Baltimore, which has some of the nation's highest foreclosure rates, has become a laboratory for predatory lending reform.

This year the Department of Housing and Urban Development flagged Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Chicago as cities with predatory lending "hot zones" - low-income neighborhoods where the agency has seen higher-than-normal foreclosure rates. All five cities reported high foreclosure and default rates in a substantial number of ZIP codes that, according to the U.S. Census, contain low-income neighborhoods. Moreover, in Baltimore, community and nonprofit organizations, city agencies, state and federal elected officials, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have joined forces to draw attention to abusive lending practices.

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