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Understanding the securitization of subprime mortgage credit

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  • Adam B. Ashcraft
  • Til Schuermann

Abstract

In this paper, we provide an overview of the subprime mortgage securitization process and the seven key informational frictions that arise. We discuss the ways that market participants work to minimize these frictions and speculate on how this process broke down. We continue with a complete picture of the subprime borrower and the subprime loan, discussing both predatory borrowing and predatory lending. We present the key structural features of a typical subprime securitization, document how rating agencies assign credit ratings to mortgage-backed securities, and outline how these agencies monitor the performance of mortgage pools over time. Throughout the paper, we draw upon the example of a mortgage pool securitized by New Century Financial during 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Adam B. Ashcraft & Til Schuermann, 2008. "Understanding the securitization of subprime mortgage credit," Staff Reports 318, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:318
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nickell, Pamela & Perraudin, William & Varotto, Simone, 2000. "Stability of rating transitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 203-227, January.
    2. Donald P. Morgan, 2007. "Defining and detecting predatory lending," Staff Reports 273, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    3. Hanson, Samuel & Schuermann, Til, 2006. "Confidence intervals for probabilities of default," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2281-2301, August.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "An Introduction," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 149-150, August.
    5. Doron Kliger & Oded Sarig, 2000. "The Information Value of Bond Ratings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2879-2902, December.
    6. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Predatory lending; Investment banking; Mortgage-backed securities; Subprime mortgage; Mortgage loans; Investments - Government policy; Credit ratings;
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