Appendix: The Data

The analysis in End Home Equity Theft measured the impact of property tax foreclosures in states where homeowners cannot get the surplus value (their equity) back after foreclosure.

We measured three issues: (1) the number of homes that were tax foreclosed and sold in these states, (2) the equity the homeowner lost above the tax debt they owed, and (3) the surplus over the tax debt that the government or a private investor kept after the sale. Below, we discuss the data and methodology for the analysis.

Our analysis focused on homes that went through a tax foreclosure sale between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2021. We did not count homes that were foreclosed but not sold in this timeframe. We only counted residential properties and did not count commercial, industrial, vacant, or other types of property.