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The Great American Foreclosure Story: The Struggle for Justice and a Place to Call Home (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Paul Kiel , Olga Pierce , Cora Currier
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

ProPublica’s mesmerizing and groundbreaking look at the national housing crisis, told through the lens of one woman whose story came to exemplify it

Sheila Ramos’s story mirrors the lives of millions of Americans who have lost their homes since the beginning of the housing crisis in 2007. The Great American Foreclosure Story details with clarity and empathy the road that led Ramos and so many like her toward financial ruin. Once the owner of a small business and a home, Ramos fell on hard times. Predatory lending and denied loan-modification applications eventually sent her and her three grandchildren packing, leaving behind their house in Florida and winding up in a tent outside of Ramos’s faraway hometown.

Alongside Ramos’s story are additional investigations by ProPublica reporter Paul Kiel and his colleagues Olga Pierce and Cora Currier documenting the systematic failures at banks, mortgage servicers, and government watchdogs that have exacerbated the country’s most severe foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression. Drawing from whistleblower testimonies, extensive homeowner databases, and a trove of underlying data, The Great American Foreclosure Story is a comprehensive and unrivaled look at the housing crisis, and its continuing human toll.

Product Details

  • File Size: 683 KB
  • Print Length: 88 pages
  • Publisher: ProPublica (April 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007RQMV5W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,634 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real stories, useful information. April 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The American foreclosure Story by Paul Kiel was a real surprise! This book is small but well worth your time. It is a short history of the foreclosure crisis, but all the important parts are covered. I put off reading it at first because I felt it would be depressing, but it was a story I knew I needed to read to acquaint myself with the facts. In our new world, where neither the banks nor government can be trusted, knowledge is power. In these troubled times; fore warned is fore armed.
What surprised me was this was not a thick tomb that went on endlessly about VICTIMS; these stories were about winners who lost in a rigged game, but never let themselves be crushed by it.
It begins with Sheila Ramos, whose story you will never forget. Her problems start with a car accident and build over several years where she goes from owning her own business and home outright, to living in a tent with her grandchildren, her ancient mother, her partner, David and his aging, retired brother.
This is a woman whose tenacity you can't help but admire and her personality gives this story the spine that keeps it from being just another sorry tale of injustice. The tight writing style cuts to the chase in every instance and if you want more it is loaded with links.
These people all made some mistakes, mainly by letting themselves be taken advantage of by unscrupulous lenders and trusting the system that fleeced them. They tell their stories honestly as a warning to the rest of us about when and where to be careful. Some of the old laws have been changed, too many haven't.
This little book is an excellent guide if you are facing a foreclosure or are just uneasy in a world where your home ownership doesn't feel as secure as it use too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Kiel knocked it out of the park with this one: he not only tells a compelling story about a single borrower, but at the same time zooms out to show how she's entirely representative of much larger problems with the US mortgage system. Those problems haven't been fixed, and you need to understand them before you can think about putting together a solution. Reading this book will give you all the understanding you need. So do it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Great job by Kiel of capturing the mess that is the US housing market via the story of one woman's experience with the system. There have been a lot of pieces on what caused the collapse, but very few on why, exactly, it's been so hard to remedy. That's where this book shines, demonstrating not just how things were broken, but the systemic forces that have kept homeowners, the mortgage industry, and the government from fixing them.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enraging and Enlightening Work from ProPublica April 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Politics aside, this story (and series of associated articles) is an honest and often heartbreaking look at the stark realities faced by millions of homeowners on the front lines of the ongoing mortgage crisis in America. It's an excellent companion piece to books like The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, which largely cover the banking and business aspects of the crisis, but miss the personal stories of homeowners caught in the crossfire.

The central story starts with a generous, resourceful, and (unfortunately) trusting woman who owns her house free and clear and wants to start a business, and ends years later in an easily-preventable (and potentially illegal) foreclosure. The intervening events are a detailed map of the unchecked greed and abject corruption in every sector of the home finance industry that have brought the housing market to a grinding halt. Cases of institutionalized fraud (MERS, Robo-Signing) and the pitiful inadequacy of government relief programs are meticulously documented, but broken up and explained in ways that most readers will find engrossing rather than intimidating.

Author Paul Kiel does a remarkable job of sticking to facts and remaining objective without slipping into the toothless arena of 'false balance' where most of the conventional media permanently resides. While the articles are all available free on the ProPublica site, $.99 seems like a small price to pay to support this kind of meaningful, well-researched journalism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pre-Election Must Read July 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you read Michael Lewis' "The Big Short" and want to understand what happened next in America's financial crisis and how Main Street was impacted, then you should read Paul Kiel's "The Great American Foreclosure Story." Kiel tells the story of Sheila Ramos, an entrepreneur who is spending her retirement living in a tent as a result of a host of complex forces that Kiel neatly but comprehensively explains. Kiel shows how greed and fraud in the mortgage-backed securities industry, bad luck and ill-informed decisions by borrowers, and tumbling housing prices combined to create the foreclosure crisis in America. Most disturbingly, the book also details how the federal government was far less effective in helping homeowners facing foreclosure than it was in bailing out the big banks, automakers, and AIG.

This book engagingly illustrates how different market incentives and various policies led to real problems for real people. Given how central the state of the American economy will be in the upcoming Presidential election, I think this book should be required reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful view of the mortgage crisi
I have long been fascinated to learn more about the massive fraud among the majority of mortgage lenders and the major banks when it came to the housing/mortgage crisis of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kelley Ridings
I try to be fair in all my reviews so I always re-evaluate myself before writing a review in hopes I keep objectivity. Read more
Published 7 months ago by THE AUTISTIC WEREWOLF
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read about the troubles the USofA house owners ...
An interesting read about the troubles the USofA house owners experienced with the threat of foreclosures. The financial world being the lenders had a bit to answer for!
Published 8 months ago by Warwick Dugdale
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A very good read I enjoyed it very much . I will definaty read more books by this author in the future
Published 12 months ago by Kathleen Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars good
From the content, book condition to delivery time, item price, I feel that all as good as or even better than i expected
Published 16 months ago by Jack Chang
5.0 out of 5 stars the great american foreclosed story
great book wonderful to read kept you keen the hole way I would tell my friends about this book just great
Published 17 months ago by christina mc manus
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book on the Subject Matter
When I was reading this, the stories of the people & families really hit home, no pun intended. The first story about the grandmother who was just trying to make ends meet & not... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars I could not believe this could happen in the USA.
It is unbelievable that the USA does not have laws that protect the borrower. Fancy taking out a loan and not knowing whom it's with and who you are dealing with. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Geoffrey Ralph Ontong
5.0 out of 5 stars Very true and enlightening to my own situation.
It was a relief to read what I had been going through with my mortgage company was more or less typical. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Carolyn Jean Watson
Before robosigning was discovered to be rampant, lenders routine lied and schemed to take advantage of people like they did in this well written book. Read more
Published 24 months ago by OBWONdotNET
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