Finality and Foreclosure: Determining a Homeowner’s Ability to Appeal in Mortgage Foreclosure Cases

The 2008 Great Recession arose from a massive, wide-scale disruption to the United States housing market. In the years leading up to it, a “bubble” of artificially inflated home prices had grown, leading some homeowners to refinance their debt or take out second mortgages. In addition, financial institutions relied more heavily on subprime mortgages, with which they lent to high-risk consumers who carried greater likelihoods of defaulting on their debt. When the bubble burst, many individuals saw the value of their houses plummet and their mortgages become “underwater,” meaning that the amount they owed exceeded the value of their homes. This collapse in the real estate market subjected many people to eviction as a result of foreclosure actions, which in turn further depressed housing values. Lending institutions ultimately foreclosed on the homes of millions of Americans over the course of the Great Recession and in the years that followed. Over the next decade, the crisis abated, and the real estate market largely—but not entirely—rebounded from the chaos of the Great Recession.

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