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Series:Community Affairs Report  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

Report
Secured transaction codes: an important tool for tribal economic and housing development
There is growing discussion in Indian Country about the benefits of commercial codes. Often referred to as UCCs, they are important tools for enabling and supporting tribal economic and housing development by improving access to commercial and consumer credit. This article lends support to these discussions by explaining what commercial codes - and, more specifically, secured transaction laws - are and what they do. It discusses how secured transaction codes can help lessen or eliminate some of the significant barriers frequently faced by tribes, Native-owned private businesses and Native consumers when they try to borrow money or make purchases on credit from outside lenders and other businesses. In addition, the article notes several examples of secured transaction codes that tribes around the country have enacted, in some cases highlighting issues they raise. Finally, the article provides information about an important initiative currently under way by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to draft a comprehensive model tribal secured transaction code and companion implementation guide.
AUTHORS: Woodrow, Sue
DATE: 2004

Report
A case for post-purchase support programs as part of Minnesota's emerging markets homeownership initiative
The State of Minnesotas Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative (EMHI) seeks to boost homeownership rates among Minnesotas emerging markets, defined as households of color, non-English speaking households, and households in which English is a second language. Many of the implementation strategies in the EMHI Business Plan address general barriers to homeownership and should increase the number of emerging market households that become first-time homeowners. EMHI doesnt stop there, however. It also recognizes the need to sustain homeownership after initial purchase, in keeping with growing evidence that the clich once an owner, always an owner is far from true, especially for minority and low-income households. In particular, the EMHI Business Plan includes a strategy for developing and implementing a post-purchase services network that will enhance their prospects for successful, sustainable homeownership. As a foundation for the implementation effort, this report explains why Minnesota is in a good position to use post-purchase support programs to pursue EMHIs goals.
AUTHORS: Grover, Michael; Todd, Richard M.
DATE: 2005

Report
Targeting foreclosure interventions: an analysis of neighborhood characteristics associated with high foreclosure rates in two Minnesota counties
This study examines the statistical association of foreclosure sales with social, economic and housing variables measured at the Census tract level for two purposes of interest to foreclosure mitigation practitioners - to assess whether it is feasible to identify in advance neighborhoods likely to have high rates of foreclosure, and to explore the socioeconomic traits of high-foreclosure neighborhoods so as to design appropriate mitigation programs. We collected data on foreclosure sales in 2002 from the sheriffs departments of Hennepin and Ramsey counties, the two core counties that comprise the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA. We find that several factors commonly associated with high foreclosure sale rates could have correctly identified, in advance, most neighborhoods with high rates of mortgage foreclosure. To guide the design of foreclosure mitigation programs, we also present evidence that foreclosure risks in our two counties were highest in neighborhoods with elevated credit risk indicators and a high proportion of homeowners who are recent minority buyers or young. We show that an accurate credit risk variable is among the best predictors of foreclosure and also critically affects our multivariate analysis of factors associated with foreclosure. To limit social losses associated with foreclosures, we conclude that consideration should be given to enhancing public access to data on mortgages, foreclosures, and foreclosure risk factors, especially the neighborhood distribution of credit scores.
AUTHORS: Todd, Richard M.; Smith, Laura; Grover, Michael
DATE: 2007

Report
A compilation of state mortgage broker laws and regulations, 1996-2006
This document catalogs and summarizes the basic provisions of licensing and registration policies that govern firms and individuals engaged in mortgage brokering activities in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The intent is to facilitate further research on mortgage broker regulation that can assist state governments in developing legislative priorities that will result in optimal regulatory outcomes.
AUTHORS: Pahl, Cynthia J.
DATE: 2007

Report
Accounting for regional migration patterns and homeownership disparities in the Hmong-American refugee community, 1980-2000
Hmong refugees began arriving in significant numbers in the United States in the late 1970s. Compared to typical immigrants, Hmong-Americans came with few financial, labor market, or co-ethnic support factors in favor of their economic success in the United States. Focusing on homeownership as an indicator of economic assimilation, we show that indeed the overall Hmong-American homeownership rate was initially very low but had converged, by 2000, to a level typical for U.S. immigrants of equivalent time in country. Over the same period, however, wide regional gaps in Hmong-American homeownership emerged. By 2000, most of these gaps had also disappeared, except that Hmong-American homeownership rates in the metropolitan areas of the Central Valley of California remained very low. We present evidence that selective migration patterns related to state differences in public assistance policies were important in the emergence of regional homeownership differences in the 1980s, and that changes in these policies were among the factors that closed most of the gaps in the 1990s. Then, taking location in 2000 as given, we adapt the method of Coulson (2002) to statistically account for the gap between the Hmong-American homeownership rate in the Central Valley and elsewhere. Using probit regressions on data for individual Hmong-American households from the 2000 Public Use Microsample from the U.S. Census, we find that both personal traits of the household head (age, English ability, and residential locational stability) and household financial variables (total income, public assistance income, and the relative cost of owning versus renting) significantly affect the odds that a given Hmong household owns its residence. Nonetheless, we find that the Central Valleys persistent lag in Hmong-American homeownership is mostly accounted for by regional differences in the financial variables and hardly at all by regional differences in the Hmong-American personal traits we measure. A caveat to this conclusion is that one of our financial variables, public assistance income, may proxy for unmeasured regional differences in personal attributes.
AUTHORS: Grover, Michael; Todd, Richard M.
DATE: 2008

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