing the future of American home ownership, including identifying
asset price bubbles, calculating risk, and preventing
discrimination in lending.
Measured yet timely and by turns provocative, The American
Mortgage System provides a careful assessment of a troubled
but indispensable part of the economic and social structure of the
United States. This book is a sound investment for economists,
urban planners, and all who shape public policy.
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