Data corner: understanding subprime mortgage defaults
Analysis conducted by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston provides insight into how subprime mortgages became as popular as they did, and why they have caused the problems that they have.
Massachusetts mortgage summit issues recommendations
In April 2007, the Massachusetts Division of Banks reported on the recommendations of its mortgage summit. The summit brought together a wide range of stakeholders to develop concrete responses to the problem of rising foreclosures. This article describes the collaborative process used in the mortgage summit and the recommendations issued. These recommendations illustrate a number of possible remedies to limit foreclosures and their impact on consumers and communities.
Innovation in technical assistance and lending for very small businesses
Everyday entrepreneurs, everyday people who run their own businesses, are often at a disadvantage in terms of their level of business expertise and access to resources. This article identifies innovative partnerships between lenders with technical assistance providers in the state of Massachusetts that are helping everyday entrepreneurs receive the guidance and financial assistance that they need to start or grow their businesses.
Data corner: remittances
Recent data on remittances to Latin America, including remittances from New England.
Venture capital in New England secondary cities
Over the past two decades, venture capital has been one of the major drivers of the U.S. economy. This article examines venture capital investment in secondary cities, cities outside of the 40 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), including New England secondary cities, and identifies factors that may explain how certain smaller cities attract venture capital.
The Elm City resident card: New Haven reaches out to immigrants
Cities with sizable immigrant populations are responding to the issue of illegal immigration in different ways. In 2004, the City of New Haven began to actively collaborate with its immigrant population for the purpose of finding ways to increase public safety and integrate immigrant residents into the civic life of the community. This article describes some of the policy choices made by the city in recent years.
Servicer performance in processing HAMP loan modifications: a survey of Massachusetts-based counseling agencies
The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) attempts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by compensating servicers that allow borrowers to modify the terms of their mortgages. To understand the seemingly troubled HAMP process, the Community Development unit of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank of Boston administered surveys to loan-modification counselors. The results indicate that the process takes much longer than the guidelines indicate and that servicers frequently claim the applications are incomplete. The surveys were run twice to assess any improvements.
An overview of the CDFI industry
The community development financial institutions (CDFI) industry is at a crossroads in terms of identifying strategies for increasing overall sustainability and scale, and ultimately, impact. This article presents an overview of the CDFI industry in the United States and New England and identifies the changes and challenges facing CDFIs and what they indicate for the sector?s future.
New ideas for old REOs: a disposition framework for marketing REOs for rental properties
The unprecedented accumulation of foreclosed properties in recent years has presented a challenge to communities, banks, and policymakers. This article outlines a potential disposition framework for government-sponsored and private enterprises to identify which foreclosed properties would be most appropriate for rental and which would remain most appropriate for homeownership. This disposition framework is then applied to the existing stock of foreclosed properties in Massachusetts, and the authors explore the possible utility of this analytic technique as a policy tool.
Challenges of the small rental property sector
Most rental housing in America is found in small multifamily buildings and this sector provides most of the options for low- and moderate-income (LMI) renters. With a growing wave of investors buying distressed properties in LMI neighborhoods, there are concerns about the ability of investors to properly maintain their investments. The author explores the small multifamily sector and suggests ways that policymakers can move beyond code enforcement and provide a combination of carrots and sticks to incentivize and increase the presence of ?good actors."