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Mortgage-default research and the recent foreclosure crisis

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  • Christopher L. Foote
  • Paul S. Willen

Abstract

This paper reviews recent research on mortgage default, focusing on the relationship of this research to the recent foreclosure crisis. Research on defaults was advanced both theoretically and empirically by the time the crisis began, but economists have moved the frontier further by improving data sources, building dynamic optimizing models of default, and explicitly addressing reverse causality between rising foreclosures and falling house prices. Mortgage defaults were also a key component of early research that pointed to subprime and other privately securitized mortgages as fundamental drivers of the housing boom, although this research has been criticized recently. Going forward, improvements to data and models will allow researchers to explore the central unsolved question in this area: why mortgage default is so rare, even for households with high levels of negative equity or financial distress.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher L. Foote & Paul S. Willen, 2017. "Mortgage-default research and the recent foreclosure crisis," Working Papers 17-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:17-13
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    Cited by:

    1. Michelle Bergmann, 2020. "The Determinants of Mortgage Defaults in Australia – Evidence for the Double-trigger Hypothesis," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2020-03, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    2. Manuel Adelino & William B. McCartney & Antoinette Schoar, 2020. "The Role of Government and Private Institutions in Credit Cycles in the U.S. Mortgage Market," NBER Working Papers 27499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Manuel Adelino & W. Ben McCartney & Antoinette Schoar, 2020. "The Role of Government and Private Institutions in Credit Cycles in the U.S. Mortgage Market," Working Papers 20-40, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    4. Nadav Ben Zeev, 2019. "Adjustable-Rate Mortgages, Systematic Monetary Policy, And The Root Cause Of The Financial Crisis," Working Papers 1908, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    5. Christopher L. Foote & Lara Loewenstein & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Technological Innovation in Mortgage Underwriting and the Growth in Credit: 1985-2015," Working Papers (Old Series) 1816, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Bracke, Philippe & Datta, Anupam & Jung, Carsten & Sen, Shayak, 2019. "Machine learning explainability in finance: an application to default risk analysis," Bank of England working papers 816, Bank of England.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortgage default; foreclosures; housing boom and bust; financial crisis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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