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Bad loans spread problems across U.S.

Rich Brooks and Constance Mitchell Ford of the Wall Street Journal examine the sad state of the country's mortgage markets, finding evidence to dispel the conventional wisdom that subprime loans mainly were given out to low-income borrowers who can't afford the payments. Instead, the newspaper reports that ". Although the concentration of high-rate loans is higher in poorer communities, the numbers show that high-rate lending also rose sharply in middle-class and wealthier communities." An interactive map accompanying the story shows the number of subprime loans issued between 2004 and 2006.

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data used in this story was obtained from IRE and NICAR's Database Library.

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