The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.
May 18th, 2009
Episode 136 of 935 episodes
Three months ago, Jeff Neilsen sat in his Salt Lake City living room and listened to President Obama announce a new program for homeowners who need to rework their mortgages. He applied to his lender, Wells Fargo, and heard almost nothing. Julia Gordon of the Center for Responsible Lending says his experience is all too typical. She suggests the system is plainly broken. Neilsen is one of 6 million U.S. homeowners are flirting with foreclosure. NPR's Chris Arnold reports that in half those cases, foreclosure appears to benefit no one involved — not the families and not the banks. With Alex Blumberg, he visits one loan servicer, Ocwen, that reworks 75 percent of its troubled mortgages, as opposed to the industry average of 10 percent. (Chris and Alex produced a segment about this for This American Life.) Plus: From the suburbs of Chicago, a firefighter reports a remarkable change since the recession began.