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Agency Conflicts, Asset Substitution, and Securitization

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  • Yingjin Hila Gan
  • Christopher Mayer

Abstract

Asset-backed securities represent one of the largest and fastest growing financial markets. Under securitization, agents perform functions (for fees) that would alternatively be performed by a vertically integrated lender with ownership of a whole loan. We examine how outsourcing impacts performance using data on 357 commercial mortgage-backed securities deals with over 46,000 individual loans. To alleviate agency conflicts in managing troubled loans, underwriters often sell the first-loss position to the special servicer, the party who is charged with handling delinquencies and defaults. When holding the first-loss position, special servicers appear to behave more efficiently, making fewer costly transfers of delinquent loans to special servicing, but liquidating a higher percentage of loans that are referred to special servicing. Special servicers are also more likely to own the first loss position in deals that require additional effort (deals with higher delinquencies). Market pricing reflects the existence of agency costs. Despite the apparent reduction of agency costs, the first-loss position is increasingly owned by a party other than the special servicer. We pose a number of explanations, including conflicts between junior and senior securities holders (the asset substitution problem) and risk aversion among special servicers. Consistent with asset substitution, we show that special servicers delay liquidation when they hold the first-loss position in deals with more severe delinquency problems.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12359.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12359

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  1. Nancy Wallace & Chris Downing, 2005. "Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities: How Much Subordination is Enough?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 37, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Riddiough, Timothy J., 1997. "Optimal Design and Governance of Asset-Backed Securities," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 121-152, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Andre Guettler & Ulrich Hommel & Julia Reichert, 2011. "The influence of sponsor, servicer, and underwriter characteristics on RMBS performance," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 281-311, September.
  2. Benjamin J. Keys & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Mortgage Financing in the Housing Boom and Bust," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 143-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Pagès, H., 2012. "Bank monitoring incentives and optimal ABS," Working papers 377, Banque de France.
  4. Vikrant Vig & Amit Seru & Tomasz Piskorski, 2009. "Securitization and Distressed Loan Renegotiation: Evidence from the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," 2009 Meeting Papers 1169, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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