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Jel Classification:R38 

Working Paper
An agency problem in the MBS market and the solicited refinancing channel of large-scale asset purchases

In this paper, we document that mortgage-backed securities (MBS) held by the Federal Reserve exhibit faster principal prepayment rates than MBS held by the rest of the market. Next, we show that this stylized fact persists even when controlling for factors that affect prepayment behavior, and thus determine the MBS that are delivered to the Federal Reserve. After ruling out several potential explanations for this result, we provide evidence that points to an agency problem in the secondary market for MBS, which has not previously been documented, as the most likely explanation for the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-27

Working Paper
Financing Affordable and Sustainable Homeownership with Fixed-COFI Mortgages

The 30-year fixed-rate fully amortizing mortgage (or ?traditional fixed-rate mortgage?) was a substantial innovation when first developed during the Great Depression. However, it has three major flaws. First, because homeowner equity accumulates slowly during the first decade, homeowners are essentially renting their homes from lenders. With this sluggish equity accumulation, many lenders require large down payments. Second, in each monthly mortgage payment, homeowners substantially compensate capital markets investors for the ability to prepay. The homeowners might have better uses for this ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-009

Discussion Paper
Evaluating the Benefits of a Streamlined Refinance Program

Mortgage borrowers who have experienced employment disruptions as a result of theCOVID-19 pandemic are unable to refinance their loans to take advantage of historically low market rates. In this article, we analyze the effects of a streamlined refinance (“refi”) program for government-insured loans that would allow borrowers to refinance without needing to document employment or income. In addition, we consider a cash-out component that would allow borrowers to extract some of the substantial amount of housing equity that many have accumulated in recent years.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-8

Journal Article
Trends in home purchase lending: consolidation and the Community Reinvestment Act

Consolidation among banking institutions has substantially changed the structure of the banking industry. Between 1975 and 1997, the number of commercial banks and savings associations declined more than 40 percent. Over the same broad period, the market for home mortgage lending has also changed substantially. Notably, home mortgage lending is no longer primarily the province of banking institutions operating in the communities in which they have banking offices. In recent decades, mortgage and finance companies and banking organizations operating outside their local communities have gained ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 85 , Issue Feb

Discussion Paper
Evaluating the Benefits of a Streamlined Refinance Program

Mortgage borrowers who have experienced employment disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are unable to refinance their loans to take advantage of historically low market rates. In this article, we analyze the effects of a streamlined refinance ("refi") program for government-insured loans that would allow borrowers to refinance without needing to document employment or income. In addition, we consider a cash-out component that would allow borrowers to extract some of the substantial amount of housing equity that many have accumulated in recent years.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-08

Working Paper
Improving the 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

The 30-year fixed-rate fully amortizing mortgage (or "traditional fixed-rate mortgage") was a substantial innovation when first developed during the Great Depression. However, it has three major flaws. First, because homeowner equity accumulates slowly during the first decade, homeowners are essentially renting their homes from lenders. With so little equity accumulation, many lenders require large down payments. Second, in each monthly mortgage payment, homeowners substantially compensate capital markets investors for the ability to prepay. The homeowner might have better uses for this ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-090

Discussion Paper
Developing Inclusive Communities: Challenges and Opportunities for Mixed-Income Housing

Over the past decade, housing costs have risen faster than incomes. The need for affordable rental housing has well outpaced the number of available units as well as funding allocations at the federal level. Local regulation and land use policies that increase the cost of subsidized, mixed-income housing construction and preservation have contributed to the affordability problem. {{p}} To meet the affordable housing needs in U.S. communities, innovation, creativity, and "out of the box" thinking may be required, particularly as it relates to reducing the rapidly increasing costs of ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2017-1

Discussion Paper
Blight remediation in the Southeast: local approaches to design and implementation

Blight?or the proliferation of vacant, abandoned, or poorly maintained properties?is a critical community issue in many cities in the Southeast as in other regions of the United States, as economic shifts experienced in the past few decades have changed neighborhoods significantly. Municipalities dealing with this issue recognize what is well documented in the literature?that blight is associated with social, economic, environmental, and public health effects on neighborhoods. The recent recession has led to a surge of abandoned and bank-owned properties, disproportionately located in poor ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2015-5

Working Paper
Do Low-Income Rental Housing Programs Complement Each Other? Evidence from Ohio

We characterize rental subsidy use in units developed with construction subsidies and explore whether the subsidy overlap responds to needs unmet by a tenant-based program alone. We present a subsidy allocation model allowing for program complementarity to guide our analysis of multiple subsidy use in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units. Findings for Ohio in 2011 suggest that rental assistance in LIHTC exhibits some degree of subsidy complementarity, particularly, when serving very poor households with special housing needs. We also find that very low income voucher holders who face a ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1429

Journal Article
The FHA and the GSEs as countercyclical tools in the mortgage markets

The authors examine the connection between government mortgage programs and economic outcomes during and after the financial crisis. They find a strong correlation between counties that participated more heavily in Federal Housing Administration (FHA)/Veterans Affairs (VA) and government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) mortgage lending before the crisis and better economic outcomes during and after the crisis. Although the financial crisis was a substantial shock to all counties, those more reliant on FHA/VA or GSE lending experienced smaller increases in unemployment rates; smaller declines in ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue 24-3 , Pages 28-40

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