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Speaker tackles nationwide mortgage problem in October lecture

10/8/2009 —

Stephen F. Thode, Ph.D., associate professor of finance at Lehigh University, will be the featured speaker for the October Faculty Invitational Lecture Series at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Thode will present, "Prescriptions for Reducing Mortgage Defaults: From the Normative to the Positive," at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, October 16, in room 135 at the campus in Center Valley. This lecture is free and open to the public.


"Despite massive federal intervention to assist homeowners in actual mortgage default or at risk of mortgage default, mortgage defaults and re-defaults remain at high levels.  A key problem with the federal assistance program is its failure to differentiate between mortgagors for whom refinancing assistance would greatly diminish the likelihood of re-default, and those mortgagors for whom refinancing would not greatly diminish the likelihood of re-default," said Thode. "As it stands, the program fails to adequately reward positive behavior (avoiding default) while prospectively rewarding negative behavior (re-default)."


In this presentation, Thode will discuss a prescription for the re-default problem by identifying an alternative solution for mortgagors for whom any form of mortgage assistance is not likely to significantly diminish the likelihood of re-default, as well as an alternative solution for mortgagors whose likelihood of re-default is low. He will also discuss a prescription for reducing the likelihood of future defaults, and propose a methodology that modifies residential mortgage underwriting standards, redefines appraisal methods for owner-occupied single-family homes, and provides greater transparency for buyers of mortgages in the secondary mortgage market.


Stephen F. Thode is associate professor of finance, director of the Murray H. Goodman Center for Real Estate Studies, and director of the Integrated Real Estate Program at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He has published dozens of articles on finance and real estate topics and is the recipient of the 1999 American Real Estate Society/Fannie Mae Foundation prize for best paper in real estate finance.  He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Real Estate Society and a two-term past president of the Real Estate Center Directors and Chairholders Association.  He currently serves as the only academic on The Appraisal Foundation board of trustees. Thode has extensive contract research and consulting experience with both Fortune 500 companies and private real estate firms. 


Professor Stephen Thode received a bachelor's degree in economics from Coe College. He earned a master's and doctorate of business administration in finance from Indiana University. Active in the community, Thode served on the Finance Committee of Musikfest for seven years. He is currently a member of the City of Bethlehem Planning Commission and the Blighted Property Review Committee.

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