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The Inefficiency of Refinancing: Why Prepayment Penalties Are Good for Risky Borrowers

Author

Listed:
  • Tomasz Piskorski

    (Columbia Business School)

  • Alexei Tchistyi

    (NYU Stern)

  • Chris Mayer

    (Columbia Business School)

Abstract

This paper explores the practice of mortgage refinancing in a dynamic competitive lending model with risky borrowers and costly default. We show that the prepayment penalties are welfare improving, and that they are more beneficial to borrowers with higher risk of default. The empirical evidence supports the assumptions and predictions of the model, including higher sensitivity of refinancing decisions of more risky borrowers with respect to the ex-post changes in their creditworthiness and that, conditional on the borrower's type, the mortgages with prepayment penalties have lower premia, the more so the more risky is the borrower. These results suggest that the legislation banning refinancing penalties might have unintended consequences. Instead of protecting would-be homeowners from predatory lending, the new law might end up protecting them from credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomasz Piskorski & Alexei Tchistyi & Chris Mayer, 2008. "The Inefficiency of Refinancing: Why Prepayment Penalties Are Good for Risky Borrowers," 2008 Meeting Papers 998, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:998
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Mayer & Karen Pence & Shane M. Sherlund, 2009. "The Rise in Mortgage Defaults," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 27-50, Winter.
    2. Shane M. Sherlund, 2008. "The past, present, and future of subprime mortgages," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-63, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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