Section 1517 of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-289) mandated preliminary and final reports to Congress on the root causes of the foreclosure crisis. This final report responds to that mandate by analyzing data and trends in the residential housing market and reviewing the academic literature and industry press on the root causes of the current foreclosure crisis. The report also provides a review of policy responses and recommended actions to mitigate the crisis and help prevent similar crises from occurring in the future.
As we move forward, better understanding of the root causes of this crisis will support informed choices among the many policy options available to address the laws and institutions that will govern the origination of residential mortgages in the future. As we have seen from the current crisis, successful outcomes from these policy debates are critical to the health of the overall economy and to the well-being of American families.