Chain of Title by David Dayen

Council Rock Alum Pens Saga of ‘Largest Fraud in American History’

An author who grew up in Bucks County tells the inside story on foreclosures that followed the last decade’s housing bubble. It’s not pretty.

David Dayen came of age as a writer during a golden age for bloggers.

Dayen, a 1990 graduate of Council Rock High School, was making a living in Los Angeles editing films and TV programs. “Name a channel on your digital cable package, and I’ve probably done something for it,” he says.

Interested in expressing his opinion in prose since his days as a columnist for his high school paper, Dayen, who is 43, discovered blogging around 2004. “I would be editing, and there’d be something . . . that would take a few minutes, and I’d go over and blog something,” he recalled. “It became more and more a part of my life, on my personal websites at the time, and these big political blog sites.

“It was a really new medium, and people who got involved at the time had the ability to advance themselves pretty quickly,” he said. “I was able to get caught up in that, and I did advance. I got hired to write for a site called firedoglake, it was one of the largest political blogs at the time.”

An acquaintance told him of a personal disaster involving a loan modification, including sudden demands by his lender for a large sum of money. Dayen began looking into the larger issues.

“There just weren’t a lot of people focused on it. That was how I set myself apart, and made myself sort of a self-taught expert,” he said.

This work led the author to a huge financial story — family homes had become fodder for billion-dollar investment vehicles, and foreclosure proceedings exploded across the country. The crisis had become a sad trek from Main Street to Wall Street, a financial stampede that trampled the lives of millions.

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