If you're looking to buy a house in Los Angeles you'll be surprised at the paucity of homes on the market. Since LA home prices are 166% of prices in 2000, you'll wonder how this happened. Aren't many Americans out on the street because they couldn't make mortgage payments?
It seems the banks are waiting to foreclose on property until they get a multistate settlement that essentially says we won't sue you for all the things that you did that were illegal. They want this guarantee, because the large number of mortgages that involved robo signing and the skirting of requirements required to sell their mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, could guarantee they'd be in court until after the Obama administration leaves town. (Your guess is as good as mine on that timetable)
The bankers who made so much money selling these loans to investors in tranches(where you buy a piece of a collection of mortgages) now don't want to face the music. Bank of America, whose former boss made really laughable deals, is scared stiff.
There are very few bankers who took the money and ran that have been charged with any felonies. They would never say what Harry Truman said; "the buck stops here." Under significant pressure, Kamala Harris, Atty. Gen. of California, pulled out of the multi state agreement because people were pointing out that you could do illegal things and never have to pay for them. The banks wanted absolution.
Obama wants something done immediately in order to move the economy along. I understand his desire to do that. But criminals shouldn't be able to walk away from destroying our financial system.