Publication Date

January 2008

Author(s)

Janneke Ratcliffe, Lei Ding, Roberto G. Quercia

Well-timed, situation-appropriate counseling, even over the phone, effectively increases the curing probability of delinquent borrowers.

The rise of delinquencies and foreclosures in a softening housing market calls for systematic studies of default behavior and efforts to minimize the default risks.

Using a sample of residential mortgages made to low- to moderate-income borrowers, this paper empirically examines the impact of a proactive post-purchase counseling service on moderately delinquent mortgages.

It demonstrates that well-timed, situation-appropriate counseling, even over the phone, effectively increases the curing probability of delinquent borrowers. The findings hold even after accounting for unobserved heterogeneity among borrowers and the endogeneity problem. Many other factors, such as home equity, local economic conditions, and borrower and loan characteristics, also impact the transition of delinquencies.