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Preventing the Next Mortgage Crisis

The Meltdown, the Federal Response, and the Future of Housing in America

Dan Immergluck

The great U.S. mortgage crisis was a transformative event that will reverberate for decades across families, neighborhoods, and cities. After years of research on various aspects of the crisis, Dan Immergluck examines what went wrong, identifying the factors that created the fragile housing finance system, which provided fertile ground for calamity. He also examines the federal response to the crisis, including who benefitted most from the response, and how a more effective and fair response could have been formulated. To reduce the incidence of future crises, Immergluck provides a pathway for building a more stable and fair housing finance system that would be less vulnerable to the booms and busts of global finance. Housing finance helps determine access to stable, decent-quality, affordable housing and also affects the geography of housing and educational opportunities. Thus, housing markets shape our communities, our neighborhoods, and our social and economic opportunities. Immergluck’s analysis and formulation of a way forward will be of particular interest to those concerned with urban form, neighborhood change and stability, and urban planning and policy, as well as those interested in housing and mortgage markets more generally. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 200Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-5313-1 • Hardback • August 2015 • $40.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-5314-8 • eBook • August 2015 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
Dan Immergluck is a professor in the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. He has authored three books, more than 40 articles in scholarly journals and scores of applied research and policy reports. He has testified before Congress and state and local legislative bodies. He has been frequently quoted and cited in the media, including in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, USA Today and a wide variety of regional and local newspapers.
Chapter 1. Revisiting the Origins of the Subprime Crisis
Chapter 2. The Costs of Foreclosure and the Racialized Shape of the Crisis
Chapter 3. The Federal Government to the Rescue?
Chapter 4. Regulating the Mortgage Market
Chapter 5. The Housing Finance Debate
Conclusions and the Way Forward

Immergluck’s expertise in housing finance allows him to dissect the root causes and uneven effects of the housing bubble of 2007, the ensuing foreclosure crisis, and the resulting Great Recession. Beyond that, however, Immergluck’s real triumph in this immersive analysis is to retain an awareness that a home is more than the sum of its physical parts and more than a statistic harnessed by financiers to securitize loans: he proves with alarming statistics and insightful comparisons that housing stability is the cornerstone upon which the American dream is built. This approachable and concise book is a must-read for anyone seeking an understanding of how years of deregulation, weakened consumer-protection statutes, lame rating agencies, and an indefatigable surge of capital resulted in a mortgage industry serving the interests of investors rather than the needs of home buyers and home owners. Immergluck similarly anatomizes the government’s lame response to the resulting foreclosure crisis, and refutes the false narratives that government involvement or irresponsible borrowers wrought such peril. Armed with this clear history, he explains how a strong federal presence, robust consumer-protection laws, and community reinvestment can lead to a fair, affordable, and stable housing market in the U.S.

[A] succinct, scholarly book…. [T]his book constitutes a very solid assessment of the recent housing mortgage crisis. It can serve not only as a primer for the housing policy neophyte but also as a textbook for a serious housing policy class. It is both a good resource and worthwhile read.
Journal of Urban Affairs

Preventing the Next Mortgage Crisis lays bare what went wrong the last time and, more importantly, provides the roadmap for where we need to go in the future so that there is no "next time." The focus on fair and equitable lending and simple sound underwriting, is precisely what should guide regulators, financial service providers, and all parties who are concerned with the future direction of our economy and society.
Gregory D. Squires, professor of sociology and public policy & public administration, George Washington University

Dan Immergluck once again shows why he is one of the nation’s most astute experts on housing finance. In this succinct and accessible book, not only provides a trenchant analysis of the causes of the recent mortgage crisis and an excellent overview of the damage it inflicted on people and communities, but he also offers a sensible plan to establish a durable and equitable housing finance system. The book is particularly valuable for the case it makes for the federal government’s essential role in housing finance. Preventing the Next Mortgage Crisis is essential reading for anyone interested in housing.

Alex Schwartz, professor of urban policy, The New School; and author of Housing Policy in the United States (3rd Edition)

For over a decade, Dan Immergluck has been the nation’s most thoughtful and insightful analyst of America’s foreclosure epidemic. Preventing the Next Mortgage Crisis is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how Wall Street crashed the economy and caused so much hardship throughout the country, and anyone who wants to know what we can do to avoid another mortgage meltdown.
Peter Dreier, Dr. E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, Occidental College

Preventing the Next Mortgage Crisis is the definitive guide to the policy failures of the subprime-driven financial collapse and the politics that underlay that entirely avoidable disaster. Dan Immergluck corrects the record in which apologists often try to scapegoats the victims rather than perpetrators of the crisis, and offers a sound strategy for preventing a repeat. If policymakers will heed these warnings, we will avert a sequel. Thorough enough for scholars and accessible to the general public, this is a landmark treatment of one of America's epic disgraces.

Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect