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Author:Lambie-Hanson, Lauren 

Working Paper
Can Everyone Tap into the Housing Piggy Bank? Racial Disparities in Access to Home Equity

This paper documents large racial disparities in the ability of homeowners to access their housing wealth without moving. During the 2018–2021 period, Black homeowners’ mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW) product applications were rejected at almost double the rate of White homeowners (44% versus 23%), while Hispanic and Asian homeowners also experienced significantly higher denial rates (32% and 30%, respectively). These racial disparities in denials are much larger than those associated with purchase and rate/term refinance mortgage applications. Controlling for loan and borrower ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-25

Working Paper
Can Everyone Tap Into the Housing Piggy Bank? Racial Disparities in Access to Home Equity

An oft-touted benefit of homeownership is the ability to build and access equity, and in recent years the amount of “tappable” home equity held by US homeowners has reached historic levels. But more than one-quarter of recent applications for mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW) loan products were denied. Black and Hispanic homeowners’ applications were denied at even higher rates: 44 percent and 32 percent, respectively. These racial disparities in denials are larger than those associated with purchase and rate/term refinance mortgage applications. Controlling for loan and borrower ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2022-17

Working Paper
Leaving Households Behind: Institutional Investors and the U.S. Housing Recovery

Ten years after the mortgage crisis, the U.S. housing market has rebounded significantly with house prices now near the peak achieved during the boom. Homeownership rates, on the other hand, have continued to decline. We reconcile the two phenomena by documenting the rising presence of institutional investors in this market. Our analysis makes use of housing transaction data. By exploiting heterogeneity in zip codes' exposure to the First Look program instituted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that affected investors' access to foreclosed properties, we establish the causal relationship between ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-1

Discussion Paper
Deconstructing Mechanic’s Liens

In this paper, we examine a new data set composed of mechanic’s lien complaints filed in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia County). Over a 10-year period, 426 mechanic’s liens were filed against 398 single-family properties, which is less than 0.1 percent of single-family properties in Philadelphia. The lien properties in our data set tend to be more expensive, newer, and larger than non-lien properties. About 80 percent of mechanic’s liens are filed by general contractors, with the remainder pursued by a subcontractor. Notably, a 2014 change in Pennsylvania law ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper DP 20-04

Working Paper
Institutional Investors and the U.S. Housing Recovery

We study the house price recovery in the U.S. single-family residential housing market since the outbreak of the mortgage crisis, which, in contrast to the preceding housing boom, was not accompanied by a rise in homeownership rates. Using comprehensive property-level transaction data, we show that this phenomenon is largely explained by the emergence of institutional investors. By exploiting heterogeneity in a county?s exposure to local lending conditions and to government programs that a?ected investors? access to residential properties, we estimate that the increasing presence of ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-45

Residential Mortgage Refinancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Historically low interest rates have spurred a refinance wave among American homeowners, particularly those with higher credit scores and greater home equity. However, millions of borrowers may still benefit from refinancing, and industry forecasts suggest interest rates will remain low over the next 12 months.
Consumer Finance Institute Research Briefs and Special Reports

Journal Article
Investing in Elm Street: What Happens When Firms Buy Up Houses?

Since the onset of the mortgage crisis in 2007, a much larger than normal share of single-family houses listed for sale in the U.S. each year has been purchased by institutional investors?Wall Street firms, real estate trusts, international funds, and so on. This phenomenon has been easing since 2013, but investor activity remains widespread and is particularly prevalent in high-foreclosure areas such as Las Vegas and Atlanta, where prices had soared during the housing bubble and, after the crash, severe house price downturns occurred. This trend is also growing in areas of the country where ...
Economic Insights , Volume 3 , Issue 3 , Pages 9-14

Working Paper
A cost-benefit analysis of judicial foreclosure delay and a preliminary look at new mortgage servicing rules

Since the start of the financial crisis, we have seen an extraordinary lengthening of foreclosure timelines, particularly in states that require judicial review to complete a foreclosure but also recently in nonjudicial states. Our analysis synthesizes findings from several lines of research, updates results, and presents new analysis to examine the costs and benefits of judicial foreclosure review. Consistent with previous studies, we find that judicial review imposes large costs with few, if any, offsetting benefits. We also provide early analysis of the new mortgage servicing rules enacted ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-14

Journal Article
Lessons Learned from Mortgage Borrower Policies and Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article evaluates how the most important policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic affected the US mortgage market. In particular, we consider the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020; the follow-on American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, which extended many of the provisions in the CARES Act; and the Federal Reserve's large-scale asset purchase (LSAP) program that was announced in March 2020. Our analysis considers both the aggregate effects and the distributional effects of these policies on mortgage borrowers. Overall, we find that pandemic-era ...
Policy Hub , Volume 2022 , Issue 9

Working Paper
Stuck in Subprime? Examining the Barriers to Refinancing Mortgage Debt

Despite falling interest rates and major federal policy intervention, many borrowers who could financially gain from refinancing have not done so. We investigate the rates at which, relative to prime borrowers, subprime borrowers seek and take out refinance loans, conditional on not experiencing mortgage default. We find that starting in 2009, subprime borrowers are about half as likely as prime borrowers to refinance, although they still shop for mortgage credit, indicating their interest in refinancing. The disparity in refinancing is driven in part by the tightened credit environment ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-39


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