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Collateral Damage: The Impact of Foreclosures on New Home Mortgage Lending in the 1930s

Price Fishback, Sebastián Fleitas, Jonathan Rose, Kenneth Snowden

NBER Working Paper No. 25246
Issued in November 2018
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy

Foreclosures led to severe disruptions in home mortgage lending during the recent Great Recession and the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is difficult to measure these impacts in the modern market where origination, funding and servicing are separated within complex lending structures, but during the 1930s local building & loans (B&Ls) combined all three functions. We measure the impact of foreclosures on new mortgage lending using a panel of all B&Ls in 4 states. The foreclosure overhang explains about 30 percent of the drop in new mortgage lending by B&Ls as the housing crisis intensified between 1930 and 1935.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25246

 
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