In November 2009, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Consumer and Community Affairs division convened “Foreclosures in Wisconsin: Responses and Resources for Living Beyond the Bubble.” This conference was one in a series that have been held over the past several years to help address Wisconsin’s escalating residential mortgage foreclosures. The conference featured experts from the lending industry, nonprofits, government, policy institutions, and the judicial system to discuss how Wisconsin might best deploy resources to respond to the aftermath of the housing bubble and stem foreclosures.
The objectives of the conference were to learn the progress of the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program; document lessons from the first round of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP); assess mediation efforts in Wisconsin’s (court-based) foreclosure process; hear recommendations of the Speaker’s Taskforce On Preventing (S.T.O.P.) Home Foreclosures and their progress on legislative steps; consider the social impacts of foreclosure and the need for related research; and discuss the future of housing policy, alternatives to current practice, and the “new normal.” The conference also provided an opportunity to hear from elected and appointed Wisconsin officials on solutions to the foreclosure crisis. This article condenses the essential ideas raised at the conference and updates on developing issues.