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by Gene Amromin, Jennifer Huang, Clemens Sialm and Edward Zhong (Dec 2010)
Complex mortgages became a popular borrowing instrument during the bullish housing market of the early 2000s but vanished rapidly during the subsequent downturn. These non-traditional loans (interest only, negative amortization, and teaser mortgages) enable households to postpone loan repayment compared to traditional mortgages and hence relax borrowing constraints. At the same time, they increase household leverage and heighten dependence on mortgage refinancing to escape changes in contract terms. We document that complex mortgages were chosen by prime borrowers with high income levels seeking to purchase expensive houses relative to their incomes. Borrowers with complex mortgages experience substantially higher ex post default rates than borrowers with traditional mortgages with similar characteristics.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Gene Amromin, Jennifer Huang, Clemens Sialm, and Edward Zhong
November 24, 2010 WP 2010-17
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas Austin and NBER
and Edward Zhong
University of Wisconsin-Madison
November 24, 2010
∗ We thank Ethan Cohen-Cole, Serdar Dinc, Pete Kyle, Jay Hartzell, Jeongmin Lee, Robert McDonald, Laura Starks, Sheridan Titman, Michelle White and seminar participants at the 2010 Financial Economics and Accounting Conference, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the University of Lausanne, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Zurich for helpful comments and suggestions. Gene Amromin is at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60604. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Jennifer Huang is at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712. Email: email@example.com; Clemens Sialm is at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; and Edward Zhong is at the Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53715. Email: email@example.com.
Abstract Complex mortgages became a popular borrowing instrument during the bullish housing market of the early 2000s but vanished rapidly during the subsequent downturn. These non-traditional loans (interest only, negative amortization, and teaser mortgages) enable households to postpone loan repayment compared to traditional mortgages and hence relax borrowing constraints. At the same time, they increase household leverage and heighten dependence on mortgage reﬁnancing to escape changes in contract terms. We document that complex mortgages were chosen by prime borrowers with high income levels seeking to purchase expensive houses relative to their incomes. Borrowers with complex mortgages experience substantially higher ex post default rates than borrowers with traditional mortgages with similar characteristics.
“The availability of these alternative mortgage products proved to be quite important, and, as many have recognized, is likely a key explanation of the housing bubble.” –Ben S. Bernanke
Over the last decade, the residential mortgage market has experienced a signiﬁcant increase in product complexity, followed by a rapid reversion back to simple products. In this paper, we study the mortgage contract choice of individual households and their subsequent default behavior. The menu of household mortgage choices in the United States was dominated for decades by fully-amortizing long-term ﬁxed rate mortgages (FRM) and, to a lesser extent, by adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) that locked in the initial interest rate for the ﬁrst ﬁve to seven years of the contract. From the vantage point of the borrower, FRM contracts preserve contract terms established at origination for the lifetime of the loan. For practical purposes, the same can be said of the prevailing ARM contracts, given the average borrower tenure at a particular house of about seven years. Knowing the monthly servicing costs and amortization schedules simpliﬁes the household budgeting problem. The mortgage market has experienced a signiﬁcant increase in product complexity in the early 2000s. The products that gained prominence during the period of rapid house price appreciation featured zero or negative amortization, short interest rate reset periods, and very low introductory teaser interest rates. We term these “complex mortgages” (CM). Figure 1 shows the proportion of ﬁxed rate, adjustable rate, and complex mortgage products originated over the period between 1995 and 2009, as reported by LPS Applied Analytics (our primary data source described in detail below). The share of complex products in the U.S. remained
below 2% until the second half of 2003 before jumping to about 30% of mortgage originations just two years later. In some geographic areas complex mortgages accounted for more than 50% of mortgage originations. The complex products faded almost as quickly, declining to less than 2% of originations in 2008. Complex mortgages appear to be at the core of the recent rise and decline in housing prices. To obtain an impression of the relation between risk levels and mortgage complexity, we aggregate the loan-level data into 366 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and then sort all MSAs into quintiles according to the proportion of complex mortgage loans in 2004 – the ﬁrst year of substantial originations of complex loans. Figure 2 summarizes the average quarterly changes in house prices for the bottom, the middle, and the top MSA quintiles. We observe that MSAs in the top complexity quintile experience stronger house appreciation before 2006 and faster depreciation after 2006. This result provides an indication that house price changes were more pronounced in MSAs with high proportion of complex loans. It also suggests the importance of understanding the reasons for CM usage and the drivers of their eventual performance. The deﬁning feature of complex mortgages is the deferral of principal repayment. As a result, complex mortgages are characterized by low mortgage payments during the ﬁrst few years of the contract, which relaxes household liquidity and borrowing constraints and enables households to take large exposures in housing assets. The lack of mortgage amortization inevitably produces two eﬀects: a higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for any given path of house prices and a greater reliance on reﬁnancing to escape increases in payments once a contract enters the amortization phase. Complex mortgages can be optimal borrowing instruments if households expect their income levels or housing prices to increase over time, as discussed by Piskorski and Tchistyi (2010). They can also be optimal instruments for lenders concerned with their exposure in 2
