The story of how one woman went from a three-bedroom home to a tent is the story of how America ended up in a foreclosure crisis that still drags down the economy. More »
Bank of America and federal regulators say the Independent Foreclosure Review is just that — independent. But documents and interviews indicate it's not. More »
The Obama administration trumpeted its flagship program to prevent foreclosures, known as HAMP. But it provided shockingly ineffective oversight. More »
Mortgage servicers regularly make errors and break the government’s loan modification rules, including giving no reasons for a loan’s rejection, homeowners report to ProPublica. More »
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Former Bank of America employees gave sworn statements that the bank lied to homeowners, denied loan modifications for bogus reasons and rewarded employees for sending homeowners to foreclosure.
Bank regulators finally announced the details of a settlement with the biggest banks over foreclosure abuses. Most borrowers will receive $500 or less. And the details are confusing.
Banking regulators admitted the Independent Foreclosure Review was a big expensive mess and shut it down. But many details about the $8.5 billion settlement that replaces it remain murky.
A look at the government's response as the foreclosure crisis enters its seventh year.
The Independent Foreclosure Review, the government's main effort to compensate homeowners for harm by banks, is supposed to be independent from the banks. But in Bank of America's case, it wasn't.
A former Countrywide and Bank of America executive named by Justice Department lawyers as facilitating a scheme to defraud Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now heads JPMorgan Chase's involvement in the Independent Foreclosure Review.
The Obama administration trumpeted its flagship program to prevent foreclosures, known as HAMP. But it provided shockingly ineffective oversight.
Nearly eight months after a $25 billion foreclosure settlement was announced, Florida is one of the only states yet to decide what to do with its funds.
We contacted every state to see how they are spending the money they received from the foreclosure settlement. Here’s the most comprehensive breakdown available anywhere.
Evidence emerges that the largest banks might be influencing the determination of who was victimized by their own practices.
Bank of America and federal regulators say the Independent Foreclosure Review is just that — independent. But documents and interviews indicate it's not.
A study by government and academic researchers finds that approximately 800,000 homeowners missed out on mortgage modifications because of big banks' poor performance.
Last month, the government released information on the compensation victims of the banks’ foreclosure practices might receive. For homeowners, it turns out that it’s crucially important just how the bank messed up.
The government promises that harmed homeowners will get compensated —but its programs are confusing. We help navigate them.
Under the foreclosure settlement with big banks, states got $2.5 billion to help homeowners. But a comprehensive, state-by-state breakdown shows that almost a billion is going to general use.
Reporter Paul Kiel answered your questions on the foreclosure crisis on Reddit.
Housing advocates allege that Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank violated the Fair Housing Act by taking better care of foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods than in black and Latino neighborhoods.
An employee at a mortgage servicer that was owned by Goldman describes the internal chaos that harmed thousands of homeowners and undermined the government's flagship foreclosure prevention program.
Six million American homeowners are facing foreclosure. Tomorrow, reporter Paul Kiel will field your questions about this mess.
The story of how one woman went from a three-bedroom home to a tent is the story of how America ended up in a foreclosure crisis that still drags down the economy.
Looking to get a handle on the foreclosure crisis, the loan modification fiasco, and the robo-signing scandal? We put it all in a music video.
A new report says borrowers who want to refinance mortgages under the government’s expanded Home Affordable Refinancing Program, or HARP, may not be getting the lowest rates because there’s little incentive for big banks to compete for business.
How much will homeowners be helped by the settlement? We do the numbers.
Whistleblower suits settled as part of the government's $25 billion settlement offer a glimpse at the kinds of behavior that ran rampant in big banks' mortgage operations.
Our guide to how the candidates say they would approach the housing crisis — when they speak about it at all.
If Congress doesn't renew a key 2007 law, people who get a principal reduction on their mortgages or short-sell their homes could be forced to pay taxes on their "gain."
Our roundup of standout reporting on the foreclosure mess.
A lawsuit, which Citibank just settled for $158 million, reveals how the bank pushed risky loans o to the government's books.
Will anything come of the Obama administration’s plan for homeowners?
