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Foreclosure delay and U.S. unemployment

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  • Kyle F. Herkenhoff
  • Lee E. Ohanian

Abstract

Through a purely positive lens, we study and document the growing trend of mortgagors who skip mortgage payments as an extra source of "informal" unemployment insurance during the 2007 recession and the subsequent recovery. In a dynamic model, we capture this behavior by treating both delinquency and foreclosure not as one period events, but rather as protracted and potentially reversible episodes that influence job search behavior and wage acceptance decisions. With a relatively conservative parameterization, we find that the observed foreclosure delays increase the unemployment rate by an additional 1/3%-1/2% and increase the stock of delinquent loans by 8%-12%. When interpreted as an implicit line of credit, those that use their mortgage as “informal" unemployment insurance borrow at a real rate of at least 18%.>

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2012. "Foreclosure delay and U.S. unemployment," Working Papers 2012-017, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2012-017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2008. "Job Search and Unemployment Insurance: New Evidence from Time Use Data," Working Papers 1070, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Krueger, Alan B. & Mueller, Andreas, 2010. "Job search and unemployment insurance: New evidence from time use data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 298-307, April.
    3. Carlos Hatchondo, Juan & Martinez, Leonardo & Sánchez, Juan M., 2015. "Mortgage defaults," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 173-190.
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      • Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Juan M. Sanchez, 2011. "Mortgage defaults," Working Paper 11-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
      • Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Juan M. Sanchez, 2015. "Mortgage Defaults," Caepr Working Papers 2015-011 Classification-D, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    4. Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2015. "A Quantitative Analysis of the US Housing and Mortgage Markets and the Foreclosure Crisis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 165-184, April.
    5. Adelino, Manuel & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2013. "Why don't Lenders renegotiate more home mortgages? Redefaults, self-cures and securitization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 835-853.
    6. David Benjamin & Mark L. J. Wright, 2009. "Recovery Before Redemption: A Theory Of Delays In Sovereign Debt Renegotiations," CAMA Working Papers 2009-15, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    7. Xavier Mateos-Planas & David Benjamin, 2012. "Formal vs. Informal Default in Consumer Credit," 2012 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. repec:pri:cepsud:175krueger is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David Benjamin, 2008. "Recovery Before Redemption," 2008 Meeting Papers 531, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Casey B. Mulligan, 2008. "A Depressing Scenario: Mortgage Debt Becomes Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 14514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ambrose, Brent W & Buttimer, Richard J, Jr & Capone, Charles A, 1997. "Pricing Mortgage Default and Foreclosure Delay," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 314-325, August.
    12. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2010. "Why Has House Price Dispersion Gone Up?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1567-1606.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Niu, Yi & Ding, Chengri, 2015. "Unemployment matters: Improved measures of labor market distress in mortgage default analysis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 27-38.
    2. Hagedorn, Marcus & Karahan, Fatih & Manovskii, Iourii & Mitman, Kurt, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and unemployment in the Great Recession: the role of macro effects," Staff Reports 646, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Feb 2015.
    3. Jennifer Brown & David A. Matsa, 2016. "Locked in by Leverage: Job Search during the Housing Crisis," NBER Working Papers 22929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dean Corbae & Erwan Quintin, 2015. "Leverage and the Foreclosure Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(1), pages 1-65.
    5. repec:red:issued:15-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kyle Herkenhoff & Gordon Phillips & Ethan Cohen-Cole, 2017. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings, and Entrepreneurship," Working Papers 2017-011, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Yan Ji, 2017. "Job Search under Debt: Aggregate Implications of Student Loans," 2017 Meeting Papers 222, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Kyle Herkenhoff & Gordon Phillips & Ethan Cohen-Cole, 2016. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings and Entrepreneurship," NBER Working Papers 22846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Athreya, Kartik & Sánchez, Juan M. & Tam, Xuan S. & Young, Eric R., 2012. "Bankruptcy and delinquency in a model of unsecured debt," Working Papers 2012-042, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 22 Dec 2016.
    10. Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2015. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Constraints on Earnings, Sorting, and Job Finding Rates of Displaced Workers," 2015 Meeting Papers 375, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Steven Laufer, 2018. "Equity Extraction and Mortgage Default," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 1-33, April.
    12. Eyigungor, Burcu, 2016. "Housing's Role in the Slow Recovery," Economic Insights, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, vol. 1(2), pages 1-6, Q2.
    13. Natalia Kovrijnykh & Igor Livshits, 2017. "Screening As A Unified Theory Of Delinquency, Renegotiation, And Bankruptcy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 58, pages 499-527, May.
    14. Francisco Roch & Harald Uhlig, 2016. "The Dynamics of Sovereign Debt Crises and Bailouts," IMF Working Papers 16/136, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Bulent Guler, 2015. "Innovations in Information Technology and the Mortgage Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 456-483, July.
    16. Drozd, Lukasz A. & Serrano-Padial, Ricardo, 2017. "Credit Enforcement Cycles," Working Papers 17-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    17. Casey B. Mulligan, 2013. "Recent Marginal Labor Income Tax Rate Changes by Skill and Marital Status," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 69-100.
    18. Gerardi, Kristopher & Herkenhoff, Kyle F. & Ohanian, Lee E. & Willen, Paul S., 2013. "Can't Pay or Won't Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2013-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, revised 01 Jun 2017.
    19. Michael Gelman & Shachar Kariv & Matthew D. Shapiro & Dan Silverman & Steven Tadelis, 2015. "How Individuals Smooth Spending: Evidence from the 2013 Government Shutdown Using Account Data," NBER Working Papers 21025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Herkenhoff, Kyle F. & Ohanian, Lee E., 2016. "Foreclosure Delay and the U.S. Labor Market," Economic Policy Paper 16-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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    Keywords

    Foreclosure ; Unemployment;

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