an asset bubble environment (Barlevy and Fisher (2010)). In addition, complex mortgages might also be rationally chosen by households that exhibit relatively high labor income risk and live in areas with volatile house prices. These households have an incentive to minimize the initial mortgage payments and to keep the mortgage balance relatively high because they have the option to default in case of adverse income and house price shocks. These incentives to rationally default should be particularly pronounced in non-recourse states, where lenders do not have access to the non-collateralized assets of households in case of delinquency. In this case, complex mortgages should be a hallmark of sophisticated borrowers keenly aware of the value of the default option. On the other hand, the low initial payments of complex mortgages might obfuscate the long-term borrowing costs for households, as suggested by Carlin (2009) and Carlin and Manso (2010). Lenders might have an incentive to introduce complex products to hide the actual fees embedded in ﬁnancial products. Whereas it is relatively easy for a household to compare the costs of plain-vanilla ﬁxed rate mortgages across diﬀerent lenders, it is more diﬃcult to compare complex loans that often include intricate reset schedules, prepayment penalties, and short-lived teaser interest rates. Lenders might be particularly eager to oﬀer these products if they are conﬁdent that they can securitize these loans. In this case, we should observe that complex mortgages are taken out primarily by unsophisticated investors that do not understand the speciﬁc features of their mortgage contracts. To study the mortgage choices of households and the default experiences, we make extensive use of the LPS Analytics data. The database, described in detail in Section 2, contains loan level information for a large sample of mortgages in the United States. Of particular relevance for our analysis is the ability to identify precise contract terms, both at the time of origination and over the lifetime of the loan. Our main result indicates that complex mortgages are taken out by well-educated house3
holds with relatively high income levels and with prime credit scores. We ﬁnd that households borrowing complex mortgages earn signiﬁcantly higher annual incomes ($141,998) than households borrowing ﬁxed rate mortgages ($88,642) or adjustable rates mortgages ($101,005). Furthermore, only 7% of borrowers using complex loans have credit scores below 620 (commonly considered subprime credit scores), whereas 10% of ﬁxed rate borrowers and 23% of adjustable rate borrowers fall into this subprime category. We also ﬁnd that a higher proportion of the population in neighborhoods with a high propensity of complex loans tend to have a college degree. Finally, complex loans are more prevalent in non-recourse states, where non-collateralized assets of the households are protected. Thus, these results indicate that complex loans are not primarily originated to naive households that are fooled by lenders into inappropriate mortgage contracts. Nonetheless, these households are stretching to purchase more expensive houses relative to their incomes, as indicated by their higher value-to-income (VTI) ratios. Higher VTI ratios are associated with greater propensity to use complex contracts even after controlling for MSA-level income and VTI measures. This suggests that at least a part of the relationship is due to households using complex mortgages to get more expensive houses within high housing price areas. We also ﬁnd that areas with higher past house price appreciation and higher population growth have more complex mortgages, whereas areas that experienced sustained house price decreases in the past ten years have fewer complex mortgages. This evidence suggests that the expectation of continued house price appreciation is a likely driving force behind the popularity of complex mortgages. Next, we study the default behavior of borrowers of complex mortgages. The focus on initial loan aﬀordability might motivate households to borrow too extensively and to underestimate reﬁnancing risk, which is exacerbated by historically short reset periods and recasting of negative amortization loans. After controlling for observable characteristics that include 4
the FICO credit score and income, we ﬁnd that households with complex mortgages are more likely to default. This holds true after the set of controls is expanded to include time-varying loan-to-value ratios, which suggests that higher CM defaults are not due exclusively to higher ex post leverage. Since complex mortgages typically have lower monthly payments relative to their ﬁxed rate counterparts during the ﬁrst years after origination, the higher default rates suggest that either CM households are more likely to default strategically, or that these households have more volatile income streams. Overall, our ﬁndings suggest that in addition to the well-documented impact of subprime mortgages, households with complex mortgages might be a signiﬁcant driving force behind the mounting defaults during the recent crisis. While the extension of credit to subprime borrowers and mortgage securitization has received much attention following the ﬁnancial crisis of 2007-2009, the choice and impact of mortgage complexity remains largely unexplored. Mian and Suﬁ (2009) show that the sharp increase in mortgage defaults in 2007 is signiﬁcantly ampliﬁed in geographic areas with a high density of subprime loans that experienced an unprecedented growth in mortgage credit prior to 2007. Keys, Mukherjee, Seru, and Vig (2010) focus on the role of mortgage securitization process, ﬁnding that securitization lowered the screening incentives of loan originators for their subprime borrowers. Jiang, Nelson, and Vytlacil (2010b) study the relation between mortgage securitization and loan performance and ﬁnd that the lender applies lower screening eﬀorts on loans that have higher ex ante probabilities of being securitized.1 Our paper contributes to this literature by suggesting an additional and important channel linking mortgage market
Additional papers on securitization and the expansion of credit to subprime borrowers include Adelino, Gerardi, and Willen (2009), Bond, Musto, and Yilmaz (2009), Keys, Mukherjee, Seru, and Vig (2009), Loutskina and Strahan (2009), Mayer, Pence, and Sherlund (2009), Stanton and Wallace (2009), Agarwal, Ambrose, Chomsisengphet, and Sanders (2010), Bajari, Chu, and Park (2010), Barlevy and Fisher (2010), Berndt, Holliﬁeld, and Sandas (2010), Campbell, Giglio, and Pathak (2010), Corbae and Quintin (2010), Demyanyk and Hemert (2010), Garmaise (2010), Gerardi, Rosen, and Willen (2010), Glaeser, Gottleb, and Gyourko (2010), Goetzmann, Peng, and Yen (2010), Jiang, Nelson, and Vytlacil (2010a), Piskorski, Seru, and Vig (2010), Purnanandam (2010), Rajan, Seru, and Vig (2010), Stanton and Wallace (2010), and Woodward and Hall (2010).
innovations to the ﬁnancial crisis of 2007-2009. A few recent papers have investigated the role of non-traditional mortgage contracts in the recent crisis. Piskorski and Tchistyi (2010) study optimal mortgage design in an environment with risky privately observable income and costly foreclosure and show that the features of the optimal mortgage contract are consistent with an option adjustable rate mortgage contract. Corbae and Quintin (2010) present a model where heterogeneous households select from a set of mortgage contracts and have a choice of defaulting on their payments. Using their model, they ﬁnd that the presence of subprime mortgages with low down payments substantially ampliﬁes foreclosure rates in the presence of a large exogenous shock to house prices. In a contemporaneous paper, Barlevy and Fisher (2010) describe a rational expectations model in which both speculators and their lenders use interest-only mortgages when there is a bubble in house prices. They provide evidence that interest only mortgages were used extensively in cities where inelastic housing supply enables pronounced boom-bust cycles. Our paper studies empirically the characteristics and the default experiences of borrowers of complex loans. The remainder of this paper is structured as follows. Section 2 describes our data sources and reports summary statistics. In Section 3 we study the mortgage choice of households and describe the main features of mortgage contracts. In Section 4 we study the delinquency of diﬀerent contract types.
