Interview with Ron Faris, Ocwen CEO

We speak with Ocwen CEO Ron Faris about why principal reduction makes business sense and some of the myths that get perpetuated about it.

The Hard Part

Reclaiming REO at a scale that protects neighborhoods will involve a delicate dance between ground game and national reach, and between nonprofit and for-profit capacities.

Tackling the Challenge of Scattered-Site Rentals

Attention is turning to single-family rentals as a way to keep a growing inventory of foreclosed properties occupied in a credit-constrained market. But scattered-site rental has long been considered a very tough nut to crack for nonprofit housing groups. How do those who make it work pull it off?

Banking on Neighborhood Stabilization

Even the most sophisticated private and nonprofit partnerships for dealing with vacant property will end up with some properties that don’t pencil out. Land banks can step in to keep those properties from dragging down revitalization efforts.

Relaxing the Credit Crunch

Three years after the financial meltdown, credit remains elusive in many underserved communities. Although the reliance on credit scores is greater now than it’s been in a decade, many housing activists and community lenders are arguing for other means to evaluate credit risk.

Distressed Mortgages for Sale

Foreclosed properties have been flooding the auction block following the housing crisis. Less visibly, pools of distressed loans are also being sold off—and it’s a market ripe for partnership with neighborhood stabilization actors.

Going Upstream

If a lender won’t or can’t modify, why wait until they foreclose? Some groups are taking matters into their own hands with note purchases or short sale programs.

Changing the Conversation

Stretching across more than 20 U.S. cities, a new consortium called Occupy Our Homes is continuing to organize actions in neighborhoods where evictions, vacant properties, and foreclosures have had damaging effects.

Lisa Owens, executive director of the housing justice organization City Life/Vida Urbana, led an interruption of the YIMBYtown national conference.

City Life and Occupy: A Developing Relationship

This past August, a broad new coalition in Boston formed to plan a massive march against Bank of America and other corporate targets on Sept. 30. A smaller group also began organizing to occupy a vacant foreclosed building and lot on Oct. 1. Both these actions were timed to coincide with the national Right to […]

Recovering from the Recovery

“Happening to a city near you” is the unsettling tag line for Land of Opportunity, a film that takes an intimate look at post-Katrina New Orleans and the interrelated struggles of those navigating it.

Breaking the Bank

On Nov. 5, 2011, Bank of America had just withdrawn their threat to levy a monthly debit card fee, the major lenders were under fire from attorneys general for abusive lending practices, and the Occupy Wall Street protests coupled with an already-existing bank accountability movement had been giving rise to a lot of people who […]

Taking the Long View in Texas

What kind of city does Austin want to be? According to Imagine Austin, a new comprehensive city plan, it could someday be considerably different than the one it has been. Commissioned by the city, Imagine Austin looks at how municipal policy can help address an anticipated 700,000-person spike in population growth over the next 30 […]

Do Foreclosures Make Us Sick?

New research shows a direct correlation between foreclosure and hospitalization, adding another way that foreclosures have a disparate effect on low-income communities and communities of color. The study, Is the Foreclosure Crisis Making Us Sick?, conducted by economists Janet Currie and George Tekin and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in August 2011, […]

QRM’s Downstream Effect

The discussion around how to define a qualified residential mortgage (QRM) has dragged on for over a year now, with no end in sight. But advocates haven’t let it go, and are continuing to raise the volume on their concerns about the proposed definition’s negative long-term, downstream effects on the housing market. The Dodd-Frank Act […]

Occupy Makes Space for Community Advocates

By smashing the wall of media silence about America’s wealth and income divide, the Occupy movement has opened a dramatically new terrain for organizations campaigning for economic and social justice. Take the federal budget as an example. A year ago, in the face of draconian housing budget cuts by the Tea Party-led House of Representatives, […]