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Foreclosure and Bankruptcy--Policy Conclusions from the Current Crisis

  • Theresa Kuchler

    ()

    (Stanford University)

  • Johannes Stroebel

    ()

    (Stanford University)

The recent episode of rising consumer bankruptcy and increasing foreclosure rates has sparked a lively debate about how to best tackle the crisis in the U.S. housing market. This paper contributes to the debate by providing an explicit model of the interactions of households' decisions to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and to enter into foreclosure. We construct a model to show that the interaction of bankruptcy exemption limits and mortgage regulation has an impact on the prevalence of bankruptcy and foreclosure. We use state-level data to show empirically that our model predictions are plausible. We argue that policy proposals that focus solely on one aspect of the twin-crisis are likely to be misguided. In particular, we show that in the short-run a switch from non-recourse mortgages to recourse mortgages may have little effect on foreclosures, but could dramatically increase the number of bankruptcies.

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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-037.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:08-037
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  1. Lambrecht, Bart M & Perraudin, William R M & Satchell, Steven, 2003. " Mortgage Default and Possession under Recourse: A Competing Hazards Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 425-42, June.
  2. Ian Domowitz & Robert L. Sartain, 1999. "Determinants of the Consumer Bankruptcy Decision," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 403-420, 02.
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  6. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco, 2003. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," NBER Working Papers 9759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Pavan, Marina, 2008. "Consumer durables and risky borrowing: The effects of bankruptcy protection," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1441-1456, November.
  8. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao, 1995. "Measuring intertemporal substitution: The role of durable goods," MPRA Paper 13690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2004. "The value of foreclosed property," Working Papers 2004-022, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  10. Lin, Emily Y. & White, Michelle J., 2001. "Bankruptcy and the Market for Mortgage and Home Improvement Loans," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 138-162, July.
  11. Andreas Lehnert & Dean M. Maki, 2002. "Consumption, debt and portfolio choice: testing the effect of bankruptcy law," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Athreya, Kartik B., 2002. "Welfare implications of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1999," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1567-1595, November.
  13. Paul S. Willen & Adam Hale Shapiro & Kristopher Gerardi, 2008. "Subprime Outcomes: Risky Mortgages, Homeownership Experiences, and Foreclosures," 2008 Meeting Papers 345, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider & Selale Tuzel, 2004. "Housing, Consumption and Asset Pricing," 2004 Meeting Papers 357c, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. " Liquidation Values and Debt Capacity: A Market Equilibrium Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1343-66, September.
  16. Todd C. Pulvino, 1998. "Do Asset Fire Sales Exist? An Empirical Investigation of Commercial Aircraft Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 939-978, 06.
  17. McGrattan, Ellen R & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1997. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 267-90, May.
  18. Kau James B. & Keenan Donald C. & Kim Taewon, 1994. "Default Probabilities for Mortgages," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 278-296, May.
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