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Why Don't Lenders Renegotiate More Home Mortgages? Redefaults, Self-Cures and Securitization

  • Manuel Adelino
  • Kristopher Gerardi
  • Paul S. Willen

We document the fact that servicers have been reluctant to renegotiate mortgages since the foreclosure crisis started in 2007, having performed payment reducing modifications on only about 3 percent of seriously delinquent loans. We show that this reluctance does not result from securization: servicers renegotiate similarly small fractions of loans that they hold in their portfolios. Our results are robust to different definitions of renegotiation, including the one most likely to be affected by securitization, and to different definitions of delinquency. Our results are strongest in subsamples in which unobserved heterogeneity between portfolio and securitized loans is likely to be small and for subprime loans. We use a theoretical model to show that redefault risk, the possibility that a borrower will still default despite costly renegotiation, and self-cure risk, the possibility that a seriously delinquent borrower will become current without renegotiation, make renegotiation unattractive to investors.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15159.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Publication status: published as "Why Don't Lenders Renegotiate More Home Mortgages? Redefaults, Self-Cures and Securitizations." With Manuel Adelino and Kris Gerardi. 2013. Journal of Monetary Economics 60(7):835-853.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15159
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  1. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008. "Subprime mortgages, foreclosures, and urban neighborhoods," Public Policy Discussion Paper 08-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Christopher J. Mayer & Edward Morrison & Tomasz Piskorski & Arpit Gupta, 2011. "Mortgage Modification and Strategic Behavior: Evidence from a Legal Settlement with Countrywide," NBER Working Papers 17065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Juan J. Cruces & Christoph Trebesch, 2013. "Sovereign Defaults: The Price of Haircuts," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 85-117, July.
  4. Casey B. Mulligan, 2009. "Means-Tested Mortgage Modification: Homes Saved or Income Destroyed?," NBER Working Papers 15281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bai, Yan & Zhang, Jing, 2012. "Duration of sovereign debt renegotiation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 252-268.
  6. Christopher Foote & Kristopher Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Paul Willen, 2010. "Reducing Foreclosures: No Easy Answers," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 89-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2011. "Labor Market Dysfunction During the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 17313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Agarwal, Sumit & Amromin, Gene & Ben-David, Itzhak & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Evanoff, Douglas D., 2011. "The role of securitization in mortgage renegotiation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 559-578.
  10. A. Rampini, Adriano, 2005. "Default and aggregate income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 225-253, June.
  11. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  12. Ambrose, Brent W & Capone, Charles A, Jr, 1996. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of Single-Family Foreclosure Alternatives," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 105-20, September.
  13. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2012. "Debt Overhangs: Past and Present," NBER Working Papers 18015, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Vikrant Vig & Amit Seru & Tomasz Piskorski, 2009. "Securitization and Distressed Loan Renegotiation: Evidence from the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," 2009 Meeting Papers 1169, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Ryan Bubb & Alex Kaufman, 2009. "Securitization and moral hazard: evidence from a lender cutoff rule," Public Policy Discussion Paper 09-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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