The foreclosure crisis resulted in devastating losses in homeownership and wealth in communities of color, due in large part to the fact that African-American and Latino borrowers were far more likely to be steered into sub-prime mortgages. NFHA’s public policy, advocacy, and enforcement efforts have focused intensively on addressing the needs of these communities as our nation’s housing market recovers.
Real Estate Owned (REO) Properties
Although foreclosure rates have fallen nationwide, recent estimates are that foreclosures still affect 1 in 96 households in the U.S. and that another three million troubled loans will likely reach the foreclosure pipeline this year. These bank-owned foreclosures, also known as real estate owned or REO properties, can remain vacant for months or years before being sold and can create blight and other negative outcomes when not maintained responsibly.
NFHA has issued several reports outlining this key fair housing issue, which can be accessed below:
- 2014 REO Report: “Zipcode Inequality“
- 2012 REO Report: “The Banks are Back, Our Neighborhoods are Not“
- 2011 REO Report: “Here Comes the Bank, There Goes Our Neighborhood“
NFHA has also filed a number of complaints with HUD and lawsuits on the issue. To read more information about our most recent lawsuit, against Fannie Mae, click here.
NFHA’s REO complaint against Wells Fargo resulted in an conciliation agreement with Wells Fargo bank which allowed NFHA and 13 partnering fair housing centers were able to invest $27 million in predominantly African American and Latino communities. To learn more about how fair housing groups have reinvested community relief funds in to neighborhoods across the country, see our report: Investing in Inclusive Communities: How Fair Housing Organizations Foster Diverse and Stable Neighborhoods Using the Federal Fair Housing Act.