IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Estimation of Mortgage Defaults Using Disaggregate Loan History Data


  • Kerry D. Vandell
  • Thomas Thibodeau


This paper addresses, theoretically and empirically, the structure of influences affecting the default option in mortgage contracts. A formal theoretical model recognizes that a number of loan and non-loan related effects beyond equity in the unit could influence the default decision. These include 1) payment levels relative to income, which could displace other investment opportunities or cause a need for borrowing or sale to meet mortgage obligations; 2) current and expected neighborhood and housing market conditions, in particular the expected relative rate of appreciation of the unit and the relative cost of homeownership; 3) economic conditions; 4) wealth; 5) borrower characteristics proxying for variability in income or "crisis" events; as well as 6) transactions costs incurred upon default. Estimates of the model making use of a micro-level sample of individual loan histories over a twelve year period, supplemented by longitudinal census and economic information, find a number of these "other" effects important. Simulations find several of them to dominate the equity effect on default and to help explain why some households with zero or negative equity may not default, while others with positive equity may. The implications of these results for appropriate specification of the pricing model describing the default option and for appropriate underwriting of AMIs are noted. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Kerry D. Vandell & Thomas Thibodeau, 1985. "Estimation of Mortgage Defaults Using Disaggregate Loan History Data," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 13(3), pages 292-316.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:13:y:1985:i:3:p:292-316

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John P. Herzog & James S. Earley, 1970. "Home Mortgage Delinquency and Foreclosure," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number herz70-1, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:13:y:1985:i:3:p:292-316. See general 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.