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Keywords:Mortgage 

Working Paper
Consumption in the Great Recession: The Financial Distress Channel

During the Great Recession, the collapse of consumption across the U.S. varied greatly but systematically with house-price declines. We find that financial distress among U.S. households amplified the sensitivity of consumption to house-price shocks. We uncover two essential facts: (1) the decline in house prices led to an increase in household financial distress prior to the decline in income during the recession, and (2) at the zip-code level, the prevalence of financial distress prior to the recession was positively correlated with house-price declines at the onset of the recession. Using ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-25

Working Paper
Consumption in the Great Recession: The Financial Distress Channel

During the Great Recession, the collapse of consumption across the U.S. varied greatly but systematically with house-price declines. We find that financial distress among U.S. households amplified the sensitivity of consumption to house-price shocks. We uncover two essential facts: (1) the decline in house prices led to an increase in household financial distress prior to the decline in income during the recession, and (2) at the zip-code level, the prevalence of financial distress prior to the recession was positively correlated with house-price declines at the onset of the recession. Using ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-6

Working Paper
On the Economics of Discrimination in Credit Markets

This paper develops a general equilibrium model of both taste-based and statistical discrimination in credit markets. We find that both types of discrimination have similar predictions for intergroup differences in loan terms. The commonly held view has been that if there exists taste-based discrimination, loans approved to minority borrowers would have higher expected profitability than to majorities with comparable credit background. We show that the validity of this profitability view depends crucially on how expected loan profitability is measured. We also show that there must exist ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2002-02

Working Paper
Do Minorities Pay More for Mortgages?

We test for racial discrimination in the prices charged by mortgage lenders. We construct a unique dataset where we observe all three dimensions of a mortgage's price: the interest rate, discount points, and fees. While we find statistically significant gaps by race and ethnicity in interest rates, these gaps are offset by differences in discount points. We trace out point-rate schedules and show that minorities and whites face identical schedules, but sort to different locations on the schedule. Such sorting may reflect systematic differences in liquidity or preferences. Finally, we find no ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-007

Working Paper
Second Home Buyers and the Housing Boom and Bust

Record-high second home buying (homeowners acquiring nonprimary residences) was a central feature of the 2000s boom, but the macroeconomic effects remain an open question partly because reliable geographic data is currently unavailable. This paper constructs local data on second home buying by merging credit bureau data with mortgage servicing records. The identification strategy exploits the fact that the vacation share of housing from the 2000 Census is predictive of second home origination shares during the boom years, while also uncorrelated with other boom-bust drivers including proxies ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-029

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

Working Paper
Consumer Mistakes and Advertising : The Case of Mortgage Refinancing

Does advertising help consumers to find the products they need or push them to buy products they don't need? In this paper, we study the effects of advertising on consumer mistakes and quantify the resulting effect on consumer welfare in the market for mortgage refinancing. Mortgage borrowers frequently make costly refinancing mistakes by either refinancing when they should wait, or by waiting when they should refinance. We assemble a novel data set that combines a borrower's exposure to direct mail refinance advertising and their subsequent refinancing decisions. Even though on average ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-067

Working Paper
Reverse mortgage loans: a quantitative analysis

Supersedes Working Paper 13-27. Reverse mortgage loans (RMLs) allow older homeowners to borrow against housing wealth without moving. Despite growth in this market, only 2.1% of eligible homeowners had RMLs in 2011. In this paper, the authors analyze reverse mortgages in a calibrated life-cycle model of retirement. The average welfare gain from RMLs is $885 per homeowner. The authors? model implies that low-income, low-wealth, and poor-health households benefit the most, consistent with empirical evidence. Bequest motives, nursing-home-move risk, house price risk, and loan costs all ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-27

Working Paper
The impact of the home valuation code of conduct on appraisal and mortgage outcomes

Superseded by Working Paper 15-28. During the housing crisis, it came to be recognized that inflated home mortgage appraisals were widespread during the subprime boom. The New York State Attorney General?s office investigated this issue with respect to one particular lender and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The investigation resulted in an agreement between the Attorney General?s office, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the GSEs? federal regulator) in 2008, in which the GSEs agreed to adopt the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC). Using ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-23

Working Paper
Home Equity in Retirement

Retired homeowners dissave more slowly than renters, which suggests that homeownership a?ects retirees? saving decisions. We investigate empirically and theoretically the life-cycle patterns of homeownership, housing and nonhousing assets in retirement. Using an estimated structural model of saving and housing decisions, we ?nd, ?rst, that homeowners dissave slowly because they prefer to stay in their house as long as possible but cannot easily borrow against it. Second, the 1996-2006 housing boom signi?cantly increased homeowners? assets. These channels are quantitatively signi?cant; without ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-50

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