In the five years since housing prices began to collapse, almost 4 million homes have been lost to foreclosure. Behind that enormous statistic are millions of personal tragedies.
Paul Kiel focused on one, the story of a 58-year-old woman named Sheila Ramos, in a 16-page story for Pro Publica. Ramos went from living in a house in Florida that was fully paid for, to living in a tent in rural Hawaii.
He follows her, and the story of her mortgage — from the broker who sold it to the international bank that ended up owning it as part of a mortgage-backed security. It's a 16-page examination of all the things that went wrong, and it finds plenty of people to blame.
Paul Kiel is a reporter for Pro Publica. His "Great American Foreclosure Story" is also available for download as a Kindle single.