Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Monday, 17 September 2007 13:39 UK

US mortgage woes: Are you affected?

US housing development
The US housing market has suffered a slump, mainly due to the sub-prime crisis. Has it had an impact on your mortgage or standard of living?

Sub-prime lending - loans and mortgages for people with poor credit histories - has been big business in the US and UK in recent years.

But now defaults are rising, and the over-supply of unsold homes is threatening the undermine the entire US housing market, and mortgages are becoming harder to get.

Some of the big mortgage companies which borrowed heavily are in serious trouble, and the problem has spread to the credit markets as a whole.

Banks in Europe and Asia as well as the US have borrowed against the security of these bad loans, and the uncertainty over the size of their losses has caused stock market turmoil.

Most experts believe the US Federal Reserve will cut rates on Tuesday in an effort to restore confidence to the financial markets as the scale of the global credit crunch unfolds.

Have you been affected by the housing slump in the US? Are you a homeowner? Do you work in the real estate industry?

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