Macroeconomic Effects of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Policies
Bankruptcy laws govern consumer default on unsecured credit. Foreclosure laws regulate default on secured mortgage debt. In this paper I use a structural model to argue that bankruptcy and foreclosure are inter-related. This interaction is important for understanding the cross-state variation in bankruptcy rates and evaluating reforms to default policies. To study this interaction, I construct a general-equilibrium model where heterogeneous households have access to unsecured borrowing and can finance housing purchases with mortgages. Households can default separately on both types of debt. The calibrated model is quantitatively consistent with the observed cross-state correlation between policies and default rates. In particular, the model correctly predicts that bankruptcy rates are lower in states with more generous homestead exemptions (the amount of home equity that may be retained after filing for bankruptcy), despite the decreased penalty of declaring bankruptcy. In equilibrium, that lower penalty of going bankrupt in high exemption states raises the price of unsecured credit. Households respond to the higher price by taking on more highly leveraged mortgages and less unsecured credit. As a result, bankruptcy rates are lower in high exemption states than in low exemption states, but foreclosure rates are higher. I use the model to evaluate the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act which made it more difficult for high income households to declare bankruptcy. Despite being intended to reduce bankruptcy rates, I find that the reform substantially increases them. In addition, the reform has the unintended consequence of considerably increasing foreclosure rates. Nevertheless, the reform yields large welfare gains.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA|
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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- Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2007.
"A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default,"
Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1525-1589, November.
- Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2007. "A quantitative theory of unsecured consumer credit with risk of default," Working Papers 07-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Satyajit Chatterjee & Dean Corbae & Makoto Nakajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2002. "A Quantitative Theory of Unsecured Consumer Credit with Risk of Default," Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Pe©rez(CAERP) 2, Centro de Altisimos Estudios Rios Perez (CAERP).
- Chatterjee, Satyajit & Eyigungor, Burcu, 2015.
"A quantitative analysis of the u.s. housing and mortgage markets and the foreclosure crisis,"
15-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- 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.
- Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2011. "A quantitative analysis of the U.S. housing and mortgage markets and the foreclosure crisis," Working Papers 11-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- 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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