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The geography of foreclosure in Contra Costa County, California

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  • Kristin L. Perkins
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    Abstract

    Americans of all races and income levels recognize homeownership as a quintessential part of the American dream. This belief, along with federal policy that encourages homeownership and increased access to credit, has contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of families that own their home, particularly among low-income and minority households. In addition, rising homeownership in the first part of this decade contributed substantially to neighborhood revitalization, and brought much needed investment into low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The recent subprime meltdown and rising foreclosures, however, threaten these gains. In this study, I use 2007 foreclosure data from Contra Costa County, California, to examine how foreclosures are distributed across neighborhoods, and to identify the neighborhood characteristics that are associated with foreclosure. I find that foreclosures are directly associated with subprime lending and that both subprime lending and foreclosures are concentrated in neighborhoods with high proportions of minority residents, lower-income households, and less educated households. These results have important policy implications for mortgage lending regulations and housing policies moving forward.

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    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/publications/community/wpapers/2009/wp2009-03.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Community Development Investment Center Working Paper with number 2009-03.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfcw:2009-03

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    Keywords: Foreclosure - California;

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    1. Paul S. Calem & Kevin Gillen & Susan Wachter, 2004. "The Neighborhood Distribution of Subprime Mortgage Lending," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 393-410, December.
    2. Chau Do & Irina Paley, 2007. "Explaining the Growth of Higher-Priced Loans in HMDA: A Decomposition Approach," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 29(4), pages 441-478.
    3. Michael LaCour-Little, 2007. "Economic Factors Affecting Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Reporting," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 29(4), pages 479-510.
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