The depth of negative equity and mortgage default decisions
AbstractA central question in the literature on mortgage default is at what point underwater homeowners walk away from their homes even if they can afford to pay. We study borrowers from Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada who purchased homes in 2006 using non-prime mortgages with 100 percent financing. Almost 80 percent of these borrowers default by the end of the observation period in September 2009. After distinguishing between defaults induced by job losses and other income shocks from those induced purely by negative equity, we find that the median borrower does not strategically default until equity falls to -62 percent of their home's value. This result suggests that borrowers face high default and transaction costs. Our estimates show that about 80 percent of defaults in our sample are the result of income shocks combined with negative equity. However, when equity falls below -50 percent, half of the defaults are driven purely by negative equity. Therefore, our findings lend support to both the "double-trigger" theory of default and the view that mortgage borrowers exercise the implicit put option when it is in their interest.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2010-35.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2010-07-24 (Banking)
- NEP-RMG-2010-07-24 (Risk Management)
- NEP-URE-2010-07-24 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Todd Sinai, 1997. "Taxation, User Cost, and Household Mobility Decisions," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 303, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
- Quigley, John M & Van Order, Robert, 1995.
"Explicit Tests of Contingent Claims Models of Mortgage Default,"
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics,
Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 99-117, September.
- John M. Quigley., 1993. "Explicit Tests of Contingent Claims Models of Mortgage Defaults," Economics Working Papers 93-221, University of California at Berkeley.
- Quigley, John M., 1993. "Explicit Tests of Contingent Claims Models of Mortgage Defaults," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3df5357v, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Andra C. Ghent & Marianna Kudlyak, 2010. "Recourse and residential mortgage default: theory and evidence from U.S. states," Working Paper 09-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- Kau James B. & Keenan Donald C. & Kim Taewon, 1994. "Default Probabilities for Mortgages," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 278-296, May.
- Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, 2000.
"Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options,"
Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 275-308, March.
- Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, . "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 322, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
- Deng, Yongheng & Quigley, John M. & Van Order, Robert, 1999. "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity, and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt96r560pg, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
- Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 2008.
"Housing busts and household mobility,"
350, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2008.
"Negative equity and foreclosure: Theory and evidence,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 234-245, September.
- Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: theory and evidence," Public Policy Discussion Paper 08-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Manuel Adelino & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2009.
"Why don't lenders renegotiate more home mortgages? redefaults, self-cures, and securitization,"
2009-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Manuel Adelino & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Why Don't Lenders Renegotiate More Home Mortgages? Redefaults, Self-Cures and Securitization," NBER Working Papers 15159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Manuel Adelino & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Why don't lenders renegotiate more home mortgages?: redefaults, self-cures, and securitization," Public Policy Discussion Paper 09-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Kristopher S. Gerardi & Andreas Lehnert & Shane M. Sherlund & Paul S. Willen, 2009.
"Making sense of the subprime crisis,"
2009-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362, February.
- Patrick Bajari & Chenghuan Sean Chu & Minjung Park, 2008. "An Empirical Model of Subprime Mortgage Default From 2000 to 2007," NBER Working Papers 14625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.