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Breaching The Mortgage Contract: The Behavioral Economics Of Strategic Default, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Jan 2011

Breaching The Mortgage Contract: The Behavioral Economics Of Strategic Default, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

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Underwater homeowners face a quandary: Should they make their monthly payments as promised or walk away and save money? Traditional economic analysis predicts that homeowners will strategically default (voluntarily enter foreclosure) when it is cheaper to do so than to keep paying down the mortgage debt. But this prediction ignores the moral calculus of default, which is arguably much less straightforward. On the one hand, most people have moral qualms about breaching their contracts, even when the financial incentives are clear. On the other hand, the nature of the lender-borrower relationship is changing and mortgage lenders are increasingly perceived as …


Where Shall We Live? Class And The Limitations Of Fair Housing Law, Wendell Pritchett Jan 2003

Where Shall We Live? Class And The Limitations Of Fair Housing Law, Wendell Pritchett

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This paper examines the effort to secure fair housing laws at the local, state and federal levels in the 1950s, focusing in particular on New York City and state. It will examine the arguments that advocates made regarding the role the law should play in preventing housing discrimination, and the relationship of these views to advocates' understanding of property rights in general. My paper will argue that fair housing advocates had particular conceptions about the importance of housing in American society that both supported and limited their success. By arguing that minorities only sought what others wanted - a single-family …