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Complex mortgages

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Complex mortgages became a popular borrowing instrument during the bullish housing market of the early 2000s but vanished rapidly during the subsequent downturn. These non-traditional loans (interest only, negative amortization, and teaser mortgages) enable households to postpone loan repayment compared to traditional mortgages and hence relax borrowing constraints. At the same time, they increase household leverage and heighten dependence on mortgage refinancing to escape changes in contract terms. We document that complex mortgages were chosen by prime borrowers with high income levels seeking to purchase expensive houses relative to their incomes. Borrowers with complex mortgages experience substantially higher ex post default rates than borrowers with traditional mortgages with similar characteristics.

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  • Gene Amromin & Jennifer Huang & Clemens Sialm & Edward Zhong, 2010. "Complex mortgages," Working Paper Series WP-2010-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2010-17
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    2. van Ooijen, Raun & van Rooij, Maarten C.J., 2016. "Mortgage risks, debt literacy and financial advice," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 201-217.
    3. John Y. Campbell & João F. Cocco, 2015. "A Model of Mortgage Default," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(4), pages 1495-1554, August.
    4. Agarwal, Sumit & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Zhang, Yunqi, 2017. "How does working in a finance profession affect mortgage delinquency?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-13.
    5. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1397-1532, Elsevier.
    6. Marekwica, Marcel & Schaefer, Alexander & Sebastian, Steffen, 2013. "Life cycle asset allocation in the presence of housing and tax-deferred investing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1110-1125.
    7. Evridiki Tsounta, 2011. "Home Sweet Home; Government's Role in Reaching the American Dream," IMF Working Papers 2011/191, International Monetary Fund.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortgages; Mortgage loans;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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