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Publisher's Summary

In the depths of the Great Recession, a cancer nurse, a car dealership worker, and an insurance fraud specialist helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history - a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: Millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose.

Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak did not work in government or law enforcement. They had no history of anticorporate activism. Instead they were all foreclosure victims, and while struggling with their shame and isolation they committed a revolutionary act: closely reading their mortgage documents, discovering the deceit behind them, and building a movement to expose it.

Fiscal Times columnist David Dayen recounts how these ordinary Floridians challenged the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth - and for a brief moment, they brought the corrupt financial industry to its knees.

©2016 David Dayen (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Capital Corruption and Greed

A sordid, excruciatingly frustrating story of the home mortgage scandal of the last decade and the disastrous consequences wrought on many innocent Americans victimized by the incompetence and greed of the banks, mortgage service companies and rating agencies. Although many people share some responsibility for heedlessly rushing into risky financial agreements they had no business anywhere near, the banks and the predatory lending practices they spawned as a result of the securitization of home mortgages deserve most of the blame for the misery they caused. Exceptionally well written and narrated this is a serious learning experience for all.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Fiance, Law, and Corruption all in one

An interesting look at the mortgage crisis of 2008. Follows a couple private citizens who were able to uncover and politicize mistakes by Wall St banks and the government offices that regulates them.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Well Told, Accessible, Essential

David Dayen is a highly respected financial news and economics journalist for a reason. He finds a way to make even the most dry and dense topics understandable while making it absolutely clear why we should all care.

"Chain of Title," his first book, is meticulously researched and is a deep dive into the foreclosure crisis but it is all viewed through the lens and lives of three regular people who instead of going quietly into the dark of foreclosure shame chose, to shine a revelatory light. Whatever you know about the foreclosure crisis sprouted, quite directly, from the questions these people asked and the shocking answers they unearthed. Heroes are those who run into the fire, into the storm, to bring others to safety. "Chain of Title" is a gripping, true-to-life rendering of the lives of heroes and the deeds of villains. And, whether you know it or not, what this handful of people discovered changed your life.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Totally Unbelievable, Except It Happened

Any additional comments?

I was captured by the stories told and amazed and saddened by how broken the systems are that are supposed to prevent all of this and get justice for those that suffer through these crimes. The book has places that list a lot of legal type details that did drone on in this audio version - I would likely have skipped over those details if I was reading this book. I will say that I have gone back and reviewed my own mortgage documents.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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I have even greater disdain for banks after this.

Although I thought I knew how bad the bailout was for average ho.eowners, the corruption revealed here makes me even more disdain for banks. Criminal is not strong enough a word.to capture their behavior.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Every American must read this book before voting.

This book shows how wealth and power circumvent the legal system and how the legislatures made it easier for financial institutions to foreclose on loans they did not make and lost no actual money on. It shows how vindictive they were in getting their way, foreclosing and wasting the assets. It's socialism for wall street and libertarianism for people.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • mjv
  • Lake Forest, Illinois United States
  • 06-07-16

A must read book

This book, along with the Big Short and Bailout are the trinity of must reads to understand how the investment / Too Big Too Fail banks have corrupted all levels of government and systematically extracted or stolen wealth from the American population.

The author did an outstanding job of condensing down the topics and the issues into a format that is easy (and engaging) for anyone to read or listen to. The format of following three activists against foreclosure fraud allows the reader to better understand the experience so many Americans have suffered through. Just an outstanding book.

If after reading this book you aren't angry at the system now in place, it would suggest that you are either a beneficiary of the banks corruption or your dead on the inside.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Everyone should read this.

How the political, financial, real estate, and justice systems have failed us and how the individual is played for the benefit of these systems.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • MLR
  • Oceanside, CA
  • 10-14-16

Engaging and outraging

This was a fascinating book to read and listen to. Dayan's approach hooks you right in and takes you on a comprehensive journey through the chaos and frustration and outrage of the foreclosure crisis and resulting fallout.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 07-05-17

Infuriating Account

I found this to be a fascinating book. David Dayen tells the story of three Florida homeowners as they discover that banks have been lying about signatures. Lisa Epstein, a nurse, learns that the bank foreclosing on her could not prove it had legally obtained the loan. Lisa met Michael Redman, a car salesman, and encouraged him to published an online guide as to how to find information online about who had the loan on their homes. The two of them connected with Lynn Szymoniak, an attorney, who investigated the signature in her own foreclosure action and found one with a date when the signor was actually in State Prison.

The book is well written and meticulously researched. Dayen skillfully narrates a slow reveal of fraud and uses some interesting metaphors. Dayen reveals the mechanics of the foreclosure business in an easy to understand way. The book reads like a fast-paced thriller instead of non-fiction book. I am not an expert in banking/mortgages so I cannot tell if the author is calling mistakes or process weakness fraud or if what he describes is actually deliberate fraud. Because the process was so widespread and there was a cover-up used, my inclination is to agree with the author that it was widespread fraud by the banking industry. If it is the later, why are these big bankers not in jail? This is an excellent book about the collapse of the housing bubble.

The book is fourteen hours long. Kaleo Griffith does an excellent job narrating the book. Griffith is an actor and multi-award-winning audiobook narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful