Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "foreclosure" ...

  • SeaTimes: Out of homelessness

    Project Homeless wasn’t conceived as an investigative unit. Reporting on potential solutions to the region’s worsening homelessness was, at least initially, our stated mission. But it became clear soon after I joined the team last year that the agencies and systems that play a role in the region’s response to homelessness have received little scrutiny from the press. So, I started taking a hard look at how they work and how the public money that keeps them running is spent. That's how I found the woman at the center of this story, Carolyn Malone. She was just one of several people I found who used publicly-funded rental housing vouchers, only to end up in a squalid and potentially unsafe rental home. Two of those homes were at one time owned by one of Seattle's worst slumlords.
  • Taking out a Reverse Mortgage Ruined My Life

    Dozens of senior citizens in New York City are caught in a rising tide of reverse- mortgage foreclosures that threaten to put some of the city’s most vulnerable residents out on the street. Because reverse-mortgage borrowers in foreclosure lack the protections — including mandatory settlement conferences and a 90-day notice requirement — instituted for traditional borrowers after the 2010 robo-signing scandal, these seniors are at risk of losing their homes far more quickly than forward-mortgage borrowers, who get an opportunity for negotiations overseen by the court. The debts at issue are relatively small, averaging just $10,000, but can trigger the loss of a home worth thirty times that amount or more.
  • Detroit's Foreclosure Meltdown

    This series investigated the impact of a decade of mortgage foreclosures on Detroit neighborhoods by tracking the fate of nearly 65,000 bank foreclosed homes. We found that subprime lending and bargain-basement sales of these homes contributed to a $500 million loss for the city in unpaid property taxes and demolition costs. http://www.detroitnews.com/topic/046a3a7c-ed6d-4afb-876a-d7800dd4a513/detroits-foreclosure-meltdown/
  • Grave Concerns

    A financially struggling cemetery went bankrupt and changed hands after foreclosure. Both sides disagreed about who was in charge of honoring existing contracts, which left families in the middle. It became such an issue for some families that they chose to bury their loved ones at other cemeteries, even though their family members previously paid for their final arrangements. Others had to pay twice to bury their loved ones and some had to wait months for the cemetery to place grave markers. With the help of our reporting and the State of Tennessee this was resolved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3bXSYFj8MQ&feature=youtu.be
  • Detroit's foreclosure meltdown

    This series investigated the impact of a decade of mortgage foreclosures on Detroit neighborhoods by tracking the fate of nearly 65,000 bank foreclosed homes. We found that subprime lending and bargain-basement sales of these homes contributed to a $500 million loss for the city in unpaid property taxes and demolition costs.
  • Florida’s Foreclosure Crisis

    Florida homeowners are being steamrolled through foreclosure courts by overzealous judges, while others are left holding the bag for abandoned and unlivable homes, because state officials have placed expedience over the right to due process in an effort to clear a perceived backlog in court cases. The Center for Public Integrity interviewed dozens of homeowners, lawyers, judges and public officials, observed courtrooms, and examined databases and documents to paint a picture of a foreclosure crisis that persists years after the financial crisis. The project resulted in Wells Fargo, one of the biggest mortgage lenders, rehabbing dozens of abandoned homes it owns, and state officials looking at ways to make the state courts more responsive to the needs of homeowners.
  • House Stealing Investigation Changes State Law

    Our investigation revealed rampant criminal activity among opportunists trying to capitalize on loopholes in Georgia law and ultimately led to a change in the law, the creation of a fraud registry, and the indictment of eight people. Four years earlier, we had already exposed another group's efforts to steal empty homes by filing false deeds however several members of the racketeering enterprise were acquitted, which exposed legal flaws. Our latest investigation spotlighted how a few members of the group were able to expand their enterprise to target regular homeowners rather than foreclosures, and steal some of the very homes for which they'd previously been arrested. Once we approached legislators about the loopholes, they fast-tracked new legislation to make this activity a felony.
  • Stolen Honor

    Charles Giles was New Jersey’s most famous World Trade Center survivor. His dramatic story of being pulled alive from the ruins of the North Tower, and the terrible health problems he sustained from months of working on search and recovery efforts made him the face of efforts to secure health benefits for first responders, and helped him collect tens of thousands of dollars in donations to help him pay mounting medical bills and stave off foreclosure. There was only one problem. Almost everything everyone thought they knew about the man…was a lie.
  • 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.
  • Homes for the Taking: Liens, Loss and Profiteers.

    In the nation’s capital, predatory investors took hundreds of homes from the elderly and poor over tax debts as small as $44 in a devastating series of foreclosures unchecked by city leaders. In 2013, The Washington Post launched an unprecedented investigation of the District of Columbia’s century-old tax-lien program, finding investors who routinely tacked on thousands in fees to tax bills, turning $500 delinquencies into $5,000 debts and making it impossible for families to save their homes. A 95-year-old church choir leader lost her house while she was in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. So did a flower shop owner in a coma. “Homes for the Taking” outraged the District like few other scandals in years, with city leaders immediately approving reforms to protect the city’s most vulnerable homeowners.