Yesterday's mortgage settlement aims to avoid the pitfalls of the administration's floundering foreclosure program, but enforcement is again a question.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's opposition to principal reductions on mortgages means about half of homeowners in the U.S. couldn't qualify for the most significant help from banks' settlement today with states.
Pundits argue that when homeowners owe more on their house than it's worth, they find it hard to move to find jobs. One economist challenges the very foundation of their claim.
If last year was the year in which faulty foreclosures and bank errors became a full-blown scandal, this has been the year of waiting for something to be done about it.
The Independent Foreclosure Review seeks to compensate homeowners victimized by big banks, but key elements remain undecided, unclear or secret, while lawmakers and homeowner advocates have criticized some of the known features.
Regulators have provided a bare-bones website and frequently asked questions about the foreclosure reviews. But we thought things could be even clearer for readers, so we are providing this FAQ.
Federal Housing Finance Agency chief Edward DeMarco had blocked earlier efforts to help struggling homeowners, but now he’s signed onto a major change to encourage banks to refinance underwater mortgages.
The Obama administration's efforts to address the foreclosure crisis have resulted in struggling programs, recycled ideas and little chance of significant improvement.
Documents obtained by ProPublica suggest the government coddled mortgage servicers in its flagship foreclosure prevention program despite frequent and serious errors.
Obama wants to help hurting homeowners refinance into cheaper loans, but that hasn’t gone well so far, and efforts to fix it might be stymied.
By vastly expanding its suit against Bank of America to include all major stages of the bank's mortgage practices, Nevada signals that the banks' mortgage troubles will likely continue to dog them.
An estimated $30 billion from the bailout that was slated to help homeowners is likely to be used to pay down the debt.
An internal document obtained by ProPublica shows that when one of the nation's largest mortgage servicers sought to foreclose on a homeowner last year and lacked a crucial document, they just made one up.
As she steps down, regulator Sheila Bair criticizes the industry's warped incentives, "disdain for borrowers" and the Treasury's prioritization of banks over homeowners.
Banks continue to blindside homeowners by foreclosing when the homeowners are still awaiting word on their application for a mortgage modification.
After two years of arguing that it had little power to punish banks for breaking the rules of its mortgage modification program, the administration has decided it’s finally time to crack down. But the punishment won’t do much damage to banks that count their profits in the billions.
Many homeowners have received a mortgage modification only to find themselves once again at risk of foreclosure because of errors by their mortgage company. ProPublica investigated six of these cases.
Many homeowners have been granted a hard-fought mortgage modification only to have their mortgage company effectively pull a bait and switch.
Some banks and others who handle mortgages have been forcing homeowners into a corner: You want a chance at saving your home? Then you’ll have to waive your right to sue.
As regulators launch an unprecedented plan to compensate victims of wrongful foreclosures, ProPublica will be watching closely.
The recent budget deal struck between Republicans and Democrats would slash funding for housing counseling, a move that advocates say would force counseling agencies to lay off staff amid the foreclosure crisis.
OneWest is postponing the foreclosure of a homeowner we reported on yesterday.
The suit is a window into a broken system where even though the actual investors, when asked, say they want to allow mortgage modifications, the bank that acts as their representative has refused to allow them.
Banking regulators have launched a process for banks to compensate homeowners who faced wrongful foreclosures in 2009 and 2010. Please help us report on this by sharing your experiences with our reporter, Paul Kiel.
Hosts of federal agencies and regulators, along with the 50 state attorneys general, are hard at work on laying out new rules for banks and mortgage servicers. But attempts to reform this process have failed before. Will banks abusing the system be held accountable?
We compiled the most compelling data we could find to show how the mortgage industry and the government's main effort, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), have failed homeowners.
The Obama administration’s flagship foreclosure prevention program has gambled on the willingness and ability of a troubled industry to help homeowners.
Federal regulators say they're going to crack down after finding "critical deficiencies" with how banks and mortgage servicers have been handling struggling homeowners. But it's an open question just what form a punishment will take.
Some Democrats now say Obama's administration actually undermined real change in bankruptcy laws to help foundering homeowners.
