Resource Center


The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "home mortgages" ...

  • Sold Short

    Unscrupulous real estate agents and investors are taking advantage of distressed homeowners in one of the areas hit hardest by the real estate crash by entering into sweetheart arrangements that earn agents multiple commissions after representing both sides of a deal while investors profit from a more lucrative flip once a home is resold. By using pocket listings, agents that represent the homeowner and a prearranged cash investor prevent other parties from making offers on a house, allowing them to sell far below fair market value while the buyer earns up to $100,000+ on a resale just weeks or a few months later. In some cases, the resale value of the home is more than the mortgage owed on the property, raising questions on whether there was ever a need to short sale the property in the first place.

    Tags: homes; houses; realtors; homeowners

    By Jason Hidalgo

    Reno Gazette-Journal


  • Habitat for Humanity Harsh Reality

    The News-Press investigative reporter Melanie Payne learned that Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties had foreclosed on more than 100 homes in the last decade - 10 percent of the total homes it had built for low-income families in Southwest Florida. This conflicted with Habitat's reports of a foreclosure rate of less than 2 percent. A look at the financials showed that many homes were priced at over $150,000 and some as much as $230,000, and were sold to people earning less than $20,000 a year. In addition, the CEO was paid at a rate comparable to Habitat CEOs in major metropolitan areas. She had a total compensation package of nearly $180,000 - about $50,000 more than counterparts in bigger communities. The complicated financing and the group's resistance to any mortgage modification was found to contribute to the high foreclosure. This challenged the notion of Habitat being of service to low-income residents who couldn't afford a home any other way.

    Tags: Habitat for Humanity; foreclosure

    By Melanie Payne

    News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.)


  • Foreclosure Crisis

    The reporters reveal the underlying flaws in a public-private debacle involving the Obama administration's program that depended on the good faith of mortgage servicers.

    Tags: mortgage; foreclosure; housing market; home

    By Paul Kiel; Olga Pierce



  • "The New Tax Man"

    This series of stories by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund examines how tough financial times have affected "ordinary" citizens. Reporters revealed how local property tax collectors were "selling the right to collect unpaid taxes to private investors," which could leave homeowners with large extra fees, and the possibility of losing "their home if they are unable to pay."

    Tags: taxes; mortgage; interest; unemployment; property tax; Baltimore; Wells Fargo; Bank of America; hedge fund; Fortress Investment Group

    By Fred Schulte; Ben Protess; Lagan Sebert

    Huffington Post Investigative Fund


  • "Racial disparities in home lending"

    A 2008 analysis of more than half a million home loan applications in the Dayton, Ohio, region revealed that blacks with higher incomes were denied home loans, while lower-income whites were not. The report also found that blacks were more likely to receive "high-cost loans" than whites. The real estate market denies redlining practices that were made illegal "in 1977 by the federal Community Reinvestment Act."

    Tags: Home Mortgage Disclosure Act; NICAR; GIS; Community Reinvestment Advisory Group; Dean Lovelace; Dayton Human Relations Commission; Federal Housing Authority; home loans; redlining

    By Ken McCall

    Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)


  • Foreclosure Rescue

    Many homeowners are facing the threat of foreclosure and losing their homes. A new industry, mortgage modification, is taking advantage of these homeowners. These companies promise to work with the banks to get the homeowners a better deal so they can keep their houses. The homeowners must pay an up-front fee of “several thousand dollars”. After the company has the money, they don’t fulfill their duty and leave the homeowners without the little money they had left.

    Tags: housing; finances; mortgage; real estate; property; People's First; Better Business Bureau; assistance

    By Glenn Ruppel; Katie Thomson; Jim Avila; Carla Delandri; David Sloan; Connie Clarke

    ABC News


  • "House of Cards"

    In this investigation, CNBC takes a look at the beginnings of the "global economic collapse." After 9/11, the U.S. government "dropped interest rates" in an attempt to breathe new life into the economy. The investigation reveals how Wall Street took on unstable mortgages to "re-package it and sell it to investors." This story includes personal accounts from home buyers, mortgage brokers, bankers and more.

    Tags: hedge-fund; housing market; economic collapse; recession; Wall Street; George W. Bush; Alan Greenspan; Henry Paulson; bailouts; bankrupt; credit crisis

    By James Jacoby; Jill Landes; David Faber; James Segelstein; Josh Howard; Mitch Weitzner

    CNBC (Fort Lee, N.J.)


  • VA Loan Fraud

    The series reveals “major banks and mortgage companies across America were systematically defrauding military veterans who were refinancing home loans”. “Federal mortgage documents show there were potentially more than 900,000 veterans since 2001 who could be victims of the scheme”. As a result of this series, veterans contacted their lenders and eventually repaid the charges.

    Tags: Johnny Isakson; congressional; hearings; corruption; federal government; Wells Fargo; loan officers; interest rates

    By Dale Russell; Mindy Larcom; Travis Shields; Randall Rinehart; Michael Carlin

    WAGA-TV (Atlanta)


  • Home Wreckers: How Banks are Making the Foreclosure Crisis Worse

    The article explores how major lenders are lobbying in Washington to deter legislation to solve the foreclosure crisis. Banks feel that any action from Washington will give courts more power to shrink mortgage debt for borrowers which banks say could result in less bank profit, irresponsible borrowing and higher borrowing costs.

    Tags: banks; lenders; mortgage; debt; foreclosure; crisis; Washington; lobby; loans; bailout; stimulus; lobbying

    By Brian Grow; Keith Epstein; Robert Berner

    Bloomberg Business News (Princeton, N.J.)


  • The Financial Collapse

    Among the findings in this package are: In February, Morgenson warned that the arcane contracts known as credit-default swaps were so volatile and explosive that they would "set off a chain reaction of losses at financial institutions." In May, she examined the moves by private investment firms to buy up hundreds of New York apartment buildings, betting that they could evict tenants and raise rents. In July, she reported on the enormous increase in consumer debt and the changes in the lending system that encouraged risky loans. In September, she dissected the small London Investment unit that had bedazzled the insurance giant AIG with its profits but soon brought it to its knees and helped trigger a widespread collapse. In November, she profiled the reckless executives who gambled on subprime home mortgages and led Merrill Lynch to its demise. In December, she held the credit-rating agencies to sharp account, in particular Moody's, showing how they had minimized or overlooked the dangers to investors.

    Tags: AIG; credit-default swaps; Wall Street; Merill Lynch; Federal Reserve; columnists

    By Gretchen Morgenson

    New York Times