Determinants and consequences of mortgage default
We study a unique data set of borrower-level credit information from TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus, which is linked to a database containing detailed information on the borrowers’ mortgages. We find that the updated credit score is an important predictor of mortgage default in addition to the credit score at origination. However, the 6-month change in the credit score also predicts default: A positive change in the credit score significantly reduces the probability of delinquency or foreclosure. Next, we analyze the consequences of default on a borrower’s credit score. The credit score drops on average 51 points when a borrower becomes 30-days delinquent on his mortgage, but the effect is much more muted for transitions to more severe delinquency states and even foreclosure.
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