Foreclosure properties sold at Japanese judicial auctions are delivered to buyers with an unclear title when occupants exist, because the foreclosure laws protect occupants from compulsory execution of auctions. The existence of occupants theoretically affects the auction price through two channels. First, it affects the reserve price, and this changes in auction price. Second, the number of bidders changes in response to changes in the reserve price that is controlled by occupants, and this changes the auction price. Using data from the Osaka District Court, we empirically find that the existence of occupants in properties reduces the auction price through two channels.
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