It's one of those questions that seems pulled from a final exam at the Harvard Business School but if you're a homeowner caught in the foreclosure wringer it's something worth thinking about.
The legacy of the housing crisis remains firmly in place - largely undiscussed but still potent, hidden deep beneath the surface of contemporary politics. It is a legacy that falls most heavily on the young. Five features of that legacy are particularly relevant now.
As President Obama prepares to deliver his final State of the Union address on January 12, it's difficult to remember how incredibly bad the economy was when he took office seven years ago and how important financial reform is to getting the economy working again for all Americans.
Lenders started foreclosure against 53,514 homeowners in March, according to RealtyTrac, an increase of 11 percent from February. That brought to 152,147 the number of US homes that started down the bumpy road to foreclosure in the first quarter of 2015.
Even with the recent years' increases in home values, employment and economic stability, a large number of homeowners still face the loss of their homes in the near future.
We need to focus on keeping families in their homes, providing children stability, and restoring trust and respect between families and banks, law enforcement, and our government. "Hands Up. Don't Foreclose."
It's now widely known that the foreclosure crisis and the resulting recession have been devastating to homeowners and neighborhoods across New York State. Sadly, the foreclosure crisis has also generated a second wave of hardship for homeowners: foreclosure rescue fraud.
Recently released mortgage disclosure data findings indicate that a majority of future U.S. households could face significant challenges in achieving homeownership.
Amid all the recent reporting about income inequality in America, one fact has remained remarkably well hidden: Washington, D.C. has a higher level of inequality than any of the 50 states.
Get used to hearing the title The Imitation Game because, between the filmmaking of Morten Tyldum and the acting of Benedict Cumberbatch, this is the film they'll be talking about at the end of the year.
Released in July 2014, FHFA Brief 14-02, '"First Time Homebuyer Share and House Price Growth", arrives at a statistically supported conclusion that is at the very least predictable, if not painfully obvious.
I doubt many American know anything about this group composed mainly of business and real estate lawyers and now engaged in drafting something called the Home Foreclosure Procedures Act.
The housing crisis is now concentrated in many of America's more modest communities, where payday lenders, "no credit needed" used car dealers and Rent-A-Centers dot the main thoroughfares.
Statistics don't reveal the faces behind the numbers. While trillions were lost in housing values the human cost, measured in lost dreams, dislocation, divorce, depression, suicide, addiction, is incalculable.
From the Bronx to Buffalo, cities and towns in New York have been plagued by what are commonly called zombie properties. These are homes that residents abandon -- often after they have received a foreclosure notice -- which then languish, uncared-for, until the foreclosure process is complete.