Letter from the Editor Letter from the Editor

November 28, 2012

Foreclosure casts a long shadow over the lives of individuals, families, and communities. That's a concern not only for the Federal Reserve departments focusing on the economic strength of lower-income communities, but for regulators.

Indeed, as a result of irregularities that regulators found in the mortgage- foreclosure process in 2009 and 2010, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency initiated an agreement with lenders to compensate homeowners found to have been financially harmed by lender error in 2009 or 2010 foreclosure actions. An independent reviewer will determine eligibility. Tell people you know to apply at https://independentforeclosurereview.com by December 31, 2012.

Three angles on the topic of foreclosure are featured in the winter issue of Communities & Banking: one by Nellie Gorbea of HousingWorks Rhode Island, a second by Chris Hannifan on what foreclosure has done to the rental market, and a third by Emily Anderson on the increased risk of homelessness in Connecticut.

And as you know, we routinely address an array of topics in economic and community development. This time we highlight how a small business in Vermont financed an expansion, what immigrants are contributing to Maine's economy, why role playing can get competing stakeholders to "yes," where you can turn if you are convicted but innocent, and how the arts are benefiting a postindustrial city.

The Boston Fed's Kristin Kanders, a former editor of Communities & Banking, introduces the concept of social impact bonds that pay only for success. Elizabeth Glynn of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation describes assistance to owners of multifamily properties who want to retrofit buildings for energy savings. MIT Sloan's Juanjuan Zhang explains her crowdfunding research and why many Prosper.com lenders have followed the "herd" to success.

Check out the data that went into Kaili Mauricio's map at http://www. bostonfed.org/commdev/c&b-and also a video about the Vermont small business, in which photogenic barnyard animals make cameo appearances.

Let me know what you think,
Caroline Ellis
Managing Editor

Articles may be reprinted if Communities , Banking and the author are credited and the following disclaimer is used: "The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston or the Federal Reserve System. Information about organizations and upcoming events is strictly informational and not an endorsement."

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