There are several categories of “Bad Actors”:
1) Bad Mortgages Takers
The people who speculated (gambled) on unrealistic and unsustainable rising real estate prices and took out mortgages that were not reasonable for them. Some also committed fraud when filling out mortgage applications.They deserve to fail. There homes should be lost. They do not deserve rescue. They made risky/foolish economic decisions and must pay the piper.
2) Bad Mortgage Originators
These are the people who nudged, duped, coaxed and suggested to some mortgage takers that they take on excessive risk (fiduciary misconduct). Worse, some also committed fraud by encouraging and reporting false mortgage application data which “qualified” people for loans which they could not reasonable be expected to service. The reduced the observable risk and classification risk which screwed up all later attempts at risk management from simple PMI to more exotic securities.
3) Bad Banking and Financial Server Enterprises
These are the enterprise that developed and made use of faulty (too rosy) models for evaluating the risk/return of mortgages and related complex securities. Also, these are the enterprises that did not provide proper oversight of their own activities (fiduciary responsibilities and duty of care).
4) Bad Political Actors
These are the politicians, lobbyists, and activists (heh…”Community Organizers”) who “changed” the financial system to provide more loans and credit to classes of applicants who did not deserve them on the merits.