ABC News on the American Housing Disaster
This year, millions of homes in the US will be repossessed. Wall Street was aware of the risks involved with sub-prime lending but chose to ignore them. No ethics, just money- here is a story of greed and recklessness.
In California, the sub prime crisis has hit homeowners full on. Repossessions have become routine and the foreclosure rate is still accelerating. Neat façades and tidy gardens can't prevent houses being sold for almost half of what they cost a year ago. Pressed for time and money, owners are torn out of their homes: 'It's like leaving your children' says Rob. He is hoping the bank will accept a quick sale and forgive the loss, but this is unlikely. Most are made to wait until they default on repayment, which wrecks their credit record. Former bankers reveal how low interest rates were meant to boost the economy. Banks looked for ways to make profit despite low rates and chased high-risk mortgages that would pay 8 or 9%, ignoring the consequences for borrowers if prices fell and interest rates rose again: 'There's no perception of the guy in some tiny little house in Detroit or in Philadelphia or in Stockton who basically might be losing their home.' Now that the system has failed, banks are less ready to lend money and this impacts on the entire economy. Families lose their homes, businesses fail...Wall Street gambled and the world has to pay.
Source: Desperate Households - USA