2010, the Year of Foreclosure

BY Paul Solman  December 24, 2010 at 4:30 PM EDT


Of the two dozen “Words of the Year” cited by the New York Times the other day, two of them — “robo-signer” and “put-back” — were spawned by the foreclosure crisis. (See this link for the Gray Lady’s definitions.) One could, in fairness, describe 2010 economically as the “Year of Foreclosure,” a phenomenon we’ve been covering since 2009.

The end of the year seemed a good time to look back at the crisis and its breadth, from Hoover to Obama; Bedford-Stuyvesant to Boston; the Bank of America operation in Simi Valley, Calif., to the dean of the bankruptcy bar in Shelby, N.C.; the Brooklyn judge who first doubted the paperwork to the Foreclosures-R-Us tour in Cape Coral, Fla.

You’ll see a second look at several of our Making Sense pieces on the crisis during the week of Dec. 27 on the NewsHour.

One overall comment: I’ve never, in all my decades of economic reporting, interviewed so many frustrated people — often frustrated to the point of tears. Few saw the housing crash coming. Almost no one was prepared for its consequences. And it may not be over yet.

*For the record, Bank of America is a NewsHour underwriter.