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

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

We evaluate the effects of laws designed to protect borrowers from foreclosure. We find that these laws delay but do not prevent foreclosures. We first compare states that require lenders to seek judicial permission to foreclose with states that do not. Borrowers in judicial states are no more likely to cure and no more likely to renegotiate their loans, but the delays lead to a build-up in these states of persistently delinquent borrowers, the vast majority of whom eventually lose their homes. We next analyze a “right-to-cure” law instituted in Massachusetts on May 1, 2008. Using a difference-in-differences approach to evaluate the effect of the policy, we compare Massachusetts with neighboring states that did not adopt similar 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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 73 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-17

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:73:y:2013:i:1:p:1-17
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  1. 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.
  2. Manuel Adelino & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Why Don't Lenders Renegotiate More Home Mortgages? Redefaults, Self-Cures and Securitization," NBER Working Papers 15159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher S. Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Reducing foreclosures: no easy answers," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, 03.
  6. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi & Francesco Trebbi, 2011. "Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy," NBER Working Papers 16685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Zachary K. Kimball & Paul S. Willen, 2012. "US mortgage and foreclosure law," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  9. 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.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron & Rogoff, Kenneth & Woodford, Michael (ed.), 2010. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226002095.
  11. Andra C. Ghent & Marianna Kudlyak, 2011. "Recourse and Residential Mortgage Default: Evidence from US States 1," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(9), pages 3139-3186.
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