Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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Karen M. Pence


Foreclosure laws govern the rights of borrowers and lenders when borrowers default on mortgages. In states with laws favoring the borrower, the supply of mortgage credit may decrease because lenders face higher costs. To examine the laws’ effects, I compare approved mortgage applications incensus tracts that border each other but are located in different states. Using a regression-discontinuity design and semiparametric estimation methods, I find that loan sizes are 3% to 7% smaller in defaulter-friendly states; this result suggests that defaulter-friendly laws impose material costs on borrowers at the time of loan origination.

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But borrowers are not necessarily worse off: they may value the insurance provided by the laws. Homeownership might even increase if the judicial protections help borrowers remain in their homes. Although judicial requirements seem to impose costs on borrowers, a full welfare assessment will also require estimates of the law’s benefits.
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