Data Sources and Summary Statistics
Our study relies on several complementary data sources that cover various aspects of the housing market during the period between 2003 and 2007. In particular, the micro level analysis of mortgage contract choice and performance relies heavily on the proprietary mortgage-level database oﬀered by Lender Processing Services (LPS) Applied Analytics (formerly known as McDash Analytics). LPS collects data from some of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers 6
that report contract and borrower details at the time of loan origination, as well as monthly information on mortgage performance. The LPS data coverage has grown steadily over time, with 9 out of 10 largest servicers reporting to the database by 2003. Our database covers about 10 million mortgages with a total loan value of more than $2 trillion between 2003 and 2007. For the purposes of our study, the availability of granular information on mortgage contract terms is of particular importance. For each of the loans, LPS provides information on the loan interest rate, the amortization schedule, and the securitization status. For adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), we know the rate at origination, the frequency of resets, the reference rate, and the associated contractual spread. For loans that do not amortize steadily over their term, we know the horizon of the interest-only period, whether negative amortization is allowed and if so, to what extent and over what period of time. This information allows us to precisely categorize loan contracts. The LPS data also contains key information on borrower and property characteristics at the time of origination. These include the appraised property value, the loan-to-value ratio (LTV), property type (single family or condominium), whether the property was to be occupied by the borrower, and the borrower’s creditworthiness as measured by their FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) credit score.2 An important feature of the LPS database is that unlike some other data sources, it is not limited to a particular subset of the loan universe. The LPS data cover prime, subprime, and Alt-A loans,3 and include loans that are privately securitized, those that are sold to
As Bajari, Chu, and Park (2010) emphasize, an important feature of the FICO score is that it measures a borrower’s creditworthiness prior to taking out the mortgage. FICO scores range between 300 and 850 Typically, a FICO score above 800 is considered very good, while a score below 620 is considered poor. As reported on the Fair Isaac Corporation website (www.myﬁco.com), borrowers with FICO scores above 760 are able to take out 30-year ﬁxed rate mortgages at interest rates that are 160 basis points lower, on average, than those available for borrowers with scores in the 620-639 range.
Alt-A loans are a middle category of loans, more risky than prime and less risky than subprime. They
Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), and loans that held on banks’ balance sheets. Although this allows for a broad set of mortgage contracts, the coverage is somewhat skewed in favor of securitized loans that are more likely to be serviced by large corporations reporting to LPS. The relative scarcity of portfolio loans is relevant to us since some of the contracts of interest, such as option ARMs, are commonly held in lenders’ portfolios. Still, the large overall size of the data ensures that we have ample coverage of all contract types. We complement borrower information in LPS with household income data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Doing so allows us to compute some of the key measures of loan aﬀordability, such as the ratio of house value to income (VTI). We further augment the loan-level data with information on trends in local home prices. Quarterly data on home prices is available by metropolitan statistical area (MSA) from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)-an independent federal agency that is the successor to the Oﬃce of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) and other government entities.4 We use the FHFA House Price Index (HPI) including all transactions that is based on repeat sales information. We use a house price index to construct borrower-speciﬁc variables on cumulative growth in local house prices. At the more aggregate level, we utilize zip code level information from the 2000 U.S. Census to control for broad demographic characteristics, such as education levels. We also make use of the annual per capita income and unemployment rate data at the MSA level from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
are generally made to borrowers with good credit scores, but the loans have characteristics that make them ineligible to be sold to the GSEs-for example, limited documentation of the income or assets of the borrower or higher loan-to-value ratios than those speciﬁed by GSE limits.
4 As part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the Federal Housing Finance Regulatory Reform Act of 2008 established a single regulator, the FHFA, for GSEs involved in the home mortgage market, namely, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. The FHFA was formed by a merger of the Oﬃce of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s government-sponsored enterprise mission team (see www.fhfa.gov for additional details).
To determine whether lender recourse has an impact on mortgage choices and mortgage defaults we follow Ghent and Kudlyak (2010) and classify U.S. states as recourse or nonrecourse states. In non-recourse states, recourse in residential mortgages is limited to the value of the collateral securing the loan. On the other hand, in recourse states the lender may be able to collect on debt not covered by the proceedings from a foreclosure sale by obtaining a deﬁciency judgment.5 The summary statistics on these variables are presented in Table 1 and we will discuss diﬀerences in these variables across mortgage types in more detail in Section 3.2. All of the variables discussed above are summarized in Table 9.
This section describes in detail the diﬀerences in characteristics of the main mortgage contracts oﬀered in the U.S. during the last decade and the determinants of the mortgage choice.
Mortgage Contract Design
In this section we illustrate the diﬀerent payment patterns of some popular U.S. mortgage contracts. We classify all mortgage products into three groups: (1) Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRM); (2) Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM); and (3) Complex Mortgages (CM).6 Fixed rate mortgages are level-payment fully-amortizing loans with maturities that generally last for 15 or 30 years. For example, a household borrowing $500,000 on a 30-year ﬁxed rate mortgage with a 5% interest rate will be required to make equal monthly payments of $2,684 for 360 months. After 30 years the mortgage will be paid oﬀ completely. Borrowers
Ghent and Kudlyak (2010) classify the following states as non-recourse: Alaska, Arizona, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. Additional information on various mortgage contracts can be obtained from the website of Jack M. Guttentag at http://www.mtgprofessor.com.
generally have the option to prepay the mortgage if they sell the property or if they reﬁnance their loan due to a decrease in mortgage interest rates. Adjustable rate mortgages are fully-amortizing loans where the interest rate changes after an initial period according to a preselected interest rate index. The initial period with a ﬁxed interest rate typically lasts between two and seven years. The mortgages exhibit caps and ﬂoors that prevent the interest rates from changing too much over the lifetime of the loan. Interest rates on ARMs generally are lower than those on FRMs due to the increasing term structure of interest rates and the availability of the prepayment option in FRMs.7 For example, a 5/1 ARM with a 30-year maturity, a $500,000 initial balance, and a 4.5% initial interest rate will have initial mortgage payments of $2,533 per month for the ﬁrst 60 months. Subsequently, the payments can increase or decrease depending on the level of interest rates. If the interest rate increases to 7%, then the monthly payment in the sixth year will increase to $3,221.8 Complex mortgages include a variety of back-loaded mortgage contracts. Most complex mortgages are adjustable rate mortgages and exhibit time-varying payments. The most popular contract is an Interest Only (IO) mortgage. IO borrowers only need to pay the mortgage interest for an initial time period that typically lasts between ﬁve and ten years. Subsequently, the mortgage becomes a fully-amortizing loan. For example, a 5-year IO adjustable rate loan with a 30-year maturity, a $500,000 initial balance, and a 4.5% initial interest rate will have initial mortgage payments of $1,875 per month for the ﬁrst 60 months. Subsequently, the payments reset according to the future interest rates. If the interest rate increases to 7%,
Fixed rate mortgages can be reﬁnanced when interest rates decrease, which is a very valuable option that is priced in the initial interest rate. There are numerous papers on prepayments. See for example, Dunn and McConnell (1981), Schwartz and Torous (1989), Stanton (1995), Dunn and Spatt (1999), Longstaﬀ (2005), Campbell (2006), Amromin, Huang, and Sialm (2007), Gabaix, Krishnamurthy, and Vigneron (2007), and Schwartz (2007). Several papers study the tradeoﬀ between FRMs and ARMs (e.g., Campbell and Cocco (2003), Vickery (2007), and Koijen, Van Hemert, and Van Nieuwerburgh (2009)).
