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Report Tracks How the Foreclosure Crisis "Spilled Over" in Neighborhoods

December 26, 2012

BOISE, Idaho - A household finance check-up from the Center for Responsible Lending finds that the housing market is recovering, and families aren't carrying as much debt as they did in recent years. But the effects of the housing crisis are lingering, and CRL senior researcher Sonia Garrison says there's a "ripple effect" that has led to significant home-value declines for nearly 350,000 Idaho properties.

"Unfortunately, foreclosure costs extend beyond the individual families losing their homes. Foreclosures decrease the values of surrounding properties, causing losses of wealth for neighboring families."

The report also found that the average middle-class family has about $100 left over each month after covering the bills; that wages are down; and the types of debts have changed over the past decade, with student loans becoming more common, and larger.

About that $100 left at the end of the month, Garrison offers this perspective.

"It's not nearly enough to cover a medical or other emergency, to save for a down payment for a home or auto purchase, or to contribute adequately to college or retirement savings."

The report claims that regulations on mortgages and credit-card practices have helped curb predatory lending, but that the auto loan industry and student loans still need regulation to protect consumers.

The full report, "The State of Lending in America and Its Impact on U.S. Households," is at

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID