Liquidity Crises in the Mortgage Market
Non-banks originated about half of all mortgages in 2016, and 75% of mortgages insured by the FHA or VA. Both shares are much higher than those observed at any point in the 2000s. We describe in this paper how non-bank mortgage companies are vulnerable to liquidity pressures in both their loan origination and servicing activities, and we document that this sector in aggregate appears to have minimal resources to bring to bear in a stress scenario. We show how the same liquidity issues unfolded during the financial crisis, leading to the failure of many non-bank companies, requests for ...
How Much Student Debt is Out There?
As is widely known, student loan debt has expanded significantly over the past decade or so and stands at historically high levels. But how much in total do students owe?
How Much Are Car Purchases Driven by Home Equity Withdrawal?
Previous research indicates that changes in housing wealth affect consumer spending on cars. We find that home equity extraction plays only a small role in this relationship. Consumers rarely use funds from equity extraction to purchase a car directly, even during the mid-2000s housing boom; this finding holds across three nationally representative household surveys. We find in credit bureau data that equity extraction does lead to a statistically significant increase in auto loan originations, consistent with equity extraction easing borrowing constraints in the auto loan market. This ...
401(k)s and household saving: new evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances
Although households have invested billions in 401(k) accounts, these balances may not be new saving if workers invest money that they would have saved in the program's absence. In this paper, I assess the effect of the 401(k) program on saving by comparing changes in the wealth of 401(k) eligible and ineligible households over the 1989-1998 period using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). This comparison may yield misleading estimates of the effect of 401(k)s on saving if eligible households have a higher taste for saving than ineligible households or if they begin the 1989-1998 ...
Improving the Measurement of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Survey of Consumer Finances
The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is one of the main data sources in the United States for assessing and analyzing differences in wealth and financial well-being across families. In recent years, the SCF estimates of racial and ethnic wealth gaps have garnered considerable attention, in part because these disparities are so large and persistent.
Foreclosing on opportunity: state laws and mortgage credit
Foreclosure laws govern the rights of borrowers and lenders when borrowers default on mortgages. Many states protect borrowers by imposing restrictions on the foreclosure process; these restrictions, in turn, impose large costs on lenders. Lenders may respond to these higher costs by reducing loan supply; borrowers may respond to the protections imbedded in these laws by demanding larger mortgages. I examine empirically the effect of the laws on equilibrium loan size. I exploit the rich geographic information available in the 1994 and 1995 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data to compare mortgage ...
Crisis Liquidity Facilities with Nonbank Counterparties: Lessons from the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility
In response to immense strains in the asset-backed securities market in 2008 and 2020, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury twice launched the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF). TALF was an unusual crisis facility because it provided loans to a wide range of nonbank financial institutions. Using detailed loan-level data unexplored by previous researchers, we study the behavior of nonbank borrowers in TALF. We find the extent to which the actions of these borrowers supported key program goals--stabilizing markets quickly, winding down the program when it was no longer ...
Subprime mortgages: what, where, and to whom?
We explore the types of data used to characterize risky subprime lending and consider the geographic dispersion of subprime lending. First, we describe the strengths and weaknesses of three different datasets on subprime mortgages using information from LoanPerformance, HUD, and HMDA. These datasets embody different definitions of subprime mortgages. We show that estimates of the number of subprime originations are somewhat sensitive to which types of mortgages are categorized as subprime. Second, we describe what parts of the country and what sorts of neighborhoods had more subprime ...
Technological Innovation and Discrimination in Household Finance
Technology has changed how discrimination manifests itself in financial services. Replacing human discretion with algorithms in decision-making roles reduces taste-based discrimination, and new modeling techniques have expanded access to financial services to households who were previously excluded from these markets. However, algorithms can exhibit bias from human involvement in the development process, and their opacity and complexity can facilitate statistical discrimination inconsistent with antidiscrimination laws in several aspects of financial services provision, including advertising, ...
Auto Sales and Credit Supply
Vehicle purchases fell by more than 20 percent during the 2007-09 recession, and auto loan originations fell by a third. We show that vehicle purchases typically account for an outsized share of the contraction in economic activity during a recession, in part because a concurrent tightening in auto lending conditions makes car purchases less affordable for many households. We explore the link between lending conditions and vehicle purchases with a novel gauge of credit supply conditions--household perceptions of vehicle financing conditions as measured on the Reuters/University of Michigan ...