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Why don't lenders renegotiate more home mortgages? redefaults, self-cures, and securitization

  • Manuel Adelino
  • Kristopher Gerardi
  • Paul S. Willen

We document the fact that servicers have been reluctant to renegotiate mortgages since the foreclosure crisis started in 2007, having performed payment-reducing modifications on only about 3 percent of seriously delinquent loans. We show that this reluctance does not result from securitization: Servicers renegotiate similarly small fractions of loans that they hold in their portfolios. Our results are robust to different definitions of renegotiation, including the one most likely to be affected by securitization, and to different definitions of delinquency. Our results are strongest in subsamples in which unobserved heterogeneity between portfolio and securitized loans is likely to be small and in subprime loans. We use a theoretical model to show that redefault risk, the possibility that a borrower will still default despite costly renegotiation, and self-cure risk, the possibility that a seriously delinquent borrower will become current without renegotiation, make renegotiation unattractive to investors.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2009-17.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2009-17
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  1. Adelino, Manuel & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2013. "Why don't Lenders renegotiate more home mortgages? Redefaults, self-cures and securitization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 835-853.
  2. Cruces, Juan J. & Trebesch, Christoph, 2013. "Sovereign defaults: The price of haircuts," Munich Reprints in Economics 20036, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Bai, Yan & Zhang, Jing, 2012. "Duration of sovereign debt renegotiation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 252-268.
  4. Casey B. Mulligan, 2009. "Means-Tested Mortgage Modification: Homes Saved or Income Destroyed?," NBER Working Papers 15281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008. "Subprime mortgages, foreclosures, and urban neighborhoods," Public Policy Discussion Paper 08-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  6. 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.
  7. A. Rampini, Adriano, 2005. "Default and aggregate income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 225-253, June.
  8. Christopher Mayer & Edward Morrison & Tomasz Piskorski & Arpit Gupta, 2014. "Mortgage Modification and Strategic Behavior: Evidence from a Legal Settlement with Countrywide," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2830-57, September.
  9. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  10. Ryan Bubb & Alex Kaufman, 2009. "Securitization and moral hazard: evidence from a lender cutoff rule," Public Policy Discussion Paper 09-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  11. Piskorski, Tomasz & Seru, Amit & Vig, Vikrant, 2010. "Securitization and distressed loan renegotiation: Evidence from the subprime mortgage crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 369-397, September.
  12. Agarwal, Sumit & Amromin, Gene & Ben-David, Itzhak & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Evanoff, Douglas D., 2011. "The role of securitization in mortgage renegotiation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 559-578.
  13. Ambrose, Brent W & Capone, Charles A, Jr, 1996. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of Single-Family Foreclosure Alternatives," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 105-20, September.
  14. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2011. "Labor Market Dysfunction During the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 17313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2012. "Public Debt Overhangs: Advanced-Economy Episodes since 1800," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 69-86, Summer.
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