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Recourse and residential mortgage default: theory and evidence from U.S. states

  • Andra C. Ghent
  • Marianna Kudlyak

We analyze the impact of lender recourse on mortgage defaults theoretically and empirically across U.S. states. We study the effect of state laws regarding deficiency judgments in a model where lenders can use the threat of a deficiency judgment to deter default or to shorten the default process. Empirically, we find that recourse decreases the probability of default when there is a substantial likelihood that a borrower has negative home equity. We also find that, in states that allow deficiency judgments, defaults are more likely to occur through a lender-friendly procedure, such as a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 09-10.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:09-10
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  1. Dennis R. Capozza & Dick Kazarian & Thomas A. Thomson, 1997. "Mortgage Default in Local Markets," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 25(4), pages 631-655.
  2. Ambrose, Brent W & Capone, Charles A, Jr & Deng, Yongheng, 2001. "Optimal Put Exercise: An Empirical Examination of Conditions for Mortgage Foreclosure," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 213-34, September.
  3. Giglio, Stefano & Pathak, Parag & Campbell, John Y., 2011. "Forced Sales and House Prices," Scholarly Articles 9887623, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Ambrose, Brent W & Buttimer, Richard J, Jr & Capone, Charles A, 1997. "Pricing Mortgage Default and Foreclosure Delay," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 314-25, August.
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