Why did the subprime mortgage loans begin to expire in 2006?

What was so special about 2006? How did all of a sudden millions of people started to default on these loans given out? Did something precipitate this?

I understand why it happened but i don’t understand the suddenness of it.

The subprime mortgage crisis has already wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people and now it threatens to derail the U.S. economy and economies around the world. In this trenchant book, best-selling economist Robert Shiller reveals the origins of this crisis and puts forward bold measures to solve it. He calls for an aggressive response–a restructuring of the institutional foundations of the financial system that will not only allow people once again to buy and sell homes with confidence.

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