In this episode we speak with David Dayen, author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, published in May of this year. David was awarded the Studs and Ida Terkel Prize, awarded annually to a first-time author who demonstrates a “commitment to exploring aspects of America that are underrepresented by mainstream media”.
We discuss the broad, national foreclosure crisis, which was (and is) really is criminal mortgage fraud. The centuries old basic tenant of American land ownership is being undermined. At times, who owns a home can’t be proven. Millions of Americans have experienced foreclosure, some are still in their homes, banks have paused proceedings in places where home prices have not yet rebounded. While the “crisis” may seem to be our rearview mirror, its effects are long lasting and will take decades to be resolved.
While centered in the “sand states” of Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and California, where the majority of new home construction occurred in the past decade, cash out, interest-only, and adjustable rate mortgages were (and are) common in Missouri. In St. Louis, mortgage products often focused on the African-American homeowner, who may have had equity in their homes.
David Dayen is a journalist who writes about economics and finance. He is a contributing writer to Salon.com and The Intercept, and a weekly columnist for The Fiscal Times and The New Republic. He also writes for The American Prospect, Vice, The Huffington Post, and more. He has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He lives in Los Angeles, where prior to writing about politics he had a 15-year career as a television producer and editor.