I think in legal terms, what happened is termed "fraudulent inducement" and if we lived in a system which respected the "rule of law" - then the mortgages which were granted to people who normally would not have been eligible for mortgages because they represented a huge liability - were fraudulent from the beginning and thus null and void. Furthermore, those who accepted the mortgages under fraudulent conditions were not the guilty party - they were suckered and manipulated into buying into the promise of a better life for themselves.
And it wasn't mere odd apples who were engaged in these practices(scapegoats) - it was a systematic and approved of method of buoying the economy for the short term.
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