Ellen Seidman

Ellen Seidman is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and executive vice president, national program and partnership development, at ShoreBank Corporation.

Recent Articles

Don't Blame the Community Reinvestment Act

Homeownership rates and CRA enforcement soared in the 1990s, but sub-prime came later. CRA shouldn't be the scapegoat for the housing meltdown.

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
The mortgage crisis is far from over. Foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2009 increased 24 percent over the already-heady 2008 levels; April filings were up 1 percent over March and 32 percent over the prior April. During 2008, foreclosure notices were filed on over 2 million properties, and banks took back more than 850,000 properties. Delinquencies continue to climb: 7.88 percent of all mortgages on one- to four-unit buildings were delinquent at the end of 2008, the highest rate on record. For sub-prime loans, the rate was 21.88 percent and almost 14 percent of sub-prime loans were in foreclosure. With home prices still falling -- in March 2009 prices were down 32.2 percent from their 2006 peak -- and unemployment now at 9.4 percent and still rising, it is unlikely the situation will get better any time soon. How did we get into this? There are a plethora of potential culprits. One was the unsustainable run-up in home prices fueled by a combination of low interest rates and...