Landscapes of Foreclosure: The Foreclosure Crisis in Rural America

Adam Wodka

W10-2: As housing markets across the country continue to struggle to bounce back from the recent housing crisis, ever-increasing instances of foreclosures remain a daunting problem. While the situation in highly affected urban areas has received much attention, there has been a dearth and inconsistency in research on corresponding rural areas. While the forces commonly linked to the urban crisis such as widespread predatory lending, ballooned housing prices and excessive real estate speculation have affected some rural areas as well, overall the rural crisis is a unique, complex crisis all of its own. As the following analysis illustrates through the use of publicly available data, a survey and interviews, a clear and worsening problem exists in America’s rural communities, and it is the goal of this paper to outline the workings of this rural crisis as much as the limited data availability allows. Further, the author makes the case that the crisis has exacerbated already difficult conditions in rural areas, and, while claims of a recovery begin to arise, in rural America, hopes of a quick recovery remain slim.