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Author:Amromin, Gene 

Working Paper
Market-based loss mitigation practices for troubled mortgages following the financial crisis

The meltdown in residential real-estate prices that commenced in 2006 resulted in unprecedented mortgage delinquency rates. Until mid-2009, lenders and servicers pursued their own individual loss mitigation practices without being significantly influenced by government intervention. Using a unique dataset that precisely identifies loss mitigation actions, we study these methods?liquidation, repayment plans, loan modification, and refinancing?and analyze their effectiveness. We show that the majority of delinquent mortgages do not enter any loss mitigation program or become a part of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2011-03

Newsletter
Inequality and Recessions

The increase in inequality over the past several decades has received widespread attention from both academics and the public at large. While much of this discourse centers on either the causes or normative implications of increasing inequality, it is important to ask whether the widening gap between the rich and poor has any direct effects on macroeconomic aggregates and, in particular, on the severity of the Great Recession, when output and consumption dropped precipitously and were slow to recover (see figure 1).
Chicago Fed Letter

Journal Article
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.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 33 , Issue Q I , Pages 2-6

Working Paper
Expectations of risk and return among household investors: Are their Sharpe ratios countercyclical?

Data obtained from special questions on the Michigan Survey of Consumer Attitudes over several years are used to analyze stock market beliefs and portfolio choices of household investors. Consistent with other survey results, expected future returns appear to be extrapolated from past realized returns. The data also indicate that expected risk and return are strongly influenced by economic prospects. When investors believe macroeconomic conditions are more expansionary, they tend to expect both higher returns and lower volatility, which implies that household Sharpe ratios are procyclical. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-17

Newsletter
Helping Homeowners During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Lessons from the Great Recession

The Covid-19 public health crisis has sharply reduced the earnings of millions of U.S. households, following the severe curtailment of economic activity needed to contain the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, households continue to confront their ongoing financial obligations. The ability of households to manage these obligations has important consequences for the speed at which the U.S. economy can recover from the current crisis. Households that are wiped out financially in the coming months will not be in a position to strongly resume spending once the virus containment issues have passed. ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 443 , Pages 9

Working Paper
Complex mortgages

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 ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2010-17

Newsletter
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.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue Apr

Working Paper
The role of securitization in mortgage renegotiation

We study the effects of securitization on renegotiation of distressed residential mortgages over the current financial crisis. Unlike prior studies, we employ unique data that directly observe lender renegotiation actions and cover more than 60% of the U.S. mortgage market. Exploiting within-servicer variation in these data, we find that bank-held loans are 26% to 36% more likely to be renegotiated than comparable securitized mortgages (4.2 to 5.7% in absolute terms). Also, modifications of bank-held loans are more efficient: conditional on a modification, bank-held loans have lower ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2011-02

Working Paper
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 ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-25

Conference Paper
From the horse’s mouth: gauging conditional expected stock returns from investor surveys

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