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Understanding Mortgage Meltdowns
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Editors: Arlene V. Carey
Book Description:
Borrowers who used alternative mortgages to finance homes during the housing boom have experienced rising foreclosure rates as housing markets have declined.Some types of alternative mortgages may have exacerbated price declines and damaged the finances of consumers and lenders. The use of mortgages with adjustable rates, zero down payment, interest-only, or negative amortization features raise economic risk compared to traditional mortgages. Because some borrowers and lenders did not adequately evaluate these risks, housing finance markets have been hit with significant losses and financial markets have been in turmoil. Alternative mortgages offer some combination of adjustable rates, extremely low down payments, negative amortization, and optional monthly payments. The prudent use of alternative mortgages offers benefits. For example, during periods of exceptionally high interest rates, adjustable rates may suit consumers expecting rates to fall. People whose incomes depend on commission or bonuses may be attracted to mortgages with flexible monthly payments.These benefits come with potential costs for the borrower and for the financial system. Adjustable rates shift the risk of rising interest rates from banks to borrowers. Low down payments increase the risk that borrowers will owe more than their house is worth if prices fall. A borrower owing more than the house is worth may be unable to sell or refinance the house. The use of alternative mortgages in these areas may have contributed to rising defaults and more volatile home prices. More than a trillion dollars of mortgages originated during the boom will reset their monthly payments by 2009.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1. Examining the Causes of the Credit Crisis of 2008, Minority Staff Analysis, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; pp. 1-24
(Tom Davis, October 6, 2008)

Chapter 2. Alternative Mortgages: Causes and Policy Implications of Troubled Mortgage Resets in the Subprime and Alt-A Markets; pp. 25-57
(Edward V. Murphy)

Chapter 3. Economic Analysis of A Mortgage Foreclosure Moratorium; pp. 59-81
(Edward Vincent Murphy)

Chapter 4. Understanding Mortgage Foreclosure: Recent Events, the Process, and Costs; pp. 83-98
(Darryl E. Getter)

Chapter 5. Constitutional Issues Relating to Proposals for Legislation to Impose an Interest Rate Freeze/Reduction on Existing Mortgages; pp. 99-121
(David H. Carpenter)

Chapter 6. Subprime Mortgages: Primer on Current Lending and Foreclosure Issues; pp. 123-135
(Edward Vincent Murphy)

Chapter 7. Government Interventions in Financial Markets: Economic and Historic Analysis of Subprime Mortgage Options; pp. 137-153
(N. Eric Weiss)

Chapter 8. Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets to Address Financial Instability; pp. 155-164
(Edward V. Murphy and Baird Webel)


   Binding: Hardcover
   Pub. Date: 2009
   Pages: 177 pp.
   ISBN: 978-1-60692-789-2
   Status: AV
Status Code Description
AN Announcing
FM Formatting
PP Page Proofs
FP Final Production
EP Editorial Production
PR At Prepress
AP At Press
AV Available
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Understanding Mortgage Meltdowns