Partners (Number 3, 2008)

Community Response to the Foreclosure Crisis: Thoughts on Local Interventions

In the wake of the ongoing national mortgage crisis, preventing foreclosures and facilitating recovery from the damage they cause have presented challenges for community developers, policymakers, and a wide range of other actors in cities and metropolitan areas. While many of these players have, to various extents, developed policies and solutions to address these issues, the myriad responses and their merits and weaknesses may provide useful insight for others attempting to develop or hone their foreclosure recovery strategy. "Community Response to the Foreclosure Crisis: Thoughts on Local Interventions" examines these players and their responses to today's foreclosure challenge.

Introducing the New Discussion Paper Series

"Community Response to the Foreclosure Crisis" is the first publication of the new Community Affairs Discussion Paper Series at the Atlanta Fed. The series will address emerging and critical issues in community development. Our goal is to provide information about topics that will be useful to the many individuals and groups involved in community development—governments, nonprofits, financial institutions and beneficiaries.

The December 2008 Discussion Paper will examine the accumulation of lender-owned homes, often called REO or Real Estate Owned properties, in metropolitan areas across the country.

To access the Discussion Paper Series visit

Mortgage regulation and foreclosure laws are generally the domain of federal and/or state government, yet local governments and organizations have also responded to rising foreclosures in various ways. Sometimes this has meant forming coalitions to change state laws, or banding together with groups in other parts of the country to advocate for a federal policy response. At the same time, however, local governments, nonprofits and even some local banks have not been able to rely solely upon their ability to effect higher-level policy change. Rather, their responses have also included direct, local action, often in collaboration with other groups.

"Community Response to the Foreclosure Crisis" analyzes the range of responses to the foreclosure crisis. It provides a scheme for thinking about local responses to the crisis and the actors and organizations involved. Visit to access the paper.

About the author
"Community Response to the Foreclosure Crisis" was written by Dan Immergluck, a visiting scholar in Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and an associate professor of City and Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to his work on foreclosures and mortgage markets, Immergluck conducts research on housing markets, fair lending, community development finance, neighborhood change and segregation, and related public policies.

Immergluck publishes regularly in scholarly journals and has testified before Congress, the Federal Reserve Board, and state and local legislatures. His work has been widely cited in research related to the foreclosure and mortgage crisis, and he has been quoted or cited in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, USA Today, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press, and many others.