then the monthly payment in the sixth year will almost double to $3,534. Even if interest rates remain at 4.5%, the mortgage payment will increase to $2,779 per month at the end of the initial interest-only period. The payments increase even more for mortgages with longer interest-only periods. A second type of a complex mortgage is a Negative Amortization Mortgage (NEGAM), such as an Option ARM. These mortgages give borrowers the option to initially pay even less than the interest due. The diﬀerence between the interest due and the actual mortgage payment is added to the loan balance. These mortgages carry the risk of larger increases in mortgage payments, when the mortgage is recast to become a fully amortizing loan after 5-10 years or when the loan balance exceeds the initial balance at origination by more than a certain amount (typically 10-25%). Finally, a third type of a complex mortgage is a Teaser Rate Mortgage (TRM). For TRMs, the initial interest rate is signiﬁcantly below the fully indexed rate. Teaser rate loans typically charge investors interest rates of between 1-2% during the ﬁrst 1-12 months. Most teaser rate mortgages also feature negative amortization. In sum, complex mortgages are back-loaded products with limited amortization during the ﬁrst years after origination. As mentioned in the introduction, complex mortgages can be optimal if households expect their income levels or housing prices to increase over time (Piskorski and Tchistyi (2010)). However, the low initial payments of complex mortgages also carry a number of risks, from obfuscating the long-term borrowing costs of households ( Carlin (2009), Carlin and Manso (2010)) to greater reliance on reﬁnancing to avoid increases in payments. This obfuscation might be particularly pronounced for teaser rate mortgages, whose low payments only apply for a relatively short initial period.
Summary Statistics by Mortgage Type
Table 2 reports statistics for our broad mortgage categories – fully-amortizing ﬁxed rate (FRM), fully-amortizing adjustable rate (ARM) and complex (CM) mortgage types. Our data contain in excess of 10 million loan contracts originated between 2003 and 2007. In our sample, 69 percent of mortgages are ﬁxed rate mortgages, 12 percent are adjustable rate mortgages, and the remaining 19 percent are complex mortgages. Complex mortgages, on average, are associated with higher loan amounts relative to the traditional ARM and FRM mortgages, and are used to ﬁnance more expensive houses. For example, the average home value for complex loans is $513,728, whereas the average home values for FRMs and ARMs are $264,878 and $309,465, respectively. Counter to some of the commonly made assertions about complex mortgages, they are extended to borrowers with high income levels. Indeed, the mean income of a complex mortgage borrower is about 60% higher than that of a borrower with a traditional plain-vanilla ﬁxed rate mortgage. Nevertheless, the average ratio of house value to income (VTI) – a measure of aﬀordability – is considerably higher in complex mortgage contracts, suggesting that complex mortgage borrowers are purchasing more expensive houses relative to their income. Yet, this higher spending on houses is not reﬂected in the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, as all mortgage types have similar ﬁrst lien LTV values.9 Panel A of Figure 3 depicts the cumulative distribution function of the VTI ratio for borrowers with diﬀerent mortgage contracts. The ﬁgure indicates that CM borrowers tend to have substantially higher VTI ratios than both ARM and FRM borrowers. Median households using FRMs, ARMs, and CMs have value-to-income ratios of 3.0, 3.1, and 3.7, respectively. Put diﬀerently, for a given level of income CM borrowers
9 LPS data is collected at the loan and not property level, which limits one’s ability to construct an accurate estimate of the total debt secured by the house. In particular, we are unable to account for second-lien mortgages loans (the so-called “piggyback loans”) used to ﬁnance the house. Primarily for this reason, we do not emphasize the importance of LTV in our empirical analysis and instead focus on the VTI ratio.
purchased houses valued at about 20% more. The lower initial payments on complex mortgages thus appear to enable households to purchase expensive homes relative to their income levels. We also ﬁnd that borrowers of complex mortgages have better credit scores than ARM borrowers and similar credit scores as FRM borrowers. Whereas 23% of ARM borrowers have FICO credit scores below 620, the same can be said of only 10% of FRM and 7% of CM borrowers. Panel B of Figure 3 summarizes the entire distribution of FICO scores for diﬀerent mortgage contracts. Whereas many borrowers using ARMs tend to have subprime credit scores, the credit quality of borrowers using CMs is fairly similar to that of the FRM borrowers. These results emphasize that the clientele for complex mortgages diﬀers signiﬁcantly from that for subprime loans. Several other loan characteristics are diﬀerent for complex mortgages. CM borrowers are more likely to live in a condominium and are slightly more likely to use the property they are ﬁnancing for investment purposes. We also ﬁnd signiﬁcant diﬀerences in the frequency of prepayment penalties across mortgage types. Unlike FRMs, a signiﬁcant fraction of ARMs and CMs face penalties if the loans are prepaid within the ﬁrst two or three years. Around 40% of the mortgages in our sample are from reﬁnancing transactions, whereas the remaining proportion is from new home purchases. Complex mortgages have a slightly higher share of reﬁnancings compared to new purchases. Since complex loans are particularly popular for expensive homes, they are also more likely to exceed the conforming loan limit (i.e be jumbo loans). Hence, although 79% of FRMs are securitized by government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, amd Ginnie Mae), only 24% of CMs go through the GSEs. Private securitization partially oﬀsets the lack of GSE involvement in the ARM and CM markets. Complex mortgage borrowers receive signiﬁcantly lower initial interest rates than FRM or ARM borrowers. The mean initial interest rate on complex mortgages of 5.12% is signiﬁcantly 13
lower than the rates on FRMs (6.16%) and ARMs (5.97%). This result is primarily caused by teaser rate mortgages that charge, on average, an initial interest rate of only 1.30%. For each ARM and CM loan we impute the rate such borrowers might have received had they chosen a conventional 30-year ﬁxed rate mortgage instead. We deﬁne such hypothetical rate as the average interest rate on all 30 year FRMs originated in the same month, state, with similar loan size (whether or not above the conforming limit), LTV ratio, and FICO score. The hypothetical FRM interest rate is similar across the various contracts. Whereas the variables above are available at the loan level, we also report some additional variables observed at the MSA or the state level. We ﬁnd that CM borrowers tend to live in cities with higher income levels and with higher VTI ratios. Thus, some of the variation in income levels and VTI ratios is driven by diﬀerences in these characteristics across cities. From a spatial standpoint, complex mortgages are more common in geographic areas that experienced high house price appreciation. The average 3-year cumulative price appreciation among complex borrowers amounted to a staggering 44%, as compared with 30% among traditional FRM borrowers. We also document that only 12% of complex mortgages were originated in areas that had experienced four quarters of declines in house prices over the preceding 10 years, as opposed to 13% of FRMs and 16% of ARMs. Unfortunately, we do not observe the education level of borrowers directly. However, we can compute the proportion of people in zip codes with a college education. Households using complex mortgages tend to live in areas with a higher proportion of college graduates. Finally, the population growth rate and the unemployment rate, which capture macroeconomic conditions at the MSA level, are similar in areas with diﬀerent mortgage compositions. Complex mortgages were substantially more popular in non-recourse states, where the lender cannot access assets of the defaulting households beyond the value of the collateral securing the loan. Whereas only 22% of FRMs are in non-recourse states, 44% of CMs are 14