The Obama administration’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention program known as HAMP has been weakened, perhaps fatally, by a posture of cooperation—rather than enforcement—with the nation’s biggest banks.
We check back with some of the homeowners seeking loan mods who we’ve profiled over the past year.
In a scandal that's ballooned in scope since the initial discovery of robo-signers, we review the status of investigations into foreclosure fraud, how courts are handling the mess and what solutions are on the horizon.
A look at one case that shows common indicators of fraud and the challenges of fighting it.
Data show that modifications are just as rare as they were before the government’s mortgage program launched 19 months ago.
New York is requiring banks to sit down with homeowners before foreclosing. And it’s slowly starting to pay off.
A state attorney general, a legal services attorney and a law professor shared with lawmakers possible solutions for easing the foreclosure crisis.
Bank of America’s top mortgage official plans to testify today that investors are stopping the bank from making more loan mods. It’s not true.
Data obtained by ProPublica show how much has gone to each mortgage servicer in the government’s foreclosure prevention program.
Banks’ own modifications typically reduce monthly payments by half as much as those made in the government program, making homeowners twice as likely to fall behind again after a modification.
The U.S. government's effort to help struggling homeowners from defaulting on their mortgages is approaching a standstill, and the number of homeowners in ongoing mortgage modifications could start shrinking.
New numbers show the administration’s mortgage modification program (HAMP) continues to struggle, while government officials say the banks’ flawed foreclosure practices should draw even more attention to their poor record in the handling of homeowners seeking modifications.
In depositions both old and new, employees at servicers, foreclosure-mill law firms, and other players describe how they processed foreclosures. Read it in their words.
The investors who own mortgages are starting to threaten legal action over the way banks and mortgage servicers operate.
Robo-signing’s just small component of a larger mess made by servicers, according to consumer advocates and attorneys for homeowners. One expert explains how the process should’ve looked.
The government's mortgage modification is on pace to fall short of even the administration's vague goals, while details on why homeowners are being disqualified from the program raise questions.
Homeowners dealing with the load modification process offer some tips to make sure others can succeed.
Permanent loan modifications can save homeowners from foreclosure, but for some, the help does not go far enough.
Extended trial periods delay answers and cause problems for homeowners looking for mortgage modifications.
Wells Fargo has finally given a loan modification to a long-frustrated homeowner who had feared foreclosure.
A Baltimore homeowner tells why he walked away from his home rather than continue to deal with the loan modification program.
Homeowners still have long, costly waits in the federal foreclosure-prevention program.
Homeowners rejected for mortgage modifications tell of errors by their loan servicers.
Mortgage servicers regularly break the government's loan modification rules, homeowners report to ProPublica.
Many who are facing foreclosure say that paperwork errors and other problems are bogging down mortgage modifications.
Homeowners are trying to avoid foreclosure, and journalists want to tell their stories.
The government's latest, promising numbers on its mortgage modification program turn out to be wrong.
New York State has new laws to do what Washington hasn't: hold mortgage companies accountable for their treatment of homeowners seeking modifications.
Our guide on how to investigate the investors' contract that governs your mortgage.
Homeowners who are refused mortgage modifications are sometimes given a reason that is false.
The formula for testing homeowners’ eligibility for a mortgage modification will not be a secret anymore.
Loan servicers in the federal mortgage modification program continue to have large backlogs, but the administration has failed to respond with any penalties.
What's it like to try to get a mortgage modification? We want to paint as complete a picture as possible of what the experience has been like for homeowners like you.
Many housing counselors in California are seeing clients lose their homes while pursuing mortgage modifications.
Saxon Mortgage has the largest proportion of homeowners caught in modification limbo, yet has not been subject to any government penalties.
Chase has the most homeowners who have spent more than six months in a trial mortgage modification.
Many who have started in the government's mortgage modification program have been in trials longer than six months.
Some homeowners in loan modification trials are discovering that, if they’re booted out, they owe more than if they hadn’t been in a trial to start with.
The U.S. has spent only $242 million of its pledged $75 billion for foreclosure prevention.
