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Future of Mortgage Finance

Research funded by Ford Foundation

Researchers examines two key issues related to mortgage finance — the effect of servicers on loan performance and projections for future home ownership based on various mortgage credit access scenarios.


The center teams with other leading researchers in the field on a research project that project examines two critical research questions as the mortgage market looks to its future while applying lessons from the recent past.

First, we consider the servicer effect in determining loan outcomes. Carly Urban, Carolina Reid and Michael Collins examine differences in servicer performance as measured by home retention and modifications while controlling for key risk factors, using a large national data set. To complement this broad analysis, we study the costs and benefits arising from nonprofit affordable mortgage lender Self-Help’s use of specialty servicers. Taken together, the resulting research papers hope to inform mortgage servicing practices for distressed loans based on experiences arising from the foreclosure crisis.

In the second topic, we use demographic projections developed by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies to estimate future home ownership under different scenarios of access to mortgage credit.


The UNC Center for Community Capital conducts research and policy analysis on ways to make financial services work better for more people and communities.


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