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Agency Conflicts, Asset Substitution, and Securitization

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  • Yingjin Hila Gan
  • Christopher Mayer

Abstract

Asset-backed securities represent one of the largest and fastest growing financial markets. Under securitization, agents perform functions (for fees) that would alternatively be performed by a vertically integrated lender with ownership of a whole loan. We examine how outsourcing impacts performance using data on 357 commercial mortgage-backed securities deals with over 46,000 individual loans. To alleviate agency conflicts in managing troubled loans, underwriters often sell the first-loss position to the special servicer, the party who is charged with handling delinquencies and defaults. When holding the first-loss position, special servicers appear to behave more efficiently, making fewer costly transfers of delinquent loans to special servicing, but liquidating a higher percentage of loans that are referred to special servicing. Special servicers are also more likely to own the first loss position in deals that require additional effort (deals with higher delinquencies). Market pricing reflects the existence of agency costs. Despite the apparent reduction of agency costs, the first-loss position is increasingly owned by a party other than the special servicer. We pose a number of explanations, including conflicts between junior and senior securities holders (the asset substitution problem) and risk aversion among special servicers. Consistent with asset substitution, we show that special servicers delay liquidation when they hold the first-loss position in deals with more severe delinquency problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Yingjin Hila Gan & Christopher Mayer, 2006. "Agency Conflicts, Asset Substitution, and Securitization," NBER Working Papers 12359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12359
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    Cited by:

    1. Pagès, Henri, 2013. "Bank monitoring incentives and optimal ABS," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 30-54.
    2. Kurt Eggert, 2007. "Comment on Michael A. Stegman et al.’s “Preventive servicing is good for business and affordable homeownership policy”: What prevents loan modifications?," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 279-297, January.
    3. Adelino, Manuel & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2013. "Why don't Lenders renegotiate more home mortgages? Redefaults, self-cures and securitization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 835-853.
    4. Pagès, H., 2009. "Bank incentives and optimal CDOs," Working papers 253, Banque de France.
    5. Piskorski, Tomasz & Seru, Amit & Vig, Vikrant, 2010. "Securitization and distressed loan renegotiation: Evidence from the subprime mortgage crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 369-397, September.
    6. Andre Guettler & Ulrich Hommel & Julia Reichert, 2011. "The influence of sponsor, servicer, and underwriter characteristics on RMBS performance," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 25(3), pages 281-311, September.
    7. Benjamin J. Keys & Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2012. "Mortgage Financing in the Housing Boom and Bust," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 143-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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