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Research Seminars & Workshops @ IRES

Dr. Kwan Ok Lee
Department of Real Estate
National University of Singapore

Triggers of Mortgage Distress and Client Outcomes: A Geographic Comparison


27 September 2011, Tuesday


12.00noon - 1.00pm


SDE School Conference Room


In the wake of the foreclosure crisis in the United States, there is a greater need to understand the dynamics underlying mortgage defaults and evaluate outcomes of foreclosure mediation programs, one of the major federal efforts to combat foreclosure in the recent years. This study seeks to contribute to the literature and policy discussions by adding insights regarding what have triggered mortgage distress of individual homeowners and why there is variation in outcomes of clients that received counseling and legal services. To the author's current knowledge, this is the first individual-level analysis of pre- and post-default behaviors with diary-type data that federally-approved counseling agencies collect directly from homeowners facing mortgage distress. Moreover, it examines geographic variation in these behaviors by using a cross-urban comparison between New York City, Los Angeles County, and other jurisdictions as well as a cross-neighborhood comparison of NYC neighborhoods. These spatial comparisons have been little done in the mortgage default literature.

About The Speaker

Dr. Kwan Ok Lee is an Assistant Professor at the NUS Department of Real Estate. Her research has appeared in leading academic journals such as American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings and Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Dr. Lee's research interests focus on housing, neighborhood dynamics, and urban policy. Her current research includes the neighborhood determinants of residential relocation choices, housing choices in aging households, household formation in a recession, and triggers of mortgage distress and post-delinquency outcomes.

She holds a Phd in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California and Master in Urban Planning from Harvard University.

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