originated in such states. Table 3 breaks out the key summary characteristics among diﬀerent complex mortgage types. Teaser loans, on average, appear to be used to ﬁnance more expensive homes and are associated with higher loan values. They also display the highest VTI ratios. It is worth noting that few of the teaser contracts are oﬀered to subprime borrowers. As expected, teaser loans commonly carry prepayment penalties. Finally, even among complex products, teaser loans are taken out in areas with higher house price appreciation, often to reﬁnance an existing mortgage obligation. Finally, IO contracts appear to have been subject to stricter underwriting criteria. Whereas only 11% of IOs were underwritten on the basis of less than full documentation, more than 40% of NEGAM and TRM loans were issued in this manner.
Geographic Distribution of Mortgages
Figure 4 shows the concentration of complex mortgages in diﬀerent counties across the United States in 2002, 2005, and 2008. Consistent with Figure 1, we ﬁnd that complex mortgages were fairly uncommon in 2002. The distribution of complex mortgages looks dramatically diﬀerent in 2005, when multiple counties in California, Colorado, Florida, and Nevada had CM shares in excess of 40%. In some zip codes in these states more than half of mortgage originations were complex loans. While this pattern looks suggestive, numerous areas with high house price appreciation had few complex mortgages even at the peak of the housing boom. For example, CM contracts accounted for only about 5% of loans in the Albany, NY metropolitan area where house prices rose by more than 80% between 2001 and 2007. In contrast, CMs proved to be very popular in the Detroit MSA, where nominal house prices remained ﬂat during this period. It is also worth noting that in some areas rapid price increases preceded
the surge in CM contracts, whereas other areas had the opposite relationship.10
Aﬀordability of Diﬀerent Mortgage Contracts
Complex mortgage products have relatively low payments during their ﬁrst years and thereby enable households to purchase more expensive homes. Figure 5 depicts the ratio between the monthly payments of ARMs and CMs relative to fully-amortizing FRMs originated in the same month for borrowers with similar characteristics (i.e., loans originated in the same states with similar FICO scores and loan-to-value ratios). We observe that 64.5% of ARMs and 85.6% of CMs have payments that are less than those of comparable FRMs during the ﬁrst year. Furthermore, 9.0% of ARMs and 49.8% of CMs have payments that are more than 20% lower. Panels B and C show that the payments on the vast majority of CMs remain lower than those on FRMs even three or ﬁve years after the origination. For example, we ﬁnd that ﬁve years after origination the payment ratio is less than one for 87.6% of CMs, and less than 0.8 for 62.5% of CMs. Thus, a relatively small fraction of complex mortgages have substantial resets of mortgage payments during the ﬁrst ﬁve years that cannot be managed by reﬁnancing into a new contract.11 This result indicates that CM borrowers continued to have relatively low payments throughout the mortgage crisis of 2007-2009. Mortgage defaults during the crisis would likely have been signiﬁcantly higher if complex mortgages had reset their minimum payments after a shorter introductory time period. The ﬁnding that ARMs and CMs payments were lower than those for comparable FRMs for an extended period of time can be explained by several factors. First, short-term interest rates have decreased over our sample period thereby reducing the payments on ARMs and CMs,
10 Granger causality tests carried out at the MSA level present mixed evidence of the relationship between changes in house prices and CM shares. The results are also highly sensitive to the choice of evaluation period. This subject is discussed in greater detail in a concurrent paper by Barlevy and Fisher (2010). 11 Unfortunately we do not have suﬃciently long time series available to study the resets in more detail since most of the complex mortgages in our sample are originated between 2004 and 2006.
which are generally tied to such rates. Second, Figure 5 only shows the payments of mortgages that survived and were not previously reﬁnanced. Households that obtain mortgages with lower interest rates and lower total payments are less likely to reﬁnance a loan, resulting in a tendency of the actual payments on surviving ARMs and CMs to decrease over time relative to the FRMs. By virtue of their amortization structure, complex loans largely maintain a high leverage ratio over time. Figure 6 depicts the distribution of the remaining mortgage balance one, three, and ﬁve years after mortgage origination relative to the original balance for the three mortgage contract types. Even ﬁve years after origination (Panel C) around 51% of complex mortgages are within 2.5% of their initial loan balance and around 16% of borrowers increased their loan balance by more than 2.5%. This creates a sharp contrast with FRM and ARM borrowers who gradually pay down their mortgages. Thus, CM borrowers tend to keep substantially higher debt levels than households with more traditional mortgage products. This makes CM borrowers more susceptible to economic shocks. This dynamic deterioration in relative leverage ratios becomes particularly dramatic in the event of slower house price appreciation, as experienced during the housing crisis of 2007-2009.12
Determinants of Mortgage Choice
In this section we analyze the determinants of mortgage choice more systematically. In particular, we estimate the likelihood of selection of a particular mortgage contract type (ARM or CM) relative to a baseline contract, which we take to be an FRM. These relative likelihoods are estimated as a function of loan- and borrower-level covariates, as well as MSA-level
12 The higher long-term loan-to-value ratios of complex loans may have contributed to a further deterioration in housing markets, as suggested by the leverage eﬀect of Stein (1995) and Lamont and Stein (1999). Additional papers that study the macro-economic aspects of housing prices include Lustig and Van Nieuwerburgh (2005), Ortalo-Magne and Rady (2006), Piazzesi, Schneider, and Tuzel (2007), Brunnermeier and Julliard (2008), Favilukis, Ludvigson, and Van Nieuwerburgh (2010), Landvoigt, Piazzesi, and Schneider (2010), and Van Nieuwerburgh and Weill (2010).
