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The Foreclosure Problem and the WI-FUR Plan Solution Prepared by Morris A. Davis November 18, 2009 1.

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Presentation on theme: "The Foreclosure Problem and the WI-FUR Plan Solution Prepared by Morris A. Davis November 18, 2009 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Foreclosure Problem and the WI-FUR Plan Solution Prepared by Morris A. Davis November 18,

2 Foreclosure problem is getting worse, not better Foreclosure activity is increasing nationwide –Percent of loans 90-days delinquent has more than doubled since mid-2008 Common explanation: Homeowners steered or tricked into a a bad mortgage –Above market interest rate and/or exploding payment Idea: Unscrupulous originator captures underwriting fees, tricks homeowner into a bad mortgage, then eventually takes over the house We think this is a problem. However, only 34% of 90-day delinquent loans are subprime. The rest are prime (52%) or VA/FHA (16%). So something else is going on. 2 * From 2009:Q2 National Delinquency Survey. 90-day or more delinquent rate was 1.83 in 2008:Q2 and 3.88 in 2009:Q2.

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4 Why are there foreclosures for prime loans? Historically, foreclosures caused by two triggers Trigger #1: House worth less than the mortgage –Implies homeowner can not sell the house: (he/she has to write the bank a check at closing) Trigger #2: Significant disruption to income –Divorce –Health shock –Unemployment According to the double trigger theory, we are facing the perfect storm of foreclosures 4

5 Trigger #1: Rapid Fall in House Prices 5

6 Trigger #2: Rapid Increase in Unemployment 6

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10 How does WI-FUR help? WI-FUR stops foreclosures by eliminating one trigger Idea: Households receive a housing voucher –This is a check from the government that can only be used to pay a mortgage The housing voucher acts like a supplement to unemployment benefits Thus, the disruption to income is eliminated 10

11 How would it work? Size of the voucher would be designed such that, at the median, people spend 30% of their unemployment insurance on a mortgage payment Wisconsin Example: –Unemployment benefits: $1,450 per month –Additional housing voucher:$765 per month –Required mortgage payment:$1,200 per month –Less housing voucher-$765 –Household payment to mortgage:$435 per month (=$1,200 less $765) –Money left over for everything else:$1,015 per month (=$1,450 less $435) Notice -- after the voucher -- households spend 30% of their UI on the mortgage: $435 = 0.30 * $1,450 11

12 Additional details $765 is not be the right payment to all households Housing costs vary by state and by county Idea: –Use some basic facts from the American Community Survey and Unemployment Benefits to vary average voucher payments by state –Use HUD Fair Market Rent (FMR), which varies by county, to adjust payments across counties in every state We have put together a spreadsheet of suggested voucher amounts, by county, for every county in the U.S. based on FMR and our own research on mortgage costs by state 12

13 Is WI-FUR Good Policy? WI-FUR will prevent at least 500,000 foreclosures per year in 2010 and 2011 WI-FUR is not a pure giveaway –WI-FUR calls for people to spend out of their income to make their mortgage payments WI-FUR allows the unemployed to stay in their home: –Households spend a reasonable amount of their income to keep their mortgage current WI-FUR is temporary –WI-FUR can end with a defined sunset date, or once the unemployment rate falls to a more normal level Money for HAMP can be spent on WI-FUR 13

14 WI-FUR Might Save Taxpayers Money! U.S. Taxpayers Responsible for GSE Losses –GSE, VA, FHA – account for more than 50 percent of all mortgages. Each foreclosure implies a loss of about 50 cents to the dollar On a GSE/VA/FHA mortgage with face value $100,000, taxpayers incur a loss ranging from $35,000 - $50,000. –Higher dollar value mortgages imply larger losses. Typical duration of unemployment is 6 months. A voucher of $1,000 for 6 months only costs $6,000. By preventing foreclosures through temporary income assistance, we may save taxpayers money. 14

15 WI-FUR authors and contact info Morris A. Davis, Ph.D. –Assistant Professor, Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics –Former advisor to Alan Greenspan – and Phone Stephen Malpezzi –Lorin and Marjorie Tiefenthaler Professor –Academic Director, James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate –Former President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association – and Phone François Ortalo-Magné –Robert E. Wangard Professor –Chair, Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics –Economic advisor to the French government on land use and housing issues – and Phone


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