Book Review

Beach books: Real estate turmoil provides good reading

Posted on Saturday, June 20, 2009

Haven’t heard enough bad news lately? Try “Foreclosure Nation: Mortgaging the American Dream” by Shari Olefson, a Florida-based real estate attorney. In her book, Ms. Olefson takes a sobering look at the sub-prime and speculative affliction that’s mightily contributed to the recession in which we otherwise hardworking taxpayers find ourselves, while noting how others can maximize their real estate dollars.

She correctly points out early in her book that while one’s home is often his or her “most valuable and enduring asset,” it has unfortunately been severely compromised in many cases, largely due to those who advocated borrowing against it. Thankfully, this book de-mystifies the real estate bubble and the subsequent sub-prime mortgage crisis.

In “Foreclosure Nation,” the author often gets technical, and at times deluges the reader with graphs and other visuals. But she also targets why and when so-called experts are predicting a recovery.

The real-life examples Ms. Olefson sites, such as those of people trying to rebuild their credit after experiencing a foreclosure, are eye-opening for anyone considering going down this road. She also digs deep into information about how bankruptcy laws have changed, and what people should consider before buying into the hype of the nearly endless amount of advertising offering the “benefits” of such a maneuver.

In its 500-plus pages, “Foreclosure Nation” provides information on relevant government agencies, regulations, consumer advocacy and research groups, as well as a lot of other helpful topics. This is not a sexy read, but it is a useful one.

In her exhaustive book, Ms. Olefson discusses how she thinks we’ll supposedly fix the current real estate crisis and predicts what the future will hold. “Foreclosure Nation” is a serious read and Ms. Olefson has zealously tackled her topic.

The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press
Joseph Finora Jr.

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