aggregates. Formally, we use maximum likelihood to estimate the following multinomial logit regressions: P rob(Yi = m) State Y ear = eβm Xi +F Ei +F Ei + i , P rob(Yi = F RM)
where P rob(Yi = m)/P rob(Yi = F RM) is probability of obtaining an ARM or CM relative to a FRM, X is a vector of mortgage-speciﬁc covariates, F E Y ear are indicator variables for the origination years, and F E State are geographic indicator variables. Table 4 reports the estimated coeﬃcients. The ﬁrst two columns use only individual household level characteristics to explain the mortgage choice and the last two columns include MSA level aggregates and state ﬁxed eﬀects. All regressions include time ﬁxed eﬀects and the standard errors are clustered by MSA. Since some of the MSA level variables are not available for the full sample, the corresponding speciﬁcations include fewer observations than the overall sample summarized in Table 2. We ﬁnd that households with higher income levels are signiﬁcantly more likely to obtain a complex mortgage than to take out a more traditional FRM loan. Despite their higher income, these households are stretching to purchase more expensive homes, as indicated by their higher estimated coeﬃcients on value-to-income (VTI) ratios. Although ARM loans are also more likely in higher VTI transactions, the economic eﬀect of VTI is stronger for CM contracts. Households with lower FICO scores are signiﬁcantly more likely to choose an ARM or a CM contract, although the coeﬃcient estimate is substantially smaller for CMs than for ARMs. The theme of complex mortgages as “aﬀordability products” for households with preferences for relatively expensive homes relative to their incomes is reﬂected in several other coeﬃcients. For instance, we ﬁnd that CM contracts are much more prevalent for mortgages
above the GSE conforming loan limit. Such mortgages are subject to the so-called jumbo spread, which increases the relative appeal of payment-shrinking CM products. Most strikingly, however, CM borrowers are much more likely to provide incomplete documentation for their loans. The greater reliance of CM contracts on low-documentation underwriting is consistent with borrower eﬀort to inﬂate their income to qualify for a higher loan amount needed for an expensive house. Overall, there is little evidence that a typical complex mortgage is taken out by a relatively poor and naive household. We ﬁnd that the type of property has an impact on mortgage contract choice. Mortgages used to ﬁnance condominiums and investment properties are more likely to be ARMs or CMs. Complex mortgages might be particularly attractive for such types of properties, since owners of condominiums and investment properties have potentially fewer indirect costs of strategically defaulting on their properties. They might therefore have an incentive to pay down their mortgage balance relatively slowly to increase the option value of strategic default. We also ﬁnd that households in non-recourse states are signiﬁcantly more likely to obtain a complex mortgage than households in recourse states. This might also be caused by the higher option value of defaulting in non-recourse states. Households in such states have smaller incentives to pay down their mortgages as they can simply walk away in case of default without worrying about the lender accessing their other assets. However, it is interesting that lenders did not curtail to a more signiﬁcant degree the prevalence of complex loans in non-recourse states. It is possible that the positive association between CM contract choice and both VTI and income reﬂects the propensity of CMs to be concentrated in high income and high house price MSAs. However, speciﬁcations that incorporate MSA-level controls and state ﬁxed eﬀects preserve these relationships. Although some of the coeﬃcients are attenuated in those speciﬁcations, they remain highly signiﬁcant. This suggests that within individual geographies, 19
complex mortgage choice is favored by the relatively well-oﬀ that are stretching their budget ﬂow constraints to aﬀord more expensive houses. Complex mortgages are backloaded contracts in which reduced mortgage payments are followed by higher payments needed to catch up on the delayed principal repayment. There are several explanations justifying this preference for an increasing payment path. First, individual households might anticipate future income growth, due either to favorable local economic conditions or to their personal wage proﬁle, especially for younger households. For these households it makes sense to purchase expensive homes relative to their incomes under the permanent income hypothesis (Gerardi, Rosen, and Willen (2010) and Cocco (2010)). Second, households might expect house prices to appreciate in the future, which enables them to reﬁnance their loans to meet the higher future payments (Barlevy and Fisher (2010)). Third, the popularity of these backloaded products might be an outcome of lax lending standards due to agency issues, in which lenders care only about the fees generated from originating the loans and not about future defaults when they sell the loans via securitization (Carlin (2009), Keys, Mukherjee, Seru, and Vig (2010) and Jiang, Nelson, and Vytlacil (2010a)). We cannot perfectly separate these three explanations. However, results in Table 4 shed some light on their relative importance in the choice of mortgage contracts. Since we cannot observe household expectations for their income and house price growth, we use the prior three years’ house price appreciation and an indicator variable for whether the area experienced an annual decline over the prior ten years as proxies for expected income and house price growth rates. These two variables capture the extent to which households extrapolate past local experiences to build their expectations about future house price dynamics. Borrowers and lenders in areas which experienced a recent decline in house prices might have been more cautious in choosing instruments that exhibit low or even negative amortization. On the other hand, borrowers and lenders in geographic areas where appreciation was substantial 20
might have been more willing to accept non-amortizing loans if they expected the appreciation to continue in the future. In addition, we include the prior one-year population growth rate in the MSA as a proxy for expected income and house price growth. Geographic areas with signiﬁcant population growth might be areas where households expect signiﬁcant house price and income growth. We ﬁnd that the price decline indicator variable and the population growth rate signiﬁcantly aﬀect the choice of CM. In particular, CM contracts are more popular in areas that did not experience an annual house price decline over the prior ten years and in areas with high population growth. This evidence suggests that the expectations of continued house price and income growth are likely a driving force behind the popularity of complex mortgages. Finally, if complex mortgages are aﬀected by agency conﬂicts and are pushed to naive households to maximize the commissions for loan oﬃcers, then we might expect these loans to be concentrated in low income areas with poorly educated households. We do not ﬁnd support for this hypothesis. Cities with lower proportions of college educated households and with lower median incomes do not exhibit higher proportions of complex loans. Table 5 reports the coeﬃcients of multinomial logit regressions that further diﬀerentiate between various types of complex contracts. The estimates are consistent with the univariate results in Table 2. In particular, we see that NEGAM and especially TRM contracts were used by high-income borrowers to reﬁnance their high-priced primary residences, often on the basis of only limited income and asset documentation. It is likely that such reﬁnancings were serial in nature, which would further underscore the fragility of such contracts in environments where the reﬁnancing markets freeze up.
