Read about my experience researching the foreclosure crisis in the Sacramento Valley and how this research connects to my work in Cuba in this interview in Cultural Anthropologist.
Government sponsored foreclosure prevention efforts, like Making Home Affordable, work with lenders to offer underwater homeowners reduced interest rates, principal adjustments, and lower monthly payments. While these programs are improving over time, millions of Americans have been rejected or failed to qualify for assistance. Homeowners I’ve interviewed often describe these efforts as too little too late.
In an interview with Laurita, an undocumented laborer who speaks little English and lost her home to foreclosure, she explains how she and her husband turned over their savings to a loan modification scam. “We trusted her,” Laurita told me, “she spoke our language and promised that we wouldn’t lose our home.” Over half of my respondents have been victims of loan modification scams, which are often not pursued by law enforcement.