IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A Model of Mortgage Default

  • John Y. Campbell
  • João F. Cocco

This paper solves a dynamic model of a household's decision to default on its mortgage, taking into account labor income, house price, inflation, and interest rate risk. Mortgage default is triggered by negative home equity, which results from declining house prices in a low inflation environment with large mortgage balances outstanding. Not all households with negative home equity default, however. The level of negative home equity that triggers default depends on the extent to which households are borrowing constrained. High loan-to-value ratios at mortgage origination increase the probability of negative home equity. High loan-to-income ratios also increase the probability of default by tightening borrowing constraints. Comparing mortgage types, adjustable-rate mortgage defaults occur when nominal interest rates increase and are substantially affected by idiosyncratic shocks to labor income. Fixed-rate mortgages default when interest rates and inflation are low, and create a higher probability of a default wave with a large number of defaults. Interest-only mortgages trade off an increased probability of negative home equity against a relaxation of borrowing constraints, but overall have the highest probability of a default wave.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17516.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as JOHN Y. CAMPBELL & JOÃO F. COCCO, 2015. "A Model of Mortgage Default," The Journal of Finance, vol 70(4), pages 1495-1554.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17516
Note: AP CF ME
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Chan, Sewin, 2001. "Spatial Lock-in: Do Falling House Prices Constrain Residential Mobility?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 567-586, May.
  2. Patrick Bajari & Chenghuan Sean Chu & Minjung Park, 2008. "An Empirical Model of Subprime Mortgage Default From 2000 to 2007," NBER Working Papers 14625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eugene Amromin & Jennifer Huang & Clemens Sialm & Edward Zhong, 2010. "Complex mortgages," Working Paper Series WP-2010-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Andrew F. Haughwout & Ebiere Okah & Joseph Tracy, 2009. "Second chances: subprime mortgage modification and re-default," Staff Reports 417, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Neil Bhutta & Jane K. Dokko & Hui Shan, 2010. "The depth of negative equity and mortgage default decisions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Antonia Díaz & Maria J. Luengo-Prado, 2006. "On The User Cost and Homeownership," Working Papers 2006-14, FEDEA.
  7. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Harvey S. Rosen & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "The Impact of Deregulation and Financial Innovation on Consumers: The Case of the Mortgage Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(1), pages 333-360, 02.
  8. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider & Selale Tuzel, 2006. "Housing, Consumption, and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 12036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2003. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," NBER Working Papers 9462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Giglio, Stefano & Pathak, Parag & Campbell, John Y., 2011. "Forced Sales and House Prices," Scholarly Articles 9887623, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Vandell, Kerry D, 1978. "Default Risk under Alternative Mortgage Instruments," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(5), pages 1279-96, December.
  12. Yuliya Demyanyk & Ralph S. J. Koijen & Otto Van Hemert, 2010. "Determinants and consequences of mortgage default," Working Paper 1019, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  13. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2006. "Baby Boomer Retirement Security: The Roles of Planning, Financial Literacy, and Housing Wealth," Working Papers wp114, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  14. Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: Theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 234-245, September.
  15. Stephen P. Zeldes, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-298.
  16. Corradin, Stefano, 2012. "Household leverage," Working Paper Series 1452, European Central Bank.
  17. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Moral and Social Constraints to Strategic Default on Mortgages," EIEF Working Papers Series 0905, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jun 2009.
  18. Wenli Li & Michelle J. White & Ning Zhu, 2011. "Did Bankruptcy Reform Cause Mortgage Defaults to Rise?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 123-47, November.
  19. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, September.
  20. Andra C. Ghent & Marianna Kudlyak, 2011. "Recourse and Residential Mortgage Default: Evidence from US States 1," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(9), pages 3139-3186.
  21. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
  22. Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher S. Gerardi & Lorenz Goette & Paul S. Willen, 2009. "Reducing foreclosures," Public Policy Discussion Paper 09-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  23. Campbell, Sean D. & Davis, Morris A. & Gallin, Joshua & Martin, Robert F., 2009. "What moves housing markets: A variance decomposition of the rent-price ratio," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 90-102, September.
  24. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496.
  25. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Eyigungor, Burcu, 2009. "Foreclosures and house price dynamics: a quantitative analysis of the mortgage crisis and the foreclosure prevention policy," Working Papers 09-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  26. Kurt Mitman, 2011. "Macroeconomic Effects of Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Policies," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  27. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. James M. Poterba, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-Occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-752.
  29. Brueckner Jan K., 1994. "Borrower Mobility, Adverse Selection, and Mortgage Points," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 416-441, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17516. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.