Introduction and Summary of the Series Introduction and Summary of the Series

June 30, 2020

The author, a former Boston Fed visiting scholar, introduces and summarizes the issue brief series on HUD/FHA-insured properties in end-stage default and foreclosure, as well as key findings.

With the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic increasing the risk of home foreclosures, now is a good time to explore HUD/FHA policies and other options for preventing that outcome. A better understanding of the problems and how well HUD/FHA and other options are serving the public interest could lead to greater protections and relief for borrowers in serious mortgage default, thereby helping to stabilize families and neighborhoods in these particularly challenging times.

This first brief summarizes the following four briefs in this series, each of which explores different aspects of HUD’s operations concerning FHA-insured mortgages that are close to foreclosure (end-stage default) and in the foreclosure process. While the context is national, there is a particular focus on experiences in Massachusetts. The series presents the historical context for this inquiry; explores a major strategy that HUD has utilized to deal with loans in end-stage default; examines how foreclosures impact people, neighborhoods, and municipalities; studies three of HUD/FHA’s guidelines and policies concerning end-stage mortgage default; and concludes with a number of strategies for better assisting this group of homeowners, as well as tenants of foreclosed properties.

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