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Mortgage Broker Regulations That Matter: Analyzing Earnings, Employment, and Outcomes for Consumers

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  • Morris M. Kleiner
  • Richard M. Todd
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    Abstract

    As the role of mortgage brokers in mortgage origination grew from insignificant in the 1980s to dominant in recent years, questions have arisen about whether its services help or harm consumers. In response, states have increasingly regulated the business, largely by creating and tightening occupational licensing requirements for mortgage brokers. The question of whether increased occupational licensing of mortgage brokers improves consumer outcomes is theoretically ambiguous and has been little studied empirically. This study introduces a new database of mortgage broker licensing requirements and assesses the relationships between these requirements and outcomes in both the labor market for brokers and the consumer market for mortgages. We find that one typical regulation—the requirement in many states that mortgage brokers maintain a surety bond or minimum net worth—has a significant and fairly consistent statistical relationship with both labor and consumer market outcomes. In particular, we find that tighter bonding/net worth requirements are associated with slightly higher broker earnings, fewer brokers, fewer subprime mortgages, higher foreclosure rates, and a greater percentage of high-interest-rate mortgages. Although we do not provide a full causal interpretation of these results, we take seriously the possibility that restrictive bonding requirements for mortgage brokers have unintended negative consequences for many consumers. On balance, our results also seem to support the relevance of theories of occupational licensing that stress the importance of financial entry and exit barriers.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13684.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13684.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2007
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    Publication status: published as Mortgage Broker Regulations That Matter: Analyzing Earnings, Employment, and Outcomes for Consumers , Morris M. Kleiner, Richard M. Todd. in Studies of Labor Market Intermediation , Autor. 2009
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13684

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    1. Karen M. Pence, 2003. "Foreclosing on opportunity: state laws and mortgage credit," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Morris M. Kleiner & Alan B. Krueger, 2010. "The Prevalence and Effects of Occupational Licensing," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(4), pages 676-687, December.
    3. Marc T. Law & Sukkoo Kim, 2004. "Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Shepard, Lawrence, 1978. "Licensing Restrictions and the Cost of Dental Care," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 187-201, April.
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    7. Bostic, Raphael W. & Engel, Kathleen C. & McCoy, Patricia A. & Pennington-Cross, Anthony & Wachter, Susan M., 2008. "State and local anti-predatory lending laws: The effect of legal enforcement mechanisms," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 47-66.
    8. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
    9. Cynthia J. Pahl, 2007. "A compilation of state mortgage broker laws and regulations, 1996-2006," Community Affairs Report 2007-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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    11. Kristopher Gerardi & Harvey S. Rosen & Paul Willen, 2006. "Do households benefit from financial deregulation and innovation?: the case of the mortgage market," Public Policy Discussion Paper 06-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    12. Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Investment, Moral Hazard, and Occupational Licensing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 843-62, October.
    13. Randall S. Kroszner, 2007. "Legislative proposals on reforming mortgage practices: testimony before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, October 24, 2007," Speech 339, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. William P. Rogerson, 1983. "Reputation and Product Quality," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 508-516, Autumn.
    15. William P. Alexander & Scott D. Grimshaw & Grant R. McQueen & Barrett A. Slade, 2002. "Some Loans Are More Equal than Others: Third-Party Originations and Defaults in the Subprime Mortgage Industry," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 667-697.
    16. Kleiner, Morris M & Kudrle, Robert T, 2000. "Does Regulation Affect Economic Outcomes? The Case of Dentistry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 547-82, October.
    17. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jonathan Spader & Roberto Quercia, 2011. "Mortgage Brokers and the Refinancing Transaction: Evidence from CRA Borrowers," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 181-210, February.
    2. Michael LaCour-Little, 2009. "The Pricing of Mortgages by Brokers: An Agency Problem?," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 31(2), pages 235-264.
    3. Keys, Benjamin J. & Mukherjee, Tanmoy & Seru, Amit & Vig, Vikrant, 2009. "Financial regulation and securitization: Evidence from subprime loans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 700-720, July.
    4. Francisca Richter, 2008. "An analysis of foreclosure rate differentials in soft markets," Working Paper 0811, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

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