The subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 began with a collapse of many financial institutions, and trickled down to affect families across the United States. Predatory lending practices by large financial institutions led to defaults on mortgages, foreclosures and severe devaluation of properties.
While homeowners struggled to stay in their homes, financial institutions were given governmental financial bailouts to keep their businesses afloat.
Many families simply walked away from the foreclosed properties, often leaving behind personal items. In many working-class neighborhoods around Chicago, boarded-up windows, overgrown yards and dilapidated buildings were tell-tale signs of the housing market collapse.