Collateral Damage: The Spillover Costs of Foreclosures

Debbie Gruenstein Bocian, Peter Smith and Wei Li

The fourth in a series from the Center for Responsible Lending, this report examines the economic impact on homeowners living in neighborhoods suffering from foreclosures.  Relying on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Lender Processing Services (LPS) data, the authors find that $1.95 trillion in property value has been lost by residents living in close proximity to foreclosures, over half of that loss is experienced by communities of color, and that families affected by nearby foreclosures have lost, or will lose, more than $21,000 in household wealth by virtue of their proximity. In addition to the immediate financial consequences for families that lose their homes, such as a loss of equity and financial cushion, communities with high rates of foreclosures also suffer long-term consequences, such as a loss of tax revenue and a proliferation of blight.