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Author:Ritter, Dubravka 

Working Paper
Strategic Default Among Private Student Loan Debtors: Evidence from Bankruptcy Reform

Bankruptcy reform in 2005 restricted debtors? ability to discharge private student loan debt. The reform was motivated by the perceived incentive of some borrowers to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 even if they had, or expected to have, sufficient income to service their debt. Using a national sample of credit bureau files, we examine whether private student loan borrowers distinctly adjusted their Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing behavior in response to the reform. We do not find evidence to indicate that the moral hazard associated with dischargeability appreciably affected the behavior of ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-38

Discussion Paper
Fair lending analysis of credit cards

This paper discusses some of the key fair lending risks that can arise in various stages of the marketing, acquisition, and management of credit card accounts, and the analysis that can be employed to manage such risks. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and its implementing Regulation B prohibit discrimination in all aspects of credit transactions and include specific provisions relating to processes that employ credit scoring models. This paper discusses some of the areas of credit card operations that may be assessed in an effort to manage the risk of noncompliance with fair lending ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 14-2

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Identity Theft: Evidence from Consumer Credit Bureau Records

This paper examines how a negative shock to the security of personal finances due to severe identity theft changes consumer credit behavior. Using a unique data set of consumer credit records and alerts indicating identity theft and the exogenous timing of victimization, we show that the immediate effects of fraud on credit files are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent, positive changes in credit characteristics, including improved Risk Scores. Consumers also exhibit caution with credit by having fewer ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-2

Working Paper
Do student loan borrowers opportunistically default? Evidence from bankruptcy reform

Bankruptcy reform in 2005 eliminated debtors? ability to discharge private student loan debt in bankruptcy. This law aimed to reduce costly defaults by diminishing the perceived incentive of some private student loan borrowers to declare bankruptcy even if they had sufficient income to service their debt. Using a unique, nationally representative sample of anonymized credit bureau files, we examine the bankruptcy filing and delinquency rates of private student loan borrowers in response to the 2005 bankruptcy reform. We do not find evidence that the nondischargeability provision reduced the ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-17

Discussion Paper
Consumer financial protection regulations: how do they measure up?

The Payment Cards Center's September 2012 policy conference advanced the discussion of targeted design and outcome measurement as central features of public policy in the area of consumer financial protections. Speakers considered regulations addressing the disclosure of credit terms; standards for assessing the unfairness, deceptiveness, and abusiveness of lending acts or practices; the management of revolving credit accounts; and the challenges of analyzing consumer complaints in the context of consumer financial protections. The concluding panel discussed unanswered questions and research ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 14-5

Discussion Paper
Modern Income-Share Agreements in Postsecondary Education: Features, Theory, Applications

An income-share agreement (ISA) in postsecondary education is a contract in which students pledge to pay a certain percentage of their future incomes over a set period of time in exchange for funding educational program expenses in the present. Typically, participants begin to make payments once their incomes rise above a minimum threshold set by the terms of the ISA and will never pay more than a set cap (usually, a multiple of the original amount). Funding for ISAs can range from university sources to philanthropic funding and private investor capital. In this study, we describe the many ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 19-6

Working Paper
Identity theft as a teachable moment

This paper examines how instances of identity theft that are sufficiently severe to induce consumers to place an extended fraud alert in their credit reports affect their risk scores, delinquencies, and other credit bureau variables on impact and thereafter. We show that for many consumers these effects are relatively small and transitory. However, for a significant number of consumers, especially those with lower risk scores prior to the event, there are more persistent and generally positive effects on credit bureau variables, including risk scores. We argue that these positive changes for ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-28

Discussion Paper
Do we still need the Equal Credit Opportunity Act?

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits discrimination in any aspect of a credit transaction based on sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, age, or other specified factors. Regulation B implementing the ECOA, a applied by the courts, requires that financial institutions challenged on the basis that a policy or practice has a disparate impact on a protected class must demonstrate that such a policy or practices is related to creditworthiness and is justified by a legitimate and necessary business objective. Certain factors that lenders may use in their decisions regarding ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 12-03

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Identity Theft

We examine how a negative shock from identity theft affects consumer credit market behavior. We show that the immediate effects of fraud on credit files are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent increases in credit scores and declines in reported delinquencies, with a significant proportion of affected consumers transitioning from subprime-to-prime credit scores. Those consumers take advantage of their improved creditworthiness to obtain additional credit, including auto loans and mortgages. Despite having ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-33

Working Paper
IDENTITY THEFT AS A TEACHABLE MOMENT

SUPERCEDES 14-28. This paper examines how a negative shock to the security of personal finances due to severe identity theft changes consumer credit behavior. Using a unique data set of linked consumer credit data and alerts indicating identity theft, we show that the immediate effects of fraud on consumers are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent, positive changes in credit characteristics, including improved risk scores (indicating lower default risk). We argue that these changes are consistent with ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-27

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