Tracy Warren is not surprised by the foreclosure crisis. She saw the roots of it firsthand every day. She worked for a quality-control contractor that reviewed subprime loans for investment banks before they were sold off on Wall Street.
It was her job to dig into the loans and ferret out problems. By 2006, they were easy to find.
“I’d see people who were hotel workers saying that they made, in California, making $15,000 a month so that they could qualify for a $500,000 home,” Warren says. “If a hotel worker is making $15,000 a month changing sheets at the Days Inn, everybody would want to do it. It just really made no sense.”
Warren has worked in the mortgage business for 25 years, the past five in quality control. Most recently, she was a contract worker for a company called Watterson-Prime, which did loan audits for investment banks. She says their biggest client was Bear Stearns, which recently all but collapsed because of its exposure to bad loans.