Boarded up properties in the 800 block of Proctor Street in the English Avenue area of Atlanta are shown. Ten years ago in March, the state of Georgia repealed strict borrower protection laws that sought to curb predatory lending in the mortgage industry. In the years that followed, subprime loans fueled a homeownership and real estate speculation wave.
Atlanta’s housing market has been so bad for so long that the last boom (some would say, bubble) is like some feverish, half-remembered dream. Buried somewhere within that dream is an even more elusive memory: For a brief moment in 2002, Georgia had a very tough consumer lending act, designed to prevent some of the very practices that sent the housing market — and with it, the economy — over the cliff.
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