In this section we study the delinquency of diﬀerent types of mortgages. A mortgage is delinquent if the borrower is at least 60 days late in making the mortgage payments.
Reasons for Mortgage Delinquencies
Delinquencies might diﬀer across mortgage types for various reasons. First, ARMs and CMs are generally adjusted according to short-term interest rates and might have higher delinquency rates because their mortgage payments increase in a rising interest rate environment. Over our sample period the interest rates have not risen substantially, suggesting that this channel is likely not of signiﬁcant importance. Second, CMs generally exhibit an increasing payment trend over the life of the loan since the initial payments are not fully amortizing as described previously. Mortgage delinquencies might become more likely after the various resets when the payments suddenly increase. On the other hand, CMs might exhibit lower delinquency rates during the initial period when mortgage payments are relatively low. Some complex mortgage contracts (e.g., Option ARMs) give borrowers the ﬂexibility to adjust their mortgage payments as their income levels ﬂuctuate, which might reduce the probability of defaults. As we observe in Figure 5, most complex mortgages have lower mortgage payments than corresponding FRMs or ARMs over the ﬁrst ﬁve years since origination. Third, CMs pay down their mortgage balance at a slower rate than FRMs and ARMs as summarized in Figure 6. Therefore, borrowers of complex loans have a bigger incentive to default on their loans in case of cash ﬂow diﬃculties or for strategic reasons. Whereas a borrower with a complex mortgage might just walk away from their mortgage contract if they experience ﬁnancial diﬃculties, a borrower with a FRM or an ARM might be more likely to
sell their home since the embedded equity is higher for fully amortizing mortgage contracts. Fourth, borrowers that are attracted to ARMs and CMs might diﬀer in their preferences. Borrowers that are willing to bear interest-rate risk might be more risk-tolerant as shown by Campbell and Cocco (2003). Finally, borrowers using traditional mortgage products might be more inﬂuenced by ethical norms that motivate them to pay back their debt even if it would be more economical to default on a mortgage contract, as discussed by Guiso, Sapienza, and Zingales (2009).
Summary of Mortgage Delinquency
Panel A of Table 6 reports the proportion of mortgages that are delinquent after one, three, and ﬁve years by mortgage type. We observe that FRMs have the lowest delinquency rates at all horizons, CMs have lower delinquency rates than ARMs at a one year horizon but higher delinquency rates at longer horizons. For example, 22.75% of CMs, 18.48% of ARMs, and 11.95% of FRMs are delinquent at a 5-year horizon. Thus, at longer horizons the probability of delinquency increases for CMs. Figure 7 shows the proportion of mortgage delinquencies for FRMs, ARMs, and CMs for the ﬁrst ﬁve years after origination. In each month we depict the proportion of remaining mortgages that become delinquent for the ﬁrst time. We observe that complex mortgages have strictly higher delinquency rates than ﬁxed rate mortgages at all horizons. Mortgage delinquencies of complex loans reach peaks of 1.3% and 1.2% of surviving loans after 27 and 39 months since origination. These peaks occur three months after common reset intervals, since delinquency begins when a mortgage payment is at least 60 days late. We observe a similar peak for ARMs after a horizon of 27 months. Whereas ARMs have slightly higher rates of delinquency at short horizons, CMs have substantially higher rates at longer horizons. It must be kept in mind that borrowers of 23
complex loans have relatively high delinquency propensities despite having signiﬁcantly higher credit scores than ARM borrowers, as summarized in Table 2. It is also insightful that the delinquency rate increases substantially even before the minimum loan payments are reset after two or three years, indicating that some borrowers of complex loans do not even make the relatively low initial mortgage payments.
Hazard Rate Model
To investigate the determinants of mortgage delinquencies, we run the following Cox proportional hazard model: h(i, t) = h0 (t)eβXi,t +F Ei
Y ear +F E Y ear +F E State + t i
where the hazard rate h(t) is the estimated probability of ﬁrst time 60 day delinquency at time t conditional on surviving to time t− , h0 (t) is the baseline hazard rate, X is a vector of household-speciﬁc covariates, and F EiY ear and F EtY ear are two indicator variables for the origination year and calendar years to control for diﬀerent vintage eﬀects and macroeconomic conditions. In some speciﬁcations, we also include F E State to control for state ﬁxed eﬀects. The loan sample is expanded to a loan-year level so that time-varying covariates can be included. Also, time is scaled so that the ﬁrst observation date is the calendar year of origination (time 0), and subsequent calendar years are measured relative to the year of origination. Implicitly, loans of diﬀerent vintages are compared with each other, so that the baseline hazard represents the probability of delinquency for a borrower with covariates of 0 at t years after origination. In some speciﬁcation we split up complex mortgages into the three sub-types (IO, NEGAM, and TRM). Table 7 reports the estimated coeﬃcients of the propensity of ﬁrst time 60 day delinquency, 24
so that the change in probability of delinquency can be read as odds ratios. For example, in column 1, the coeﬃcient of 0.792 for CM means that the ratio of the probability of delinquency for a borrower with a complex mortgage and the probability of delinquency for a borrower with similar characteristics but a ﬁxed rate mortgage is e1×0.792 /e0×0.792 = 2.2; or the complex borrower is about 2.2 times more likely to be delinquent. In the ﬁrst two columns, we use only borrower characteristics at the time of loan origination to estimate the delinquency probability. In last two columns, we include time-varying characteristics and state ﬁxed eﬀects. The current LTV ratio is deﬁned as the mortgage loan amount at the end of the prior period divided by the current home value. The current home value is estimated by adjusting the home value at origination by the house price appreciation at the MSA level since the origination. Households with complex loans will pay down their mortgages at a slower pace (as illustrated in Figure 6) and will have higher current LTV ratios. In addition, areas with house price declines will have higher current LTV ratios. Households with LTV ratios exceeding 100% will have higher incentives to default on their loans since they do not have any home equity at stake. Thus, including the current LTV ratio in the hazard model controls for dynamic leverage levels, which diﬀer across mortgage types. Finally, the unemployment level captures the proportion of unemployed in an MSA and the income growth is deﬁned as the growth rate of income at the MSA level since the mortgage was originated. We ﬁnd that CMs have signiﬁcantly higher delinquency rates than FRMs in all speciﬁcations. Delinquency rates are particularly high for teaser rate mortgages, which are presumably the least transparent mortgage contract we analyze. Households that borrow using ARMs also have signiﬁcantly higher propensities to be delinquent, although the coeﬃcient estimate is substantially smaller than the coeﬃcient on complex mortgages. The propensity to be delinquent decreases with the income level at origination. Furthermore, borrowers with lower credit scores, subprime borrowers, loans originated with low or no documentation, loans above the 25
