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Servicing Is an Underappreciated Constraint on Credit Access (Research Brief)
Laurie Goodman

The heightened and uncertain cost of servicing delinquent mortgage loans is a significant, although underappreciated, constraint on access to credit. Lenders can price loans to reflect the anticipated servicing costs, but it is very difficult to price for the uncertain costs of default servicing. The penalties resulting from not meeting the GSE and FHA timelines, along with restrictive and anachronistic limits on reasonable foreclosure expenses, create uncertainties that are difficult to quantify and price for. The result: lenders forgo lending to borrowers more likely to go delinquent. The FHFA has made great strides with recent changes to compensatory fees, but more needs to be done. Servicing delinquent FHA loans presents an even greater challenge. To expand the tight credit box, these servicing issues must be addressed.

Posted to Web: December 16, 2014Publication Date: December 16, 2014

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Uninsurance Rates under the ACA (Research Report)
Lisa Clemans-Cope, Matthew Buettgens, Hannah Recht

This report is the first state-level projection of ACA coverage gains for racial/ethnic groups. Absent ACA coverage provisions, Latinos, blacks, and American Indian/Alaska Natives are overrepresented among the uninsured. With the ACA and current state Medicaid expansion decisions, uninsurance rates are projected to fall for each racial/ethnic group, narrowing coverage differences between whites and each minority group, except for blacks. If all states were to expand their Medicaid programs, we project that uninsurance rates would fall further for all racial/ethnic groups, with blacks experiencing a marked reduction. Effective outreach can further reduce uninsurance rates for all racial/ethnic groups

Posted to Web: December 16, 2014Publication Date: December 16, 2014

Housing Finance At A Glance: A Monthly Chartbook (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
Laurie Goodman, Ellen Seidman, Jim Parrott, Sheryl Pardo, Jun Zhu, Wei Li, Bing Bai, Taz George, Maia Woluchem, Alison Rincon

This month’s edition of At A Glance, the Housing Finance Policy Center’s reference guide for mortgage and housing market data, includes updated indicators of credit availability, a breakdown of the composition of the US Housing Market from the Federal Reserve Flow of Funds report, and details of the latest GSE risk-sharing deals.

Posted to Web: December 16, 2014Publication Date: December 16, 2014

Marital Disruption and Health Insurance (Article)
H. Elizabeth Peters, Kosali Simon, Jamie Rubenstein

Despite the high levels of marital disruption in the United States and the fact that a significant portion of health insurance coverage for those less than age 65 is based on family membership, surprisingly little research is available on the consequences of marital disruption for the health insurance coverage of men, women, and children.

Posted to Web: December 15, 2014Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Longitudinal Influences on Men's Lives: Research from the Transition to Fatherhood Project and Beyond (Article)
Nan Astone, H. Elizabeth Peters

In this paper we discuss findings from the Transition to Fatherhood Project, as well as other research, to consider how changes in fatherhood may affect men.

Posted to Web: December 15, 2014Publication Date: July 11, 2014

A Work Tax Credit That Supports Puerto Rico's Working Families (Research Report)
Maria E. Enchautegui

Puerto Rico eliminated its work tax credit (WC) in 2014. The credit, which was established in 2006, delivered benefits to 45 percent of all tax filers in 2013 at a total cost $124 million. The maximum credit was $450. This report assess the experience with the WC from 2007 to 2013 and suggests elements for a possible redesign that rewards and stimulates work, reduces hardship, strengthens the tax base, and offsets regressivity in ways that are consistent with current tax reform proposals in Puerto Rico.

Posted to Web: December 12, 2014Publication Date: December 12, 2014

Public Education, Outreach and Application Assistance (Research Report)
Stan Dorn

Using the Health Reform Monitoring Survey and state-level interviews, this paper identifies effective strategies to educate uninsured consumers about available health coverage assistance and to help them enroll. Researchers describe promising state practices, such as Kentucky insurance brokers' targeting of firms that do not offer coverage, enrolling workers at those companies into Marketplace plans; 46 percent of America's subsidy-eligible uninsured work for similar employers that do not offer insurance. The report emphasizes the importance of continuing to fund hands-on application assistance.

Posted to Web: December 11, 2014Publication Date: December 11, 2014

Marketplace Enrollment Procedures: Early Barriers to Participation and Options for Surmounting Them (Research Report)
Stan Dorn

This report examines three barriers experienced during the 2014 open enrollment period in Marketplaces: Medicaid backlogs, procedural challenges facing disadvantaged populations, and difficulty with plan selection. It also explains promising strategies states have used to overcome those barriers, including using Medicaid computer systems to make eligibility determinations for the Marketplace and simplifying consumer choices by standardizing plan designs within each metal tier. These and other practices suggest directions to pursue in improving Marketplace enrollment for 2015 and beyond.

Posted to Web: December 11, 2014Publication Date: December 11, 2014

Affordability of Marketplace Coverage: Challenges to Enrollment and State Options to Lower Consumer Costs (Research Report)
Stan Dorn

The most frequent reason that uninsured adults who visited a health insurance marketplace gave for not enrolling in marketplace coverage was unaffordability, even with subsidies. This report examines how several states appeared to overcome this obstacle. For example, Minnesota uses a Medicaid waiver to provide more affordable coverage outside the marketplace to consumers with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, planning to transition to the Basic Health Program in 2015. Vermont supplements federal subsidies inside the marketplace to improve affordability for consumers with incomes up to 300 percent of poverty.

Posted to Web: December 11, 2014Publication Date: December 11, 2014

Review of Budgetary Policies and Practices in the Massachusetts Subsidized Child Care System (Research Report)
Julia Isaacs, Michael Katz

This report summarizes a review aimed at helping the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) more efficiently manage annual appropriations from multiple budgetary accounts that fund child care services. It combines an analysis of the spending history of these accounts, a review of current forecasting models, and information from key stakeholders and staff. The report concludes with suggestions for EEC to consider as it continues to improve its management of spending on subsidized child care. It is the first of several products prepared as part of a legislatively mandated assessment of the state’s subsidized child care system.

Posted to Web: December 11, 2014Publication Date: December 11, 2014

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