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High interest mortgages prevalent in rural areas

Geoff Dutton, Jill Riepenhoff and Doug Haddix of The Columbus Dispatch analyzed federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data and explored the spread of high-interest mortgages from inner cities to Ohio's suburban and rural areas. They found that risky high-interest mortgages have cost record numbers of people their homes, but not just in the big cities. The investigation found people in rural areas were much more likely to sign mortgages with high interest rates, generally above 8 percent, compared with the average of 5 percent for a conventional loan at the time. (Note: For reporters interested in pursuing similar stories, IRE and NICAR offer a beat book, "Home Mortgage Lending: How to detect disparities," as well as Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.)

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