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Working Paper
Owner-Occupancy Fraud and Mortgage Performance

We use a matched credit bureau and mortgage dataset to identify occupancy fraud in residential mortgage originations, that is, borrowers who misrepresented their occupancy status as owner-occupants rather than residential real estate investors. In contrast to previous studies, our dataset allows us to show that – during the housing bubble – such fraud was broad based, appearing in the government-sponsored enterprise market and in loans held on bank portfolios as well, and increases the effective share of investors by 50 percent. We show that a key benefit of investor fraud was obtaining a ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-53

Working Paper
Owner-Occupancy Fraud and Mortgage Performance

We identify occupancy fraud — borrowers who misrepresent their occupancy status as owner-occupants rather than investors — in residential mortgage originations. Unlike previous work, we show that fraud was prevalent in originations not just during the housing bubble, but also persists through more recent times. We also demonstrate that fraud is broad-based and appears in government-sponsored enterprise and bank portfolio loans, not just in private securitization; these fraudulent borrowers make up one-third of the effective investor population. Occupancy fraud allows riskier borrowers to ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-01

Working Paper
Debtor Fraud in Consumer Debt Renegotiation

We study how forcing financially distressed consumer debtors to repay a larger fraction of debt can lead them to misreport data fraudulently. Using a plausibly exogenous policy change that required debtors to increase repayment to creditors, we document that debtors manipulated data to avoid higher repayment. Consistent with deliberate fraud, data manipulators traveled farther to find more lenient insolvency professionals who, historically, approved more potentially fraudulent filings. Finally, we find that those debtors who misreported income had a lower probability of default on their debt ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-35



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