5.23.2012

Foreclosure Quilt : Southern Chase

I finished a new foreclosure quilt last week, this one is located in Concord, North Carolina in the Southern Chase neighborhood. I was commissioned to make the piece for a journalist, Binyamin Appelbaum, who co-wrote a series of articles in the Charlotte Observer on the unusually high rate of foreclosures seen among one particular builder, Beazer Homes.

Southern Chase Foreclosure Quilt, 2012. 23" x 30"
Linen, cotton, cotton voile, string and embroidery thread.
Beazer created the Southern Chase neighborhood to specifically provide low cost homes to low income families. One out of every five homes ended up in foreclosure. There were numerous red flags with their practices but one alarming one was that they arranged mortgage loans for  two-third's of the buyers. The idea that builders can arrange mortgage loans just seems like a bad idea to me.

Southern Chase Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2012. 23" x 30"
Linen, cotton, cotton voile, string and embroidery thread.
Beazer Homes was accused of violating federal lending laws in 2009, and reached a settlement which you can read about here.


Southern Chase Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2012. 23" x 30"
Linen, cotton, cotton voile, string and embroidery thread.


The list is long of investigations, one of them was worth $50,000,000 for Mortgage and Accounting Fraud with United States. Needless to say, Beazer is still busy building homes throughout the US. Please view the entire series of articles via this link written by Binyamin Appelbaum, Lisa Hammersly Munn and Ted Mellnik. I wonder what would have happened with Beazer Homes had these journalists not written the articles. We need more people like them!

8 comments:

lisa s said...

so good.
and i get so mad reading about this.
thank goodness indeed for journalists and folks calling attention to the absolute awfulness of the situation. sigh

Lari Washburn said...

Your work here is beautiful as ever Kathryn. And what a scandal Beazer Homes is. I even hated to initial cap those words! I wonder how people can depersonalize what they do to that extent?

Kathrin said...

Another beautiful piece of work! It's outrageous that Beazer Homes is still in business. Builders that can also arrange mortgage loans made me think of an article by Nicholas Kristof in the NYTimes that highlighted the connection between the 3 companies who produce flame retardant chemicals who are also the regulators for....flame retardant chemicals. Unbelievable. Your work is so important. You are a journalist with needle and thread.

kathrynclark said...

Thanks, gals. Your words mean a lot to me. Kathrin, wow, scary thought about the flame retardant chemical makers ... I'm sure it's not an isolated case!

ruma biswas said...

Thanks a lot for this great info...Real Estate

Anonymous said...

My late wife and I were one of the first couples to work with Binyamin Appelbaum to expose this scandal by Beazer. I can actually see my house on your quilt but I also see that there are a few missing. We received a small amount from the settlement but no where near as much as I lost. This scanal put us in a downward financial spiral. We had to claim bankruptcy, I have been denied good jobs due to this on my credit report and worst of all this financial stress combined with my wife's health problems led her to take her own life in 2011 and left me in a domino effect of misfortune and depression that to this day I can't seem to get out of. And the settlement, a mere $5,000. Is that really worth all that I have lost? I just read a story from another blog that only 1 person working in Charlotte's Beazer mortgage office actually faced criminal charges. Really? Only 1? As if any of the people above her in the company had nothing to do with it. And 5g is supposed to be a reasonable restitution for the hell I am living in now? There is no justice for the middle class in this country. No one sees the carnage left in the wake of their greed. Only the victims that are still effected many years later. My name is William Christopher Wood and I am living in the hell that the aftermath of the false american dream has left me in 13 years after I bought a house from them when I was only 20 years old!

Chris Wood said...

My late wife and I were one of the first couples to work with Binyamin Appelbaum to expose this scandal by Beazer. I can actually see my house on your quilt but I also see that there are a few missing. We received a small amount from the settlement but no where near as much as I lost. This scanal put us in a downward financial spiral. We had to claim bankruptcy, I have been denied good jobs due to this on my credit report and worst of all this financial stress combined with my wife's health problems led her to take her own life in 2011 and left me in a domino effect of misfortune and depression that to this day I can't seem to get out of. And the settlement, a mere $5,000. Is that really worth all that I have lost? I just read a story from another blog that only 1 person working in Charlotte's Beazer mortgage office actually faced criminal charges. Really? Only 1? As if any of the people above her in the company had nothing to do with it. And 5g is supposed to be a reasonable restitution for the hell I am living in now? There is no justice for the middle class in this country. No one sees the carnage left in the wake of their greed. Only the victims that are still effected many years later. My name is William Christopher Wood and I am living in the hell that the aftermath of the false american dream has left me in 13 years after I bought a house from them when I was only 20 years old!

kathrynclark said...

Chris, thank you so much for sharing your story as painful as it must have been to go through. I can't thank you or Binyamin Appelbaum enough for at least trying to expose this craziness that has taken over the U.S. And you're absolutely right, nothing has been done to call to task the people who benefited from this all. Completely shameful. And we all know this will just happen again.

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