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Keywords:consumer credit 

Working Paper
Owner-Occupancy Fraud and Mortgage Performance

We use a matched credit bureau and mortgage dataset to identify occupancy fraud in residential mortgage originations, that is, borrowers who misrepresented their occupancy status as owner-occupants rather than residential real estate investors. In contrast to previous studies, our dataset allows us to show that – during the housing bubble – such fraud was broad based, appearing in the government-sponsored enterprise market and in loans held on bank portfolios as well, and increases the effective share of investors by 50 percent. We show that a key benefit of investor fraud was obtaining a ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-53

Working Paper
The Persistence of Financial Distress

Using recently available proprietary panel data, we show that while many (35%) US consumers experience financial distress at some point in the life cycle, most of the events of financial distress are primarily concentrated in a much smaller proportion of consumers in persistent trouble. Roughly 10% of consumers are distressed for more than a quarter of the life cycle, and less than 10% of borrowers account for half of all distress events. These facts can be largely accounted for in a straightforward extension of a workhorse model of defaultable debt that accommodates a simple form of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-38

Discussion Paper
Consumer Credit Card Payment Deferrals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the economic hardships stemming from COVID-19, many U.S. card-issuing banks offered measures to assist their customers who were financially affected by the pandemic. Unlike previous disaster assistance programs that were typically short in duration and localized, the COVID-19 pandemic affected millions of consumers across the country for a protracted period of time and required application of broad-based relief measures. These measures, along with federal and state stimulus and benefit payments, provided some stability to many consumers’ financial circumstances during ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers

Working Paper
Financial Consequences of Identity Theft

We examine how a negative shock from identity theft affects consumer credit market behavior. We show that the immediate effects of fraud on credit files are typically negative, small, and transitory. After those immediate effects fade, identity theft victims experience persistent increases in credit scores and declines in reported delinquencies, with a significant proportion of affected consumers transitioning from subprime-to-prime credit scores. Those consumers take advantage of their improved creditworthiness to obtain additional credit, including auto loans and mortgages. Despite having ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-33

Working Paper
Owner-Occupancy Fraud and Mortgage Performance

We identify occupancy fraud — borrowers who misrepresent their occupancy status as owner-occupants rather than investors — in residential mortgage originations. Unlike previous work, we show that fraud was prevalent in originations not just during the housing bubble, but also persists through more recent times. We also demonstrate that fraud is broad-based and appears in government-sponsored enterprise and bank portfolio loans, not just in private securitization; these fraudulent borrowers make up one-third of the effective investor population. Occupancy fraud allows riskier borrowers to ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-01

Consumer Credit Trends by Income and Geography in 2001–12

As economists have tried to understand the causes of the Great Recession and its consequences for households and firms, a consensus has emerged: The severity of the recession was amplified by the rapid buildup in consumer credit leading up to it and the subsequent credit retrenchment. However, the credit cycle played out unevenly among individuals of different financial means and across different parts of the U.S. Thus, one potential key to understanding the Great Recession is documenting how credit trends varied across the distribution of income and across geography, as well as across the ...
Chicago Fed Letter

Who Pays the Price? Overdraft Fee Ceilings and the Unbanked

Would capping overdraft fees increase financial inclusion? Studying an event in which caps were relaxed, we find banks raised overdraft fees but also expanded overdraft coverage and deposit supply, leading more low-income households to open accounts. While inattentive depositors may not benefit from being banked, the rise in account ownership persists, suggesting newly banked households valued their account even after learning about its costs. We find no evidence that being banked weakens households’ broader credit health, including delinquency, indebtedness, and credit scores. We conclude ...
Staff Reports , Paper 973

Working Paper
The Effects of Competition in Consumer Credit Markets

Using changes in financial regulation that create exogenous entry in some consumer credit markets, we find that increased competition induces banks to become more specialized and efficient, while deposit rates increase and borrowing costs for riskier collateral decline. However, shadow banks change their credit policy when faced with more competition and aggressively expand credit to riskier borrowers at the extensive margin, resulting in higher default rates. These results show how the form of intermediation can shape economic fluctuations. They also suggest that increased competition can ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-24

Working Paper
The Rise and Fall of Consumption in the 2000s

U.S. consumption has gone through steep ups and downs since the turn of the millennium, but the causes of these fluctuations are still imperfectly identified. We quantify the relative impact on consumption growth of income, unemployment, house prices, credit scores, debt, expectations, foreclosures, inequality, and refinancings for four subperiods: the ?dot-com recession? (2001-2003), the ?subprime boom? (2004-2006), the Great Recession (2007-2009), and the ?tepid recovery? (2010-2012). We document that the explanatory power of different factors varies by subperiods, implying that a ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1507

Working Paper
Household Credit and Local Economic Uncertainty

This paper investigates the impact of uncertainty on consumer credit outcomes. We develop a local measure of economic uncertainty capturing county-level labor market shocks. We then exploit microeconomic data on mortgages and credit-card balances together with the crosssectional variation provided by our uncertainty measure to show strong borrower-specific heterogeneity in response to changes in uncertainty. Among high risk borrowers or areas with more high risk borrowers, increased uncertainty is associated with housing market illiquidity and a reduction in leverage. For low risk borrowers, ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-21


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Blascak, Nathan 8 items

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