Maxwell X Lab
City of Syracuse Foreclosure
- Partners: City of Syracuse’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development
- Intervention: Redesigned foreclosure prevention notifications
- Method: RCT
- Outcomes: Increased payments
The Maxwell X Lab 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).