Foreclosure is the process of a mortgage holder taking possession of a property if the homeowner fails to keep up mortgage payments. More than 12.5 million homes have gone into foreclosure since 2007, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending. Foreclosure threatens the financial security of individuals and is a devastating experience for a household’s finances, as homeownership is still the single largest source of equity for American households. Because states have exclusive control over foreclosure laws, they are in a strong position to mitigate the impact of foreclosures. And, to ensure that families are afforded critical protections during the foreclosure process, states can regulate general mortgage servicing conduct and practices related to borrowers at risk of foreclosure. Many service providers offer foreclosure counseling to clients.