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Changing the Rules: State Mortgage Foreclosure Moratoria During the Great Depression (ICPSR 24542)

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Summary:

Many U.S. states imposed temporary moratoria on farm and nonfarm residential mortgage foreclosures during the Great Depression. This article describes the conditions that led some states to impose these moratoria and other mortgage relief during the Depression and discusses the economic effects. Moratoria were more common in states with large farm populations (as a percentage of total state population) and high farm mortgage foreclosure rates, although nonfarm mortgage distress appears to help explain why a few states with relatively low farm foreclosure rates also imposed moratoria. The moratoria reduced farm foreclosure rates in the short run, but they also appear to have reduced the supply of loans and made credit more expensive for subsequent borrowers. The evidence from the Great Depression demonstrates how government actions to reduce foreclosures can impose costs that should be weighed against potential benefits.

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  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • These data are freely available.

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Study Description

Citation

Wheelock, David C. Changing the Rules: State Mortgage Foreclosure Moratoria During the Great Depression. ICPSR24542-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-01-09. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR24542.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Research Division

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association, Federal National Mortgage Association, foreclosures, Great Depression (1929), home ownership, income, loans, moratoria, mortgage, mortgage companies, mortgage payments, property values, refinancing

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Data Collection Notes:

A zipped package contains a Stata v.10 programming syntax file (text format) and a Microsoft Excel file, which contains the data and tables used in the article.

These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.

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