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Keywords:home equity 

Working Paper
Can Everyone Tap into the Housing Piggy Bank? Racial Disparities in Access to Home Equity

This paper documents large racial disparities in the ability of homeowners to access their housing wealth without moving. During the 2018–2021 period, Black homeowners’ mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW) product applications were rejected at almost double the rate of White homeowners (44% versus 23%), while Hispanic and Asian homeowners also experienced significantly higher denial rates (32% and 30%, respectively). These racial disparities in denials are much larger than those associated with purchase and rate/term refinance mortgage applications. Controlling for loan and borrower ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-25

Working Paper
Can Everyone Tap Into the Housing Piggy Bank? Racial Disparities in Access to Home Equity

An oft-touted benefit of homeownership is the ability to build and access equity, and in recent years the amount of “tappable” home equity held by US homeowners has reached historic levels. But more than one-quarter of recent applications for mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW) loan products were denied. Black and Hispanic homeowners’ applications were denied at even higher rates: 44 percent and 32 percent, respectively. These racial disparities in denials are larger than those associated with purchase and rate/term refinance mortgage applications. Controlling for loan and borrower ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2022-17

Journal Article
Lessons Learned from Mortgage Borrower Policies and Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article evaluates how the most important policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic affected the US mortgage market. In particular, we consider the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020; the follow-on American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, which extended many of the provisions in the CARES Act; and the Federal Reserve's large-scale asset purchase (LSAP) program that was announced in March 2020. Our analysis considers both the aggregate effects and the distributional effects of these policies on mortgage borrowers. Overall, we find that pandemic-era ...
Policy Hub , Volume 2022 , Issue 9

Working Paper
Homeowner Balance Sheets and Monetary Policy

This paper empirically identifies an important channel through which monetary policy affects consumer spending: homeowner balance sheets. A monetary loosening increases home values, thereby strengthening homeowner balance sheets and stimulating household spending due to a combination of collateral and wealth effects. The magnitude of these effects on a given household depends on local housing market characteristics such as local geography and regulation. Cities with the largest geographic and regulatory barriers to new construction see 3-4 percent responses in real house prices compared with ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-98

Working Paper
Dynastic Home Equity

Using a nationally representative panel of consumer credit records for the US from 1999 to 2021, we document a positive correlation between child and parent homeownership. We propose a new causal mechanism behind this relationship based on parents extracting home equity to help finance their child's home purchase and quantify this mechanism in several ways. First, controlling for cohort, zip code, age, and the creditworthiness of parents and children, we find that children whose parents extract equity are 60% more likely to become a homeowner than children whose homeowner-parents do not ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2022-13

Discussion Paper
Racial Differences in Mortgage Refinancing, Distress, and Housing Wealth Accumulation during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated racial disparities in U.S. mortgage markets. Black, Hispanic, and Asian borrowers were significantly more likely than white borrowers to miss payments due to financial distress, and significantly less likely to refinance to take advantage of the large decline in interest rates spurred by the Federal Reserve’s large-scale mortgage-backed security (MBS) purchase program. The wide-scale forbearance program, introduced by the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provided approximately equal payment relief to all distressed borrowers, ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 21-02

Discussion Paper
Racial Differences in Mortgage Refinancing, Distress, and Housing Wealth Accumulation during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic was characterized by both high refinancing volumes and high rates of mortgage nonpayment. Refinancing activity differed significantly across racial and ethnic groups, and we show that the benefits from the lower interest rate environment were not shared equally. Compared to white borrowers, Black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers experienced higher rates of nonpayment, which reflected both a greater transition into nonpayment status for Black and Hispanic borrowers and a lower likelihood of resuming payments. However, strong house price appreciation in recent years, ...
Policy Hub , Paper 2021-06

Report
Racial Differences in Mortgage Refinancing, Distress, and Housing Wealth Accumulation during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated racial disparities in U.S. mortgage markets. Black, Hispanic, and Asian borrowers were significantly more likely than white borrowers to miss payments due to financial distress, and significantly less likely to refinance to take advantage of the large decline in interest rates spurred by the Federal Reserve’s large-scale mortgage-backed security (MBS) purchase program. The wide-scale forbearance program, introduced by the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provided approximately equal payment relief to all distressed borrowers, ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Report
Lessons Learned from Mortgage Borrower Policies and Outcomes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article reviews the aid offered to the roughly 50 million homeowners with mortgages included in a forbearance program, and the Federal Reserve’s actions that pushed down mortgage rates, allowing many mortgage holders to reduce their monthly payments by refinancing. We deem these policies to be quite effective in relieving financial distress and allowing homeowners to stay in their homes, especially in contrast with the policies pursued during the Great Recession. We emphasize that these policies in part worked because of rising housing prices and home equity, before and during the ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Working Paper
End of the Line: Behavior of HELOC Borrowers Facing Payment Changes

An important question in the household finance literature is whether a change in required debt payments affects borrower behavior. One challenge in this literature has been identifying whether higher default rates observed after an increase in debt payments stem from the inability of borrowers to pay the higher amount, or the attrition of better borrowers in advance of the payment change. A related question is whether the higher default rate is a result of specific features of the debt product, or the type of borrower who chooses the product. We address both of these questions as they relate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-73

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