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Mortgage Default during the U.S. Mortgage Crisis

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  • Thomas Schelkle

Abstract

Which of the main competing theories of mortgage default can quantitatively explain the rise in default rates during the U.S. mortgage crisis? This paper finds that the double-trigger hypothesis attributing mortgage default to the joint occurrence of negative equity and a life event like unemployment is consistent with the evidence. In contrast a traditional frictionless default model predicts a too strong increase in default rates. The paper also provides micro-foundations for double-trigger behavior in a model where unemployment may cause liquidity problems for the borrower. Using this framework for policy analysis reveals that a mortgage crisis may be mitigated at a lower cost by relieving the liquidity problems of borrowers instead of bailing out lenders.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Schelkle, 2014. "Mortgage Default during the U.S. Mortgage Crisis," Working Paper Series in Economics 72, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kls:series:0072
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    2. Terry O'Malley, 2021. "The Impact of Repossession Risk on Mortgage Default," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 76(2), pages 623-650, April.
    3. Andreas Fuster & Paul S. Willen, 2017. "Payment Size, Negative Equity, and Mortgage Default," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 167-191, November.
    4. Carlos Garriga & Aaron Hedlund, 2020. "Mortgage Debt, Consumption, and Illiquid Housing Markets in the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(6), pages 1603-1634, June.
    5. Anastasiou, Dimitrios & Kapopoulos, Panayotis, 2021. "Dynamic linkages among financial stability, house prices and residential investment in Greece," MPRA Paper 107833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Alin Marius Andries & Anca Copaciu & Radu Popa & Razvan Vlahu, 2021. "Recourse and (strategic) mortgage defaults: Evidence from changes in housing market laws," Working Papers 727, DNB.
    7. Nataliya Barasinska & Philipp Haenle & Anne Koban & Alexander Schmidt, 2023. "No Reason to Worry About German Mortgages? An Analysis of Macroeconomic and Individual Drivers of Credit Risk," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 369-399, December.
    8. Jakučionytė, Eglė & Singh, Swapnil, 2022. "Bowling alone, buying alone: The decline of co-borrowers in the US mortgage market," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(PB).
    9. Christopher L. Foote & Lara Loewenstein & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Technological Innovation in Mortgage Underwriting and the Growth in Credit: 1985-2015," Working Papers (Old Series) 1816, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    10. Barasinska, Nataliya & Haenle, Philipp & Koban, Anne & Schmidt, Alexander, 2019. "Stress testing the German mortgage market," Discussion Papers 17/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    11. Bekiros, Stelios & Nilavongse, Rachatar & Uddin, Gazi Salah, 2020. "Expectation-driven house prices and debt defaults: The effectiveness of monetary and macroprudential policies," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 49(C).
    12. Brož, Václav & Kočenda, Evžen, 2022. "Mortgage-related bank penalties and systemic risk among U.S. banks," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    13. Eszter Baranyai & Ádám Banai, 2022. "Heat projections and mortgage characteristics: evidence from the USA," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 175(3), pages 1-20, December.
    14. Christopher L. Foote & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Mortgage-Default Research and the Recent Foreclosure Crisis," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 59-100, November.
    15. Kristopher Gerardi & Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(3), pages 1098-1131.
    16. Pavan, Marina & Barreda-Tarrazona, Iván, 2020. "Should I default on my mortgage even if I can pay? Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    17. Carlos Garriga & Lowell R. Ricketts & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2017. "The Homeownership Experience of Minorities During the Great Recession," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 99(1), pages 139-167.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortgage default; mortgage crisis; house prices; negative equity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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