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UNC Center for Community Capital senior research economist Sarah Riley speaks Friday on factors that prompt default and ways to prevent foreclosure among low-income urban homeowners at the Society for Social Work and Research’s 2014 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Riley’s presentation, “Serious Delinquency and Strategic Default Among Low-Income Urban Homeowners,” is one of four in a symposium focused on what can be done to promote quality affordable homeownership and help low-income households avoid foreclosure. The research on which her presentation is based was published in the February 2013 issue of Real Estate Finance.

The symposium, “Holding On to the House: The Role of Social and Financial Interventions in Promoting and Preserving Low-Income Homeownership,” will be held Jan. 17, 2:30-4:15 p.m. in the HBG Convention Center, Room 103 A Street Level.

“Approaches to foreclosure prevention often take the form of counseling, but interventions that involve the mortgage itself may also be effective,” Riley said. “Some delinquent borrowers may be good candidates for loan modifications, and social workers can play a role in making sure that those modifications are appropriately targeted to reflect the reasons underlying the default in each case.”

Riley manages the UNC Center for Community Capital’s data stores and conducts research in the areas of real estate economics and finance. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009.

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, Homeownership Counseling, Impacts of Homeownership, Mortgage Finance
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