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Complex Mortgages

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  • Gene Amromin
  • Jennifer Huang
  • Clemens Sialm
  • Edward Zhong

Abstract

We investigate the characteristics and the default behavior of households who take out complex mortgages. Unlike traditional fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgages, complex mortgages are not fully amortizing and enable households to postpone loan repayment. We find that complex mortgages are used by sophisticated households with high income levels and prime credit scores, in contrast to the low income population targeted by subprime mortgages. Complex mortgage borrowers have significantly higher delinquency rates than traditional mortgage borrowers even after controlling for leverage, payment resets, and other household and loan characteristics. The difference in the delinquency rates between complex and traditional borrowers increases with measures of financial sophistication and leverage, suggesting that complex borrowers are more strategic in their default decisions than traditional borrowers.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene Amromin & Jennifer Huang & Clemens Sialm & Edward Zhong, 2011. "Complex Mortgages," NBER Working Papers 17315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17315
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hrv:faseco:30758219 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    3. van Ooijen, Raun & van Rooij, Maarten C.J., 2016. "Mortgage risks, debt literacy and financial advice," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 201-217.
    4. Marekwica, Marcel & Schaefer, Alexander & Sebastian, Steffen, 2013. "Life cycle asset allocation in the presence of housing and tax-deferred investing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1110-1125.
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    6. Agarwal, Sumit & Chomsisengphet, Souphala & Zhang, Yunqi, 2017. "How does working in a finance profession affect mortgage delinquency?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-13.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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