Protecting Minority Homeowners: Race, Foreclosure Counseling and Mortgage Modifications
Journal of Consumer Affairs, 47(2), 289-310.
22 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2012 Last revised: 6 Feb 2014
Date Written: 2013
Millions of minority homeowners are at risk of losing their homes as a result of the housing crisis due to mortgage foreclosure and home repossession. One consumer-oriented policy response to this crisis is mortgage default counseling for borrowers. This study examines the rate at which minority borrowers seek default counseling and the resulting correlation between counseling and the probability that a borrower obtains a modification of his/her original mortgage contract terms. The results suggest that African Americans are more likely to be counseled, relative to Whites. However, Latinos or other non-White groups are no more or less likely to be counseled. The probability of loan modifications among counseled African Americans is also higher than other counseled borrowers. These results suggest that counseling policies and the public subsidy of default counseling may be one approach for promoting consumer financial well-being of these households, but also suggest counseling efforts might be better designed for other minority groups. These results also have implications for the application of counseling to other mortgage decisions, such as refinance.
Keywords: Mortgage Default and Foreclosure, Financial Counseling, Default Counseling, Mortgage Modification
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