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A New Look at Second Liens

Author

Listed:
  • Donghoon Lee
  • Christopher J. Mayer
  • Joseph Tracy

Abstract

We use data from credit report and deeds records to better understand the extent to which second liens contributed to the housing crisis by allowing buyers to purchase homes with small down payments. At the top of the housing market second liens were quite prevalent, with as many as 45 percent of home purchases in coastal markets and bubble locations involving a piggyback second lien. Owner-occupants were more likely to use piggyback second liens than investors. Second liens in the form of home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) were originated to relatively high quality borrowers and originations were declining near the peak of the housing boom. By contrast, characteristics of closed end second liens (CES) were worse on all these dimensions. Default rates of second liens are generally similar to that of the first lien on the same home, although HELOCs perform better than CES. About 20 to 30 percent of borrowers will continue to pay their second lien for more than a year while remaining seriously delinquent on their first mortgage. By comparison, about 40 percent of credit card borrowers and 70 percent of auto loan borrowers will continue making payments a year after defaulting on their first mortgage. Finally, we show that delinquency rates on second liens, especially HELOCs, have not declined as quickly as for most other types of credit, raising a potential concern for lenders with large portfolios of second liens on their balance sheet.

Suggested Citation

  • Donghoon Lee & Christopher J. Mayer & Joseph Tracy, 2012. "A New Look at Second Liens," NBER Working Papers 18269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18269
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18269.pdf
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Donghoon Lee & Christopher Mayer & Joseph Tracy, 2012. "A New Look at Second Liens," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 205-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew Caplin & Anna Cororaton & Joseph Tracy, 2015. "Is the FHA Creating Sustainable Homeownership?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 957-992, November.
    2. Christopher Mayer & Edward Morrison & Tomasz Piskorski & Arpit Gupta, 2014. "Mortgage Modification and Strategic Behavior: Evidence from a Legal Settlement with Countrywide," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2830-2857, September.
    3. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Jonathan Morse, 2009. "Your house or your credit card, which would you choose?: personal delinquency tradeoffs and precautionary liquidity motives," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU09-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    4. 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.
    5. Donghoon Lee & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2010. "An introduction to the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel," Staff Reports 479, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fleitas, Sebastian & Fishback, Price & Snowden, Kenneth, 2016. "Economic Crisis and the Demise of a Popular Contractual Form: Building and Loan Mortgage Contracts in the 1930s," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 275, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Paul S. Calem & Julapa Jagtiani & William W. Lang, 2017. "Foreclosure Delay and Consumer Credit Performance," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 225-251, December.
    3. Ing-Haw Cheng & Sahil Raina & Wei Xiong, 2014. "Wall Street and the Housing Bubble," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2797-2829, September.
    4. Kumar, Anil, 2014. "Do restrictions on home equity extraction contribute to lower mortgage defaults? evidence from a policy discontinuity at the Texas’ border," Working Papers 1410, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    5. Michael J. Seiler, 2017. "Do Liquidated Damages Clauses Affect Strategic Mortgage Default Morality? A Test of the Disjunctive Thesis," Framed Field Experiments 00627, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Arito Ono & Hirofumi Uchida & Gregory Udell & Iichiro Uesugi, "undated". "Lending Pro-Cyclicality and Macro-Prudential Policy: Evidence from Japanese LTV Ratios," Working Papers e70, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    7. Gregory Howard, 2017. "The Migration Accelerator: Labor Mobility, Housing, and Aggregate Demand," 2017 Meeting Papers 563, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Ono, Arito & Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2013. "A Close Look at Loan-To-Value Ratios: Evidence from the Japanese Real Estate Market," Working Paper Series 19, Center for Interfirm Network, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    9. Jack Favilukis & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2017. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Housing Wealth, Housing Finance, and Limited Risk Sharing in General Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(1), pages 140-223.
    10. repec:eee:jhouse:v:39:y:2018:i:c:p:17-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Moulton, Stephanie & Dodini, Samuel & Haurin, Donald R. & Schmeiser, Maximilian D., 2015. "How House Price Dynamics and Credit Constraints affect the Equity Extraction of Senior Homeowners," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-70, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Elliot Anenberg & Aurel Hizmo & Edward Kung & Raven S. Molloy, 2017. "Measuring Mortgage Credit Availability : A Frontier Estimation Approach," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-101, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Robert Hockett, 2013. "Paying Paul and robbing no one: an eminent domain solution for underwater mortgage debt," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 19(Jun).
    14. Amromin, Eugene & Kearns, Caitlin, 2014. "Access to Refinancing and Mortgage Interest Rates: HARPing on the Importance of Competition," Working Paper Series WP-2014-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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