In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, more than 14 million U.S. homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure. Focusing on the hard-hit Sacramento Valley, Noelle Stout uncovers the hellish bureaucracy that organized the largest bank seizure of residential homes in U.S. history. Stout reveals the failure of banks’ mortgage assistance programs, backed by over $300 billion of federal funds, to deliver on the promise of relief. Unlike the programs of the Great Depression, in which the government took on the toxic mortgage debt of Americans, these corporate bureaucracies ultimately denied 70 percent of homeowner applicants. In the voices of bank employees and 'dispossessed' homeowners, Stout exposes the tense confrontations between borrowers and banks, reveals how call center representatives felt about denying appeals, and shares the fears of families living on the brink of eviction. Stout exposes the everyday life of rising inequality—for whites who felt their middle-class life unraveling to communities of color who experienced a more precipitous and dire decline. Trapped in a maze of mortgage assistance, borrowers began to view debt refusal as a moral response to lenders. Stout shows how these seemingly mundane bureaucratic dramas came to redefine the meaning of debt and dispossession, opening the door to current contests about the meaning of indebtedness.