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Equity extraction and mortgage default

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  • Steven Laufer

Abstract

Using a property-level data set of houses in Los Angeles County, I estimate that 30% of the recent surge in mortgage defaults is attributable to early home-buyers who would not have defaulted had they not borrowed against the rising value of their homes during the boom. I develop and estimate a structural model capable of explaining the patterns of both equity extraction and default observed among this group of homeowners. In the model, most of these defaults are attributable to the high loan-to-value ratios generated by this additional borrowing combined with the expectation that house prices would continue to decline. Only 30% are the result of income shocks and liquidity constraints. I use this model to analyze a policy that limits the maximum size of cash-out refinances to 80% of the current house value. I find that this restriction would reduce house prices by 14% and defaults by 28%. Despite the reduced borrowing opportunities, the welfare gain from this policy for new homeowners is equivalent to 3.2% of consumption because of their ability to purchase houses at lower prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Laufer, 2013. "Equity extraction and mortgage default," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. How many mortgage defaults resulted from lofty expectations?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-07-29 20:02:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Kumar, Anil, 2014. "Do restrictions on home equity extraction contribute to lower mortgage defaults? evidence from a policy discontinuity at the Texas’ border," Working Papers 1410, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    2. Paolo Sodini & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Roine Vestman & Ulf von Lilienfeld-Toal, 2016. "Identifying the Benefits from Home Ownership: A Swedish Experiment," NBER Working Papers 22882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jack Favilukis & David Kohn & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2012. "International Capital Flows and House Prices: Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 235-299 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. M. Dietsch & C. Welter-Nicol, 2014. "Do LTV and DSTI caps make banks more resilient?," Débats économiques et financiers 13, Banque de France.
    5. Arthur Korteweg & Morten Sorensen, 2012. "Estimating Loan-to-Value and Foreclosure Behavior," NBER Working Papers 17882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dietsch, Michel & Petey, Joël, 2015. "The credit-risk implications of home ownership promotion: The effects of public subsidies and adjustable-rate loans," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 103-120.
    7. Gerardi, Kristopher & Herkenhoff, Kyle F. & Ohanian, Lee E. & Willen, Paul S., 2013. "Can't Pay or Won't Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2013-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, revised 01 Jun 2017.
    8. Neil Bhutta & Benjamin J. Keys, 2016. "Interest Rates and Equity Extraction during the Housing Boom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1742-1774, July.
    9. Davis, Morris A. & Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2015. "Housing, Finance, and the Macroeconomy," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    10. Amromin, Eugene & Kearns, Caitlin, 2014. "Access to Refinancing and Mortgage Interest Rates: HARPing on the Importance of Competition," Working Paper Series WP-2014-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    11. Ono, Arito & Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory F. & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2016. "Lending Pro-Cyclicality and Macro-Prudential Policy: Evidence from Japanese LTV Ratios," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 41, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis

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