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The American Mortgage System
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The American Mortgage System
Crisis and Reform

Edited by Susan M. Wachter and Marvin M. Smith

400 pages | 6 x 9 | 48 illus.
Paper 2014 | ISBN 9780812223279 | $32.50s | Outside the Americas £24.99
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series City in the Twenty-First Century
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"The American Mortgage System is an important volume of research and critical writing on the U.S. mortgage crisis and on the future of the U.S. mortgage system. It should be on the bookshelf of those who work in this arena and those who want to understand these issues better."—Journal of Urban Affairs

"Susan Wachter and Marvin M. Smith's book is a welcome addition to the expanding literature on the foreclosure crisis. This edited volume's lineup of well-respected scholars and analysts provides insights into the damaging practices of the industry and offers suggestions for reforming and reorganizing the American mortgage and financial system."—Journal of the American Planning Association

Successful home ownership requires the availability of appropriate mortgage products. In the years leading up to the collapse of the housing market, home buyers frequently accepted mortgages that were not only wrong for them but catastrophic for the economy as a whole. When the housing market bubble burst, so did a cornerstone of the American dream for many families. Restoring the promise of this dream requires an unflinching inspection of lending institutions and the right tools to repair the structures that support solid home purchases. The American Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform focuses on the causes of the housing market collapse and proposes solutions to prevent another rash of foreclosures.

Edited by two leaders in the field of real estate and finance, Susan M. Wachter and Marvin M. Smith, The American Mortgage System examines key elements of the mortgage meltdown. The volume's contributors address the influence of the Community Reinvestment Act, which is often blamed for the crisis. They uncover how the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac invested outside the housing market with disastrous results. They present surprising information about low-income borrowers and the strengths of local banks. This collection of thoughtful studies includes extensive analysis of loan practices and the creation of unstable mortgage securities, presenting data largely unavailable until now. More than a critique, The American Mortgage System offers solutions to the problems facing the future of American home ownership, including identifying asset price bubbles, calculating risk, and preventing discrimination in lending.

Measured yet timely and by turns provocative, The American Mortgage System provides a careful assessment of a troubled but indispensable part of the economic and social structure of the United States. This book is a sound investment for economists, urban planners, and all who shape public policy.

Susan M. Wachter is the Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance, The Wharton School; Professor of City and Regional Planning, School of Design; and Co-Director, Penn Institute for Urban Research, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Marvin M. Smith is an economist and Community Development Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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