Homebuilders, Affiliated Financing Arms and the Mortgage Crisis
The authors? findings indicate that homebuilder financing affiliates do make loans to observably riskier borrowers, but the loans made by homebuilders have lower delinquency rates than those made by unaffiliated lenders, even when loan and borrower characteristics are held constant.
Inducing more efficient payment on the Illinois Tollway
Historically, an important part of Chicago?s economic strength derived from its geographic location at the nexus of the country?s transportation networks. Yet, until quite recently, the payment options on the Illinois Tollway seemed incongruous with the remarkably efficient transportation network that has kept Chicago on the country?s economic forefront.
How did the 2003 dividend tax cut affect stock prices?
We test the hypothesis that the 2003 dividend tax cut boosted U.S. stock prices and thus lowered the cost of equity. Using an event- study methodology, we attempt to identify an aggregate stock market effect by comparing the behavior of U.S. common stock prices to that of European stocks and real estate investment trusts. We also examine the relative cross-sectional response of prices on high-dividend versus low-dividend paying stocks. We do not find any imprint of the dividend tax cut news on the value of the aggregate U.S. stock market. On the other hand, high-dividend stocks outperformed ...
Do financial counseling mandates improve mortgage choice and performance? Evidence from a legislative experiment
We explore the effects of mandatory third-party review of mortgage contracts on the terms, availability, and performance of mortgage credit. Our study is based on a legislative experiment in which the State of Illinois required ?high-risk? mortgage applicants acquiring or refinancing properties in 10 specific zip codes to submit loan offers from state-licensed lenders to review by HUD-certified financial counselors. We document that the legislation led to declines in both the supply of and demand for credit in the treated areas. Controlling for the salient characteristics of the remaining ...
How did the 2003 dividend tax cut affect stock prices?
We test the hypothesis that the 2003 dividend tax cut boosted U.S. stock prices and thus lowered the cost of equity. Using an event-study methodology, we attempt to identify an aggregate stock market effect by comparing the behavior of U.S. common stock prices to that of European stocks and real estate investment trusts. We also examine the relative cross-sectional response of stock prices for high-dividend and low-dividend stocks. We find that U.S. large-cap and small-cap indexes do not outperform their European counterparts, nor REIT stocks, over the event windows, suggesting the absence of ...
Detroit’s bankruptcy: the uncharted waters of Chapter 9
On July 18, 2013, Detroit became the largest municipality to seek protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This article describes several ways in which Detroit?s bankruptcy filing has the potential to alter some of the key assumptions of municipal bond (muni) finance, and examines the market reaction to date.
Economic Perspectives special issue on payments fraud: an introduction
This article provides an overview of this special issue of Economic Perspectives, which presents selected papers based on the proceedings of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's eighth annual Payments Conference, Payments Fraud: Perception Versus Reality, held on June 5?6, 2008.
Complex mortgages became a popular borrowing instrument during the bullish housing market of the early 2000s but vanished rapidly during the subsequent downturn. These non-traditional loans (interest only, negative amortization, and teaser mortgages) enable households to postpone loan repayment compared to traditional mortgages and hence relax borrowing constraints. At the same time, they increase household leverage and heighten dependence on mortgage refinancing to escape changes in contract terms. We document that complex mortgages were chosen by prime borrowers with high income levels ...
The tradeoff between mortgage prepayments and tax-deferred retirement savings
We show that a significant number of households can perform a tax arbitrage by cutting back on their additional mortgage payments and increasing their contributions to tax- deferred accounts (TDA). Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, we show that about 38% of U.S. households that are accelerating their mortgage payments instead of saving in tax-deferred accounts are making the wrong choice. For these households, reallocating their savings can yield a mean benefit of 11 to 17 cents per dollar, depending on the choice of investment assets in the TDA. ; In the aggregate, these ...
Access to Refinancing and Mortgage Interest Rates: HARPing on the Importance of Competition
We explore a policy-induced change in borrower ability to shop for mortgages to investigate whether market competitiveness affects mortgage interest rates. Our paper exploits a discontinuity in the competitive landscape introduced by the Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP). Under HARP, lenders that currently service loans eligible for refinancing enjoyed substantial advantages over their potential competitors. Using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, we show a jump in mortgage interest rates precisely at the HARP eligibility threshold. Our results suggest that limiting ...