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Asset Quality Misrepresentation by Financial Intermediaries: Evidence from the RMBS Market

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  • TOMASZ PISKORSKI
  • AMIT SERU
  • JAMES WITKIN

Abstract

We document that contractual disclosures by intermediaries during the sale of mortgages contained false information about the borrower's housing equity in 7–14% of loans. The rate of misrepresented loan default was 70% higher than for similar loans. These misrepresentations likely occurred late in the intermediation and exist among securities sold by all reputable intermediaries. Investors—including large institutions—holding securities with misrepresented collateral suffered severe losses due to loan defaults, price declines, and ratings downgrades. Pools with misrepresentations were not issued at a discount. Misrepresentation on another easy‐to‐quantify dimension shows that these effects are a conservative lower bound.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & James Witkin, 2015. "Asset Quality Misrepresentation by Financial Intermediaries: Evidence from the RMBS Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(6), pages 2635-2678, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:70:y:2015:i:6:p:2635-2678
    DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12271
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law

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