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.
The housing finance system -- as well as other national housing policies -- needs to serve a country where local home prices in some markets are 10 times as high as in others, and where local and state laws affect how much new construction is allowed, how long foreclosures take, and more.
Instead of expanding homeownership opportunities, the Johnson-Crapo proposal tells working and middle-class families that homeownership will be reserved for the fortunate few. That is simply wrong, and we can do better.
So, what does a family do when their lender denies a loan modification and instead insists on foreclosure? File bankruptcy. What happens a few months later when the lender has court permission to reschedule the foreclosure sale? The homeowner files bankruptcy again.
A beautiful actress, model and single mother of three sons, Angela had been making ends meet with odd jobs. When the mortgage payment on her Teaneck, N.J., house was due, she used her grandmother's recipe for a cake filled with Red Delicious and Gala apples iced with cream cheese frosting to raise the funds.
I worked for 30 years as a cardiologist in Richmond, and I have always seen the city's problems through the health lens. What can a focus on health teach us about Richmond's foreclosure crisis? What is the impact on the health of families and neighborhoods?
When foreclosure actions due to predatory lending are fought from a Civil Rights perspective, the rights and interests of the homeowner who was wronged becomes the focus. It's about fairness and an even playing field. That's all anyone ever wanted.
The news of the eye-popping $13.5 billion settlement between the Justice Department and other government entities was followed by the announcement that part of that settlement would be with the Federal Housing Finance Agency for roughly $5 billion alone.
Bank of America specialized in making mortgages with terms that the loan officers and executives like Mairone knew the borrowers could not possibly service. Fraud was the business model. Foreclosure was the expected result.
Social scientists now grapple with documenting the effects of the crisis on children facing housing instability. Some effects of the crisis are relatively easy to identify: foreclosures often force residential and school moves, displacing children from established community and peer networks.
There may be protections in place for California homeowners, but for millions, the housing crisis is still happening. This is especially true for Latino households, which account for a substantial percentage of the foreclosures in the state.
The post-financial crisis reality is that the dream of owning a home has ended for too many Americans. Looking ahead, it is unfortunate that much of the same flawed thinking that led to the subprime mortgage crisis is now re-occurring.
Sherry's story follows an all too familiar trajectory and one that any homeowner who's had the misfortune of dealing with nobody's-favorite-mortgage-company, Countrywide Financial, can relate to.