Subprime lending. Mortgage-backed securities. TARP. HAMP. MERS. An article on the ProPublica site, “The Great American Foreclosure Story,” details how the foreclosure crisis came to be and why government programs designed to help homeowners failed. The article puts a face to the story–a 58-year-old grandmother with custody of her three grandchildren, who was forced to move from her three-bedroom home in Florida to a tent on a rural plot of land with no electricity on Hawaii’s Big Island. “Ramos’ story is remarkable not because it’s unique but because it isn’t.”

For those with shorter attention spans, ProPublica has also produced a music video, “The Great American Foreclosure Song,” that encapsulates the foreclosure crisis in four minutes.