Tags : housing

Updated data on home mortgage applications now available from NICAR

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) database has just been updated in the NICAR Data Library. Loan application records for 2013 are now available. 

What's in it?

This Act requires all banks, savings and loans, savings banks and credit unions with assets of more than $33 million and offices in metropolitan areas to report mortgage applications. Each loan record contains demographic information about loan applicants, including race, gender and income; the purpose of the loan (i.e. home purchase or improvement); whether the buyer intends to live in the home; the type of loan (i.e. conventional, FHA insured ...

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IRE Radio Podcast | Housing Horror Stories

It’s a special Halloween episode of the IRE Radio Podcast, and this week we’re telling some housing horror stories. Here’s the lineup:

  • Marisa Kwiatkowski of The Indianapolis Star talks about her story "The exorcisms of Latoya Ammons," which became the most-read story in the Star’s history.
  • Kate Berry of American Banker explains "zombie foreclosures" and offers tips for reporters looking to track them.

You can find and download previous podcast episodes on iTunes or our Soundcloud page.

 

EPISODE NOTES

Looking for links to the stories, resources and events we discussed on this week's podcast? We ...

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New video series highlights reporting tips, techniques

This week we launched Story Shorts, a new series of web videos designed to help journalists share tips and techniques they’ve used on a variety of investigative stories. We’ve paired the minute-long videos with related resources (tipsheets, stories, webinars and audio) curated by IRE staff. We’ve even made a few of our tipsheets free for a limited time.

Our first set of clips features KSHB reporter Ryan Kath, who filmed a “Behind the Story” video for us earlier this year. Kath’s series, “Trail of Dirty Deeds,” exposed a widespread real estate fraud scheme and was a ...

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Behind the Story: How KSHB-Kansas City uncovered a trail of dirty deeds

Video by Ryan Kath and John Woods, KSHB

KSHB-Kansas City’s year-long investigation into a widespread real estate fraud scheme started simple – with a tip from an observant neighbor.

But when reporter Ryan Kath started looking into the housing documents, he spotted a bigger problem. Someone had been stealing homes by forging signature of both the living and the dead. Often, Kath found, the homeowners had no idea.

It’s a crime that’s “shockingly easy,” and little oversight was in place to keep it from happening. The dirty deeds forced victims to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees ...

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Complaints: A road map for killer investigations

By Hannah Schmidt

Jill Riepenhoff, a projects reporter at The Columbus Dispatch, and Tisha Thompson, an investigative reporter for WRC-Washington D.C., use consumer and professional complaints to fuel their investigations. In these audio clips the two reporters offer advice on where to look for complaints and how to use them.

In Columbus, Ohio, landlords allowing homes to become rundown is a major problem. Riepenhoff used complaints from homeowners and court documents to create The Columbus Dispatch’s “Legacy of Neglect” series.

She found the subject of her story, chronic offender Joseph S. Alaura, from court documents. He had gone ...

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Records shed light on lax landlords, broken housing code system

The deaths of a young couple and a 4-year-old child in a Christmas Eve fire exposed significant problems with landlords renting dilapidated and dangerous properties in Columbus, Ohio.

In the immediate aftermath, city officials – acting on public outcry – made promises to fix its broken housing code system. But when the outcry died, so did those promises, prompting The Columbus Dispatch’s “Legacy of Neglect” series.

The four-day series produced such overwhelming results that the mayor, other city officials and their housing code enforcement unit immediately declared war on slumlords who, our reporting found, regularly rented houses with unsafe electrical systems ...

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Behind the Story: Tackling the unusual, problematic 'contract for deed' housing deal

Minneapolis Star Tribune photo
Ron Folger of Minneapolis lost his rental license last year city and began selling properties to low-income families on a plan known as a contract-for-deed transaction.

In January, Jeffrey Meitrodt, Investigations Editor at the Star Tribune, reported on problematic contract-for-deed sales of homes in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The sales are frequently used to sell homes to low-income buyers who have been unable to secure financing from a bank.  Since 2007, Minneapolis and St. Paul have seen a more than 50 percent increase in the number of contract-for-deed sales of property.  These homes may have existing ...

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GIS tracks housing health

This project started with a call from a single mother of two teenagers who asked me to take a look at the rat-hole apartment where they lived in an old house that had been carved up into several apartments.

It was horrible. There was a foot of snow on the ground; the furnace had never worked; the water pipes had broken; the living room ceiling had collapsed as a result. The apartment was uninhabitable.  

The management company had washed its hands and told her to talk to the owner. But that person turned out not to be the real owner ...

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