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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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    Cited by:

    1. Slaymaker, Rachel & O'Toole, Conor & McQuinn, Kieran & Fahy, Mike, 2018. "Monetary policy normalisation and mortgage arrears in a recovering economy: The case of the Irish residential market," Papers WP613, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. 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.
    3. Aaron Hedlund & Carlos Garriga, 2016. "Mortgage Debt, Consumption, and Illiquid Housing Markets in the Great Recession," 2016 Meeting Papers 1564, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. 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.
    5. Barasinska, Nataliya & Haenle, Philipp & Koban, Anne & Schmidt, Alexander, 2019. "Stress testing the German mortgage market," Discussion Papers 17/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    6. 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).
    7. Vaclav Broz & Evzen Kocenda, 2019. "Mortgage-Related Bank Penalties and Systemic Risk Among U.S. Banks," Working Papers IES 2019/25, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Sep 2019.
    8. 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.
    9. 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," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(3), pages 1098-1131.
    10. 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).
    11. 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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