Legislation would create a federal "homeowner advocate" office to assist in loan modifications.
Some people have lost their homes even while going through the mortgage modification process.
The Treasury secretary acknowledges problems with mortgage servicers, but offers no new solutions.
ProPublica has matched 140 journalists with area homeowners who are trying to have their mortgages modified.
The government reports a big increase in the number of homeowners who are denied loan modifications.
About 100 journalists have signed up to partner with a home loan mod customer, and more than half already have matches.
ProPublica is offering to introduce local journalists to struggling homeowners who are trying to get mortgage modifications.
The number of expected loan modifications in the government's foreclosure prevention program isn't as high as earlier figures s
A new resource page on the government’s loan modification program puts all of our reporting in one place. The program still has
Some homeowners have waited nearly 10 months to learn whether their mortgage modifications will be permanent.
Mortgage services have been allowed to let trial modifications linger without penalties, but that will end soon.
Chase Home Finance has rejected some mortgage modifications because it considered the owners' hardships to be temporary.
New Treasury data show that 66,465 homeowners had received permanent loan modifications as of Dec. 31, a significant increase fr
Homeowners have presented more cases where their loan modifications were denied, or their trials extended, and the reasons they
The troubles of a Florida homeowner show how the loan modification program isn’t working as it should for people who are struggl
Mortgage servicers, who say borrowers have not been submitting needed documents, have their own paperwork problems.
The oversight of loan servicers will increase, but the "or else" still isn't specified.
New guidelines will require loan servicers to give details about why modifications are denied, but some information can still re
The Treasury and consumer advocates are complaining about Freddie Mac's performance in auditing loan servicers.
Half a million homeowners have begun trial mortgage modifications, but that doesn't mean they have all dodged foreclosure.
Many people are being denied for the federal mortgage modification program, and some are going public with their complaints.
A "foreclosure rescue" company unfazed by court injunctions is now the target of an FBI investigation.
Unscrupulous companies promising to arrange mortgage modifications have dodged efforts by law enforcement agencies to shut them
Mortgage servicers aren't required to disclose the formula they use to decide who qualifies for the federal modification progra
About 360,000 borrowers have begun the trial period of the mortgage modification program.
The federal program to modify home loans is paying companies that helped bring on the foreclosure crisis in the first place.
The government has criticized some mortgage servicers for moving too slowly on the Making Home Affordable program. A California
Complaints about loan servicers have soared in recent years, and bankruptcy cases are exposing the breadth of the problems.
Many loan servicers in the Making Home Affordable program have records of unfair business practices, a report says.
The administration, trying to quicken the pace of loan modifications, releases information that shows which servicers are laggin
Because of late fees, delinquent borrowers are good for the loan servicers, a report suggests.
The Treasury Department and loan servicers set a goal of 500,000 modifications by November.
Some believe that loan servicers are overwhelmed by the modification effort, but others think they are just not interested.
CIT Group got $2.3 billion in government aid, but with its viability in question, the FDIC is reluctant to give it more.
The Obama administration has proposed a powerful new consumer protection agency, and banks are fighting to have it scaled back.
Confusion, frustration and delays mark the government's initiative to have home loans modified.
The administration may need to tweak its foreclosure-prevention plan to address rising unemployment.
As the number of foreclosures rises, banks are struggling to keep up with demands for mortgage breaks.
More than $13 billion has been committed so far in Making Home Affordable, Obama's program to avoid foreclosures.
If you’ve worked for a servicer or on the Independent Foreclosure Review, contact our lead reporter.
- The State of HAMP
See the performance of all the mortgage servicers.
- Making Home Affordable.gov
The administration’s web site for the foreclosure prevention program. Provides an FAQ, homeowner examples, and other tools to see whether you might qualify for the program.
- Foreclosure Avoidance Counselors
A list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies nationwide.
- FTC Tips for Mortgage Servicing Consumers
Tips for homeowners from the Federal Trade Commission.
- Program Guidelines for Mortgage Servicers
These rules lay out how mortgage servicers are supposed to conduct the program.
- Calculated Risk
A finance and economics blog that provides news and metrics on the state of the housing market.