Disparities in Mortgage Lending, Bank Performance, Economic Influence, and Regulatory Oversight

Disparities in Mortgage Lending, Bank Performance, Economic Influence, and Regulatory Oversight This study investigates factors affecting changes in the disparity of home mortgage denial rates between white and minority loan applicants in the U.S. during the period 1991–1997. We develop a two-stage least-squares regression model that incorporates applicant-level characteristics, neighborhood characteristics, regional economic data, and bank-specific data as explanatory variables. Some have argued that mortgage lenders were under increasing pressure from industry regulators to extend additional credit to minorities and low-income groups during the period under study. The model includes each institution's periodic CRA rating as a proxy for regulatory influence. An alternative explanation is that market forces, such as improvements in economic conditions and in bank financial condition and performance, affected default loss estimates and credit standards in a way that disproportionally benefited minority and low-income applicants. The empirical findings are consistent with the latter hypothesis. We conclude that policy makers should consider the impact of market factors when assessing the allocation of mortgage credit in a particular demographic market. The findings also underscore the importance of controlling for lender assessments of credit risk when evaluating compliance with CRA and fair lending statutes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics Springer Journals

Disparities in Mortgage Lending, Bank Performance, Economic Influence, and Regulatory Oversight

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Economics; Regional/Spatial Science; Financial Services
ISSN
0895-5638
eISSN
1573-045X
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1017908305060
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study investigates factors affecting changes in the disparity of home mortgage denial rates between white and minority loan applicants in the U.S. during the period 1991–1997. We develop a two-stage least-squares regression model that incorporates applicant-level characteristics, neighborhood characteristics, regional economic data, and bank-specific data as explanatory variables. Some have argued that mortgage lenders were under increasing pressure from industry regulators to extend additional credit to minorities and low-income groups during the period under study. The model includes each institution's periodic CRA rating as a proxy for regulatory influence. An alternative explanation is that market forces, such as improvements in economic conditions and in bank financial condition and performance, affected default loss estimates and credit standards in a way that disproportionally benefited minority and low-income applicants. The empirical findings are consistent with the latter hypothesis. We conclude that policy makers should consider the impact of market factors when assessing the allocation of mortgage credit in a particular demographic market. The findings also underscore the importance of controlling for lender assessments of credit risk when evaluating compliance with CRA and fair lending statutes.

Journal

The Journal of Real Estate Finance and EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 3, 2004

References

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