Consumer Information & the Mortgage Market

Consumer Information and The Mortgage Market

FTC Headquarters 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 | Directions & Nearby

Room 432

Event Description

Housing and mortgage market turmoil is affecting the financial security of countless hardworking Americans, and raising questions about the adequacy of consumer protection regulations in mortgage and housing markets. Concerns about increases in delinquencies and foreclosures have led to numerous new consumer protection regulation proposals, including new mandatory disclosures and prohibitions on mortgage product characteristics.

Policy choices made today will affect consumer protections, mortgage options, and home ownership opportunities for years to come. Effective consumer policy solutions will require an understanding of why current consumer protection policies may have failed, and an assessment of the likely long-run effects of alternative policies on consumer choice and market outcomes.

Mandatory information disclosures play a central role in the existing consumer protection regulatory framework for the mortgage market. The purpose of this conference is to highlight and assess the role of consumer information in the current mortgage crisis from an economic perspective. An economic analysis that includes a historical understanding of developments in the mortgage market, as well as empirical research on consumer use and understanding of mandatory, pre-purchase, information disclosures, can link together disparate elements of the current mortgage policy debate.

Experts from several relevant specialties, including real estate finance and economics, consumer behavior, and information regulation, will be brought together to examine how consumer information, and information regulation, affects consumer choices, mortgage outcomes, and consumer welfare. For example, panelists will discuss the causes and effects of mortgage market product developments, the role of consumer information in the mortgage market and how it relates to the current mortgage crisis, and strategies for ensuring that new consumer protection regulations, especially mandatory information disclosures, will be designed in ways that will provide the greatest possible long-run net benefit to consumers. This exchange may yield concrete ideas for the development and implementation of more cohesive, comprehensive, and effective consumer information policies.

The workshop, which will be free and open to the public, will be held at the FTC’s headquarters building, located at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. A government-issued photo ID is required for entry. Pre-registration is not required. Members of the public and press who wish to participate but who cannot attend can view a live Webcast on the FTC’s Web site.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via e-mail to or by calling Carrie McGlothlin at (202) 326-3388. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice.



Pre-registration for this workshop is not necessary, but is encouraged, so that we may better plan for the event.

To pre-register, please email your name and affiliation to

NOTE: When you pre-register, we will collect your name, affiliation, and your email address. This information will be used to estimate how many people will attend. We may use your email address to contact you with information about the workshop.


Jan Pappalardo (Conference Organizer)
Bureau of Economics

Micah Burger (Assistant Organizer)
Bureau of Economics

Event Details

FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s comprehensive Privacy Policy.

This event is open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded. By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.