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Payment size, negative equity, and mortgage default

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  • Andreas Fuster
  • Paul S. Willen

Abstract

Surprisingly little is known about the importance of mortgage payment size for default, as efforts to measure the treatment effect of rate increases or loan modifications are confounded by borrower selection. We study a sample of hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages that have experienced large rate reductions over the past years and are largely immune to these selection concerns. We show that interest rate changes dramatically affect repayment behavior. Our estimates imply that cutting a borrower’s payment in half reduces his hazard of becoming delinquent by about two-thirds, an effect that is approximately equivalent to lowering the borrower’s combined loan-to-value ratio from 145 to 95 (holding the payment fixed). These findings shed light on the driving forces behind default behavior and have important implications for public policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 582.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:582

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Keywords: Mortgages ; Default (Finance) ; Interest rates ; Adjustable rate mortgages;

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References

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  1. Brent W. Ambrose & Michael LaCour-Little, 2001. "Prepayment Risk in Adjustable Rate Mortgages Subject to Initial Year Discounts: Some New Evidence," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 305-327.
  2. von Furstenberg, George M, 1969. "Default Risk on FHA-Insured Home Mortgages as a Function of the Terms of Financing: A Quantitative Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 24(3), pages 459-77, June.
  3. Nathan B. Anderson & Jane K. Dokko, 2011. "Liquidity problems and early payment default among subprime mortgages," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Andra C. Ghent & Marianna Kudlyak, 2011. "Recourse and Residential Mortgage Default: Evidence from US States 1," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(9), pages 3139-3186.
  5. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2004. "Observing unobservables: Identifying information asymmetries with a consumer credit field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00283, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Bhardwaj, Geetesh & Sengupta, Rajdeep, 2012. "Subprime mortgage design," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1503-1519.
  7. Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher S. Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2012. "Why Did So Many People Make So Many Ex Post Bad Decisions? The Causes of the Foreclosure Crisis," NBER Working Papers 18082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Neil Bhutta & Jane Dokko & Hui Shan, 2010. "The depth of negative equity and mortgage default decisions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Manuel Adelino & Kristopher Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Why don't lenders renegotiate more home mortgages? redefaults, self-cures, and securitization," Working Paper 2009-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Rajdeep Sengupta, 2010. "Alt-A: the forgotten segment of the mortgage market," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 55-72.
  11. 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.
  12. Ralph S.J Koijen & Otto Van Hemert & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2007. "Mortgage Timing," NBER Working Papers 13361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Joseph Tracy & Joshua Wright, 2012. "Payment changes and default risk: theimpact of refinancing on expected credit losses," Staff Reports 562, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  14. Sumit Agarwal & Gene Amromin & Itzhak Ben-David & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Douglas D. Evanoff, 2011. "Market-based loss mitigation practices for troubled mortgages following the financial crisis," Working Paper Series WP-2011-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  15. Christopher Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Paul Willen, 2010. "Reducing Foreclosures: No Easy Answers," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 89-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kau, James B, et al, 1992. "A Generalized Valuation Model for Fixed-Rate Residential Mortgages," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(3), pages 279-99, August.
  17. Schwartz, Eduardo S & Torous, Walter N, 1989. " Prepayment and the Valuation of Mortgage-Backed Securities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 375-92, June.
  18. Thomas Schelkle, 2014. "Mortgage Default during the U.S. Mortgage Crisis," Working Paper Series in Economics 72, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  19. Andrew Haughwout & Ebiere Okah & Joseph Tracy, 2009. "Second chances: subprime mortgage modification and re-default," Staff Reports 417, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  20. Gadi Barlevy & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2010. "Mortgage choices and housing speculation," Working Paper Series WP-2010-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  21. Andrew Haughwout & Donghoon Lee & Joseph Tracy & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2011. "Real estate investors, the leverage cycle, and the housing market crisis," Staff Reports 514, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Haughwout & Sarah Sutherland & Joseph Tracy, 2013. "Negative equity and housing investment," Staff Reports 636, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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