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A Loan Modification Approach to the Housing Crisis


  • Eric A. Posner
  • Luigi Zingales


The housing crisis threatens to destroy hundreds of billions of dollars of value by causing homeowners with negative equity to walk away from their houses. We advocate a legal reform that would allow homeowners to reduce principal while giving mortgage holders an equity interest. Such a plan would give homeowners an incentive to keep or resell their homes, thus reducing the market value loss of homes while protecting the effective value of creditors' interests. Two further elements of the plan are that it uses prices based on the average house price in a particular ZIP code; and it is automated. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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  • Eric A. Posner & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "A Loan Modification Approach to the Housing Crisis," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 575-607.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:11:y:2009:i:2:p:575-607

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    Cited by:

    1. Fang, Hanming & Kim, You Suk & Li, Wenli, 2015. "The Dynamics of Adjustable-Rate Subprime Mortgage Default: A Structural Estimation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-114, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Fang, Hanming & Kim, You Suk & Li, Wenli, 2016. "The dynamics of subprime adjustable-rate mortgage default: a structural estimation," Working Papers 16-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Sumit Agarwal & Gene Amromin & Itzhak Ben-David & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru, 2017. "Policy Intervention in Debt Renegotiation: Evidence from the Home Affordable Modification Program," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 654-712.
    4. Zhang, Yan, 2013. "Does loan renegotiation differ by securitization status? A transition probability study," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 513-527.
    5. Kim, Jiseob, 2015. "Household’s optimal mortgage and unsecured loan default decision," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 222-244.
    6. Agarwal, Sumit & Amromin, Gene & Ben-David, Itzhak & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Evanoff, Douglas D., 2011. "The role of securitization in mortgage renegotiation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 559-578.
    7. International Monetary Fund, 2011. "United States; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 11/202, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Joanne W. Hsu & David A. Matsa & Brian T. Melzer, 2014. "Positive Externalities of Social Insurance: Unemployment Insurance and Consumer Credit," NBER Working Papers 20353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Xavier Giroud & Holger M. Mueller, 2017. "Firm Leverage, Consumer Demand, and Employment Losses during the Great Recession," Working Papers 17-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    10. Benito Arruñada & Amnon Lehavi, 2010. "Prime property institutions for a subprime era: Toward innovative models of homeownership," Economics Working Papers 1217, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    11. Michel Robe & Eva Maria Steiger, 2016. "Insolvency and its Consequences: A Historical Perspective," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(4), pages 35-40, 02.
    12. Kaplan, Greg & Mitman, Kurt & Violante, Giovanni L., 2017. "The Housing Boom and Bust: Model Meets Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 12215, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Carlos R. Madeira & Víctor Pérez F., 2013. "Gestión Hipotecaria de las Familias Chilenas," Notas de Investigación Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 16(2), pages 122-133, August.
    14. Tsai, Ming Shann & Chiang, Shu Ling & Miller, Chen, 2016. "A study on the distribution of the foreclosure lag, its expected capital opportunity cost and its analyses," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 156-170.
    15. 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.
    16. repec:ces:ifodic:v:13:y:2016:i:4:p:19191585 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Bhardwaj, Geetesh & Sengupta, Rajdeep, 2014. "Subprime cohorts and loan performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 236-252.
    18. Jochen R. Andritzky, 2014. "Resolving Residential Mortgage Distress; Time to Modify?," IMF Working Papers 14/226, International Monetary Fund.

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