The financial crisis we have been living through has an all-too-human face. Whether it is people out of work, pensions undermined by severe investment losses, or the nights and weekends many financial services executives have devoted to fixing the problems, almost everyone in finance feels the pain.

What many of us in finance do not feel, at least directly, is the loss of a home. Yet for many Americans, losing a home is a real and tragic event. Too many Americans have seen their neighborhoods damaged and watched their home values plummet as boarded-up, foreclosed houses sprout up on every street and in some cases at multiple addresses on the same street.

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