We partnered to test whether nudges could help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
We partnered with the City of Syracuse’s Department of
Neighborhood and Business Development to test whether redesigned foreclosure prevention
notifications would affect follow through. The goal of the redesign was to
simplify communication: the letters separated and highlighted both the
foreclosure process and steps the property owner could take to avoid
foreclosure. The redesigned letters also included a personalized handwritten
note on the outside of the envelope. In December 2017, 304 property owners who
were facing tax foreclosure were randomized to receive our redesigned
notifications or pre-existing letters. Over three months, property owners who received the redesigned letters
paid on average $557 (117%) more than those who received business-as-usual
letters ($1033 to $476).