Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Reducing Foreclosures: No Easy Answers

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24

Contents:

Author Info

  • Christopher Foote
  • Kristopher Gerardi
  • Lorenz Goette
  • Paul Willen

Abstract

This paper takes a skeptical look at a leading argument about what is causing the foreclosure crisis and distills some potential lessons for policy. We use an economic model to focus on two key decisions: the borrower's choice to default on a mortgage and the lender's subsequent choice whether to renegotiate or "modify" the loan. The theoretical model and econometric analysis illustrate that "unaffordable" loans, defined as those with high mortgage payments relative to income at origination, are unlikely to be the main reason that borrowers decide to default. In addition, this paper provides theoretical results and empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that the efficiency of foreclosure for investors is a more plausible explanation for the low number of modifications to date than contract frictions related to securitization agreements between servicers and investors. While investors might be foreclosing when it would be socially efficient to modify, there is little evidence to suggest they are acting against their own interests when they do so. An important implication of our analysis is that the extension of temporary help to borrowers suffering adverse life events like job loss could prevent more foreclosures than a policy that makes mortgages more "affordable" on a long-term basis.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c11790.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

as in new window

This chapter was published in:

  • Daron Acemoglu & Kenneth Rogoff & Michael Woodford, 2010. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number acem09-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11790.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11790

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Other versions of this item:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2008. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the 2007 Mortgage Default Crisis," NBER Working Papers 13936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Michelle A. Danis & Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2005. "The delinquency of subprime mortgages," Working Papers 2005-022, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. James M. Poterba, 1983. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset Market Approach," Working papers 339, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: theory and evidence," Public Policy Discussion Paper 08-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    5. Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, . "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 322, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
    6. Shane M. Sherlund, 2008. "The past, present, and future of subprime mortgages," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-63, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    8. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008. "Subprime mortgages, foreclosures, and urban neighborhoods," Public Policy Discussion Paper 08-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    9. Larry Cordell & Karen Dynan & Andreas Lehnert & Nellie Liang & Eileen Mauskopf, 2008. "The incentives of mortgage servicers: myths and realities," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Piskorski, Tomasz & Seru, Amit & Vig, Vikrant, 2010. "Securitization and distressed loan renegotiation: Evidence from the subprime mortgage crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 369-397, September.
    11. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
    12. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Kristopher Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro & Paul S. Willen, 2007. "Subprime outcomes: risky mortgages, homeownership experiences, and foreclosures," Working Papers 07-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    14. Carl F. Behrens, 1952. "Introduction to "Commercial Bank Activities in Urban Mortgage Financing"," NBER Chapters, in: Commercial Bank Activities in Urban Mortgage Financing, pages 1-13 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Dell''Ariccia, Giovanni & Igan, Deniz & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "Credit Booms and Lending Standards: Evidence From The Subprime Mortgage Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 6683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Carl F. Behrens, 1952. "Appendices and Index to "Commercial Bank Activities in Urban Mortgage Financing"," NBER Chapters, in: Commercial Bank Activities in Urban Mortgage Financing, pages 85-125 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. J. E. Morton, 1956. "Introduction to "Urban Mortgage Lending: Comparative Markets and Experience"," NBER Chapters, in: Urban Mortgage Lending: Comparative Markets and Experience, pages 1-13 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. J. E. Morton, 1956. "Urban Mortgage Lending: Comparative Markets and Experience," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mort56-1.
    19. Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Goette, Lorenz & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Just the facts: An initial analysis of subprime's role in the housing crisis," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 291-305, December.
    20. C. Lowell Harriss, 1951. "History and Policies of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number harr51-1.
    21. Kau James B. & Keenan Donald C. & Kim Taewon, 1994. "Default Probabilities for Mortgages," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 278-296, May.
    22. Carl F. Behrens, 1952. "Commercial Bank Activities in Urban Mortgage Financing," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number behr52-1.
    23. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11790. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.