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Chapel Hill, N.C. – A new book on the U.S. housing finance system features data and analysis by two UNC Center for Community Capital researchers.

Senior research economist Sarah Riley and center director Roberto Quercia collaborated on research described in the chapter, “Navigating the Housing Downturn and Financial Crisis: Home Appreciation and Equity Accumulation Among Community Reinvestment Homeowners.”

Their work appears with others in “The American Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform,” a new book edited by Susan M. Wachter and Marvin M. Smith, which examines key elements of the mortgage meltdown.

In the book, center researchers and other contributors address the influence of the Community Reinvestment Act, which is often blamed for the crisis. They uncover how the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac invested outside the housing market with disastrous results. They present surprising information about low-income borrowers and the strengths of local banks.

The collection of studies includes extensive analysis of loan practices and the creation of unstable mortgage securities, presenting data largely unavailable until now. It also offers solutions to the problems facing the future of American home ownership, including identifying asset price bubbles, calculating risk and preventing discrimination in lending.

Susan M. Wachter is Richard B. Worley Professor of Financial Management and Professor of Real Estate and Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Professor of City and Regional Planning at PennDesign. Marvin M. Smith is an economist and Community Development Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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, Default, Bankruptcy, & Foreclosure, Mortgage Finance
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