America's Mortgage Laws in Historical Perspective
Andra C. Ghent
Arizona State University (ASU) - Finance Department
January 20, 2013
This paper traces the history of mortgage laws in the US. I explore what led states to follow title or lien theory, to adopt a non-judicial foreclosure procedure, to have different redemption periods, and to restrict deficiency judgments. The availability of non-judicial foreclosure without significant restrictions is largely the result of path-dependent quirks in the wording of various proposed statutes and decisions of individual judges. States that experienced more farm foreclosures in the early 1930s are more likely to have tried to ban deficiency judgments. Finally, I find higher foreclosures during the 1930s in non-judicial foreclosure states.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Mortgage History, Great Depression, Property Rights
JEL Classification: G21, G28, K11, N21, N22, R30working papers series
Date posted: October 25, 2012 ; Last revised: January 21, 2013
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