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Efficient Mortgage Default Option Exercise: Evidence from Loss Severity

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Abstract

This paper extends options-based mortgage default theory to include transaction costs. When transaction costs are considered, the rational borrower will default only when the value of the collateral falls below the mortage value by an amount equal to the net transaction costs. Since, for most borrowers, net transaction costs are positive, standard measures of equity may be significantly negative by the time the rational borrower exercises the default option. This research shows theoretically and empirically the effects of frictions on the individual strike price. The addition of transaction costs to the theory provides several testable implications for equity loss severity. First, the longer the foreclosure process and the period of free rent to the borrower, the lower the severity. Second, severity will be smaller when bankruptcy has been declared. Third, severity is decreasing in the contract decreasing function of the probability of a deficiency judgment. The empirical results, using servicing and foreclosure data from a large northeastern thrift, support the theoretical model.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon W. Crawford & Eric Rosenblatt, 1995. "Efficient Mortgage Default Option Exercise: Evidence from Loss Severity," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 10(5), pages 543-556.
  • Handle: RePEc:jre:issued:v:10:n:5:1995:p:543-556
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Vassilis Lekkas & John M. Quigley & Robert Order, 1993. "Loan Loss Severity and Optimal Mortgage Default," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 21(4), pages 353-371.
    3. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    4. Kerry D. Vandell, 1994. "How Ruthless is Mortgage Default? Prepared under contract with Fannie Mae," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 94-04, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
    5. James F. Epperson & James B. Kau & Donald C. Keenan & Walter J. Muller, 1985. "Pricing Default Risk in Mortgages," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 13(3), pages 261-272.
    6. Chester Foster & Robert Order, 1985. "FHA Terminations: A Prelude to Rational Mortgage Pricing," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 13(3), pages 273-291.
    7. Clauretie, Terrence M & Herzog, Thomas N, 1990. "The Effect of State Foreclosure Laws on Loan Losses: Evidence from the Mortgage Insurance Industry," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(2), pages 221-233, May.
    8. James B. Kau & Taewon Kim, 1994. "Waiting to Default: The Value of Delay," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 539-551.
    9. Quigley, John M., 2006. "Urban Economics," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt0jr0p2tk, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Rahal, 2015. "House Price Forecasts with Factor Combinations," Discussion Papers 15-05, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    2. Dennis Capozza & Thomas Thomson, 2004. "Optimal Stopping and Losses on Subprime Mortgages," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 115-131, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Lei Ding & Roberto G. Quercia & Janneke Ratcliffe, 2008. "Post-purchase Counseling and Default Resolutions among Low- and Moderate-Income Borrowers," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 30(3), pages 315-344.
    5. Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2006. "The Value of Foreclosed Property," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 28(2), pages 193-214.
    6. Qi, Min & Yang, Xiaolong, 2009. "Loss given default of high loan-to-value residential mortgages," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 788-799, May.
    7. Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2004. "The Value of Foreclosed Property – House Prices, Foreclosure Laws, and Appraisals," Staff Working Papers 04-01, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    8. Danny Ben-Shahar, 2008. "Default, Credit Scoring, and Loan-to-Value: a Theoretical Analysis under Competitive and Non-Competitive Mortgage Markets," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 30(2), pages 161-190.
    9. Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2003. "Subprime and Prime Mortgages – Loss Distributions," Staff Working Papers 03-01, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    10. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2010. "Economic Theory and the World of Practice: A Celebration of the ( S , s ) Model," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 183-202, Winter.

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    JEL classification:

    • L85 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Real Estate Services

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