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Do borrower rights improve borrower outcomes? Evidence from the foreclosure process

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  • Kristopher Gerardi
  • Lauren Lambie-Hanson
  • Paul S. Willen

Abstract

Many have argued that laws that give borrowers additional rights can help prevent unnecessary foreclosures by giving borrowers more time to cure their delinquencies or by facilitating workouts. We first compare states that allow power-of-sale foreclosures with states that do not and find that preventing power-of-sale foreclosures extends the foreclosure timeline dramatically but does not, in the long run, lead to fewer foreclosures. Borrowers in states that allow power-of-sale foreclosure are no less likely to cure and no less likely to renegotiate their loans. We then exploit a "right-to-cure" law instituted in Massachusetts in May 2008. We employ a differences-in-differences approach to evaluate the effect of the policy, comparing Massachusetts with neighboring states that did not adopt such laws. We find that the right-to-cure law lengthens the foreclosure timeline but does not lead to better outcomes for borrowers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2011-16.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2011-16

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  1. Manuel Adelino & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Why don't lenders renegotiate more home mortgages? redefaults, self-cures, and securitization," Working Paper 2009-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Richard A. Phillips & Eric M. Rosenblatt, 1997. "The Legal Environment and the Choice of Default Resolution Alternatives: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 13(2), pages 145-154.
  3. Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2006. "The duration of foreclosures in the subprime mortgage market: a competing risks model with mixing," Working Papers 2006-027, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. J. Michael Collins & Ken Lam & Christopher E. Herbert, 2011. "State mortgage foreclosure policies and lender interventions: Impacts on borrower behavior in default," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 216-232, Spring.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Rogoff, Kenneth & Woodford, Michael (ed.), 2010. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226002095, December.
  6. Karen M. Pence, 2006. "Foreclosing on Opportunity: State Laws and Mortgage Credit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 177-182, February.
  7. Richard A. Phillips & James H. VanderHoff, 2004. "The Conditional Probability of Foreclosure: An Empirical Analysis of Conventional Mortgage Loan Defaults," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 571-587, December.
  8. Christopher Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Reducing foreclosures: no easy answers," Working Paper 2009-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Zachary K. Kimball & Paul S. Willen, 2012. "US mortgage and foreclosure law," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
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