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Home Loans and Easy Money, until Times Get Hard

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No less an authority than Alan Greenspan, former Chair of the Federal Reserve, called sub-prime mortgages a tool for democratizing credit. Sub-prime mortgages with no down payments are advertised as the road to home ownership for families who can't afford regular loans. They often gamble that they'll be able to re-finance after the house goes up in value, but before new interest rates and higher payments kick in.  Now, with the housing market is cooling off, the formula is failing to work for more and more people. Foreclosures are up and they're likely to increase even more. Did stock analysts paint an overly rosy picture of the sub-prime mortgage market to generate investment?  Do risky loans to millions of vulnerable borrowers threaten the whole economy? We hear from economists, consumer advocates, a state official who's going after shady lending practices, and John and Delia, two homeowners caught in the sub-prime squeeze.

Credits

Guests:
Paul Leonard - Center for Responsible Lending - @CRLONLINE, William Galvin - Massachusetts Secretary of State, Lloyd Segal - Mortgage banker, David Shulman - Senior Economist, UCLA Anderson Forecast

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Katie Cooper, Karen Radziner, Christian Bordal