Census Bureau figures show 14 per cent of Americans live in poverty, after recession left millions unemployed.
The US state attorney general’s office is looking into allegations that mortgage lenders acted illegally when they foreclosed on hundreds of thousands of homeowners.
The accusation is that firms signed off on home foreclosures without reviewing files, or submitted false statements to evict delinquent borrowers from their homes during a crisis that is one of the most visible wounds of the 2007-2009 recession.
The banks could be in hot water if the investigation uncovers criminal acts or that senior executives were aware of the “robo-signing”.
Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler reports from New York.