Credit Counseling and Mortgage Termination by Low-Income Households

Credit Counseling and Mortgage Termination by Low-Income Households Published research on credit counseling and mortgage termination is surprisingly scarce, despite substantial growth in this industry. While the purpose of counseling is to assist low-income borrowers to improve their handling of debt and thereby reduce default, counseling may also improve the borrowers’ understanding of their financial position and thus induce optimal mortgage termination. Using a competing-risks framework, we study the effects on default and prepayment of a counseling program implemented in several Midwest states. We find weak evidence of that the default hazard was lower for graduates of the counseling program, but that their default behavior was more optimal. The prepayment hazard was higher for counseled borrowers, but their prepayment behavior was not more optimal. Overall, counseling seems to affect the lenders’ profits, but the net effect should be evaluated both in terms of prepayment and default. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics Springer Journals

Credit Counseling and Mortgage Termination by Low-Income Households

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Economics; Regional/Spatial Science; Financial Services
ISSN
0895-5638
eISSN
1573-045X
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11146-005-6405-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Published research on credit counseling and mortgage termination is surprisingly scarce, despite substantial growth in this industry. While the purpose of counseling is to assist low-income borrowers to improve their handling of debt and thereby reduce default, counseling may also improve the borrowers’ understanding of their financial position and thus induce optimal mortgage termination. Using a competing-risks framework, we study the effects on default and prepayment of a counseling program implemented in several Midwest states. We find weak evidence of that the default hazard was lower for graduates of the counseling program, but that their default behavior was more optimal. The prepayment hazard was higher for counseled borrowers, but their prepayment behavior was not more optimal. Overall, counseling seems to affect the lenders’ profits, but the net effect should be evaluated both in terms of prepayment and default.

Journal

The Journal of Real Estate Finance and EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 20, 2005

References

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