The very inside story of the colossal mortgage foreclosure fraud scheme of the Oughts in Florida and all around the country, through the eyes of three victims, ordinary mortagers who were illegally foreclosed upon and who became activists in the cause of exposing said fraud. If you ever want to trust a financial institution again don’t read this book. If you ever want to trust the government again don’t read this book. If you want to confirm all of your deepest suspicions, have at it. Dayen says that the best estimate of how many people lost their homes (the Obama administration didn’t keep records because they didn’t want anyone to know how bad it was) is six million. Six million families dispossessed of shelter and their most valuable asset and, as a friend pointed out, their credit. I repeat, that six million is just an estimate, and many if not most of those foreclosures were fraudulent. And no bankers went to jail, not one. The 2016 election doesn’t look quite so far out of left field now, does it?
I leave you with a paragraph from the book’s conclusion.
…what Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak learned, through triumphs and stumbles, is that this democratic ideal of grassroots action doesn’t work the way it’s described in history textbooks or Frank Capra narratives. At least, it doesn’t work when you go up against banks, even if you have the truth on your side. “I believed there would be a resolution for everybody,” Lisa told Michael and me at a recent dinner. “I don’t believe it anymore.”
And on that cheery note, adieu. Recommended, though. Know your enemy. Me, I’m thinking seriously about checking the title on my house. Even though I paid it off four years ago, this book proves that doesn’t necessarily matter, to a bank or to Washington.
All my Goodreads reviews here.