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Washington, D.C. – Quality loan products can go a long way in curtailing the type of risky lending that occurred during the subprime boom  and led to the foreclosure crisis, UNC Center for Community Capital Director Roberto G. Quercia told researchers, policymakers and others convened for a symposium on sustainable mortgage lending today.

Quercia, research colleagues from the Center for Responsible Leading, Ford Foundation and other national housing finance experts discussed a range of research issues related to mortgage access and risk at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Fall 2011 Research Symposium,  “New Research on Sustainable Mortgages and Access to Credit.”

Proposals to require high down payments and other restrictions may have little impact on loan quality and performance but have a chilling effect on lending for many low- and moderate-income borrowers, thus limiting the housing market and economic growth unnecessarily, he said.

“We urge caution in setting too-restrictive market standards that run the risk of creating a dual system of mortgage lending that would penalize large numbers of working families,” Quercia said. “Our research clearly shows that you can create sustainable mortgage lending for low- and moderate-income families by offering good products, appropriate underwriting and servicing practices, and a secondary market that is supportive of this lending.”

Quercia’s presentation on mortgage underwriting, access to credit and loan performance was among three presented at the symposium that focused on the center’s research. Two other studies that examined lending standards and default risks were conducted in collaboration with the Center for Responsible Lending. Quercia also joined a panel of researchers who discussed strategies for improving mortgage data.

View Quercia’s presentation.

Mortgage finance is a key area of study for the UNC Center for Community Capital, the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. Part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center offers data and analysis that helps policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.

Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Debt & Credit, Financial Inclusion, Mortgage Finance
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