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Do Borrower Rights Improve Borrower Outcomes? Evidence from the Foreclosure Process

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

We evaluate 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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17666.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17666.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Publication status: published as Gerardi, Kristopher & Lambie-Hanson, Lauren & Willen, Paul S., 2013. "Do borrower rights improve borrower outcomes? Evidence from the foreclosure process," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 1-17.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17666
Note: EFG
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  1. 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.
  2. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi & Francesco Trebbi, 2011. "Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy," NBER Working Papers 16685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Paul Willen, 2009. "Reducing Foreclosures: No Easy Answers," NBER Working Papers 15063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Rogoff, Kenneth & Woodford, Michael (ed.), 2010. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226002095.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2010. "The Duration of Foreclosures in the Subprime Mortgage Market: A Competing Risks Model with Mixing," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 109-129, February.
  10. 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.
  11. Zachary K. Kimball & Paul S. Willen, 2012. "US mortgage and foreclosure law," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
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