housing crash

The $26 billion deal Thursday reached by the federal government, most states and the nation's largest banks to compensate homeowners for abusive foreclosure practices was hailed as a landmark agreement. But it's unlikely to end the mortgage mess that has depressed property values and left millions of homeowners owing more than their homes are worth, analysts say.

Washington's share of a $25 billion national settlement with the nation's biggest mortgage lenders will be about $648 million.

Karl Hutchinson / Flickr

BOTHELL, Wash. — From the freeway, it looks like just another patch of woods ripe for new housing development once the economy revives.

From the air, the forested stretch along I-405 reveals itself as part of a green ribbon buffering an active salmon creek. The appearance of a "sold" sign in mid-December marked a 35-acre patch of western red cedar, western hemlock and Douglas fir as property of the city of Bothell.