Initially experts predicted two million Americans would lose their homes to foreclosure. The number quickly roseto more than two hundred thousand a month. Collectively, American homes lost over 13 trillion dollars.. Million were"upside-down." Americans had grown accustomed to spending eight hundred billion dollars a year more than they earned. As many as one in every ten may never fully recover from the wrath of what wasfinally been acknowledged as a financial crisis of historic proportions that is redrawing America's socio-economic boundaries. Worse yet, the crisis spread. Bernie Madoff, Marc Drier, even the wealthiest and presumably smartest among us werenot immune. In fact, foreclosure, credit default and unprecedented financial loss have came to define the new American cultural reality, replacing the American Dream of homeownership as a way of life."

A Chronicle of the Subprime Mortgage Debacle

Foreclosure Nation speaks to readers in terms we can all easily understand, making complex subject matter both intelligible and riveting. No sugar coating, no scholarly hypotheses, no incomprehensible legalese … Olefson offers straight talk and simplified explanations of what banking, Wall Street and our government did to create this mess. But beyond that, she presents practical solutions readers can apply in real life to save their home, credit rating, and retirement portfolio.

Shari Olefson is uniquely qualified to explain: A) How America became a "foreclosure nation," and B) How we are going to extricate ourselves from this credit quagmire. She's seen the lending, real estate and business markets in action from down in the trenches for the past 20 years, representing commercial and residential real estate buyers and sellers, mortgage brokers and banks, and real estate developers and businesses. In fact, over the years Olefson herself has owned and managed a successful real estate brokerage, mortgage company and title insurance agency. And she's been teaching real estate and financial concepts to lay people for just as long. She understands the credit crunch from the perspective of hardworking borrowers and investors victimized by unscrupulous brokers. But she's also sensitive to the dilemma of once-successful developers now losing everything, as well as dedicated lenders grappling with record defaults and legal challenges in an illiquid market. She even incorporates real-life interviews with each, giving readers eye-opening first-hand insights.

Tough Questions; Honest Answers; Step-by Step Courses of Action

When was the dye cast that would eventually give rise to the most catastrophic global economic crisis since the Great Depression? Who is responsible? What can be done? And where do we go from here? Shari Olefson lays it all out in a primer that is destined to become the bible of consumers seeking practical guidance on how to:

  • Decide when and how to modify or refinance a mortgage.
  • Take proactive steps when mortgage payments become overwhelming.
  • Protect the home when foreclosure appears imminent.
  • Understand how to proceed if already in foreclosure.
  • Create solutions for navigating the credit crunch.
  • Capitalize on emerging opportunities and avoid the scams.
  • Prepare for coming change in an uncertain financial future.
  • Know when to buy or sell.
  • Predict what property will be worth when this is finally over.

Devoting almost two years to the authorship of Foreclosure Nation, Olefson's mission was to expose and demystify the events that ultimately caused the U.S. real estate bubble to burst in 2005-2006, thereby ushering in the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. In manageable, bite-sized sections, she presents historical perspective, well-documented trends and authoritative statistics, pinpointing exactly what to expect next.

The Simple, Unvarnished Truth

Using easy-to-understand language, Foreclosure Nation explains:

  • The progression of America's relationship with debt, from our immigrant grandparents and the post-war Baby Boomers, to today's credit-entitled "Generation Y" and our acceptance of formerly stigmatized institutions like foreclosure and bankruptcy as acceptable financial alternatives.
  • The evolution of our country's banking and mortgage systems, exposing intrinsic, often discriminatory flaws and motivators, from application to securitization
  • The factors leading to our 21st-century real estate boom, bust, and foreclosure crisis
  • The foreclosure process and relevant legal terms, such as CDO, auction rate security, and credit default swap
  • The role of government and Wall Street in causing and solving the problem
  • Previously unrealized repercussions that will impact all Americans
  • Self-empowerment tips, tools and resources needed to make educated choices, avoid losses, protect assets, and even benefit during these challenging times.

Foreclosure Nation boldly sweeps everything out from under the rug in a fast, factual and fascinating read that is certain to become part of the required syllabus for homebuyers as well as bankers, mortgage and real estate brokers, developers, government officials, politicians and educators.