conforming limit, and investment properties are signiﬁcantly more likely to be delinquent. The last two columns consider the impact of the additional MSA level variables and state ﬁxed eﬀects. We ﬁnd that households in areas with high unemployment and depressed income growth since the origination of the loan are more likely to be delinquent, suggesting that the diﬃculty to meet cash ﬂow payment is certainly a driver of mortgage delinquency. However, local income shocks are likely to aﬀect borrowers of diﬀerent mortgages similarly. To investigate the impact of house price appreciation and diﬀerent amortization schedules, we include the current LTV ratio. We ﬁnd that households with higher current LTV ratios are signiﬁcantly more likely to default, suggesting that strategic default is likely a contributor to mortgage delinquency as well. This source of delinquency is also likely to explain the signiﬁcantly higher delinquency rate for CMs over time, since the LTV for CMs increases signiﬁcantly over time relative to ARMs or FRMs due to the low or even negative amortization in the ﬁrst few years. It is also remarkable that the coeﬃcients on CMs remain highly statistically signiﬁcant even after controlling for the current LTV ratio, the local income growth rate, the local unemployment rate, and state ﬁxed eﬀects, suggesting that CM borrowers might be fundamentally diﬀerent from FRM borrowers. They might be more risk seeking in general, as revealed by their choices for CM contracts. They might have riskier income or might be more receptive to the idea of strategic default. Additional work is needed to fully disentangle the various sources of delinquency. These results are consistent with the structural model of Corbae and Quintin (2010), who ﬁnd that the presence of nontraditional mortgages ampliﬁed the foreclosure crisis between the ﬁrst quarter of 2007 and the ﬁrst quarter of 2009.
The decision to default on a mortgage is related to the decision to declare bankruptcy. Contrasting the determinants of personal bankruptcy with the determinants of mortgage delinquency gives us important insights about the motivation of the delinquency behavior. It is not necessary that households that default on their mortgages are also declaring bankruptcy. Nor is it necessary that households that declare bankruptcy default on their mortgages. For example, in our sample only 13% of households that are delinquent on their mortgage also declare bankruptcy. Furthermore, only 29% of households that declare bankruptcy also default on their mortgage loans.13 Bankruptcy is signiﬁcantly less common than mortgage defaults. In our sample, 13% of mortgages become delinquent at any time during their life, whereas only 2% of mortgage borrowers also declare bankruptcy. Panel B of Table 6 shows the proportion of households with diﬀerent mortgage types that declare bankruptcy. We observe that FRMs have the lowest bankruptcy rate at all horizons. Households borrowing using CMs have higher bankruptcy rates than ARMs at a ﬁve year horizon. For example, 3.18% of CMs, 2.94% of ARMs, and 2.15% of FRMs households declare bankruptcy within a ﬁve year horizon after they originate a mortgage. Table 8 reports the propensity of households to declare personal bankruptcy and contrasts it with those that are delinquent on their mortgage. Not surprisingly, most coeﬃcients have the same signs in both regressions. For example, higher income and higher FICO scores reduce the propensities of both delinquency and bankruptcy. It is interesting that some variables show up with diﬀerent signs in the two regressions. For example, although investment properties have higher mortgage delinquency rates, households with investment properties are less likely to ﬁle for personal bankruptcy. This evidence
See Li, White, and Zhu (2010) for a discussion of the relationship between bankruptcy laws and mortgage defaults.
suggests that owners of investment properties are more likely to walk away from the property when it is economical to do so, even if they can aﬀord to continue the mortgage payment. Moreover, loans with low documentation are more likely to be delinquent, but that variable does not predict personal bankruptcy, suggesting that these households might be more likely to strategically default.
Another reason that households go into delinquency is that they cannot reﬁnance their previous mortgage when they have a high LTV ratio or experience a bad income shock. Panel C of Table 6 summarizes the proportion of mortgages that are prepaid. Mortgages are prepaid if the borrowers pay-oﬀ their loan before maturity either by reﬁnancing the loan or by paying oﬀ the mortgage using the proceeds from selling the house or through other means. We ﬁnd that ARMs are more likely to be prepaid than FRMs, while CMs have intermediate levels of prepayments. Unfortunately, we do not observe whether households prepay their mortgages to reﬁnance their loan or whether they prepay their mortgages because they sold their homes. The last column of Table 8 reports the propensity of households to prepay. Many variables have the opposite sign for the delinquency and the prepayment regressions, since variables that increase the probability of prepayment likely will decrease the probability of delinquency. For example, loans with high current LTV are less likely to be prepaid and more likely to go into delinquency. However, there are some exceptions. For example, CMs and ARMs are both more likely to be prepaid and more likely to go into delinquency. Loans that were used to reﬁnance another loan are both less likely to be prepaid and less likely be delinquent.
The recent housing crisis brought the extension of credit to subprime borrowers and agency problems inherent in mortgage securitization to the forefront of academic research. This paper focuses on a diﬀerent aspect of credit markets during this time – namely, the proliferation of non-amortizing mortgages. In addition to variable interest rates, such mortgages also featured changes in amortization schedules set oﬀ by a variety of triggers. These complex mortgage contracts became extremely popular during the mid 2000s and vanished almost completely after the housing crisis of 2007-2009. We ﬁnd that complex mortgages were the contract of choice for relatively high credit quality and high-income households seeking to purchase houses that were expensive relative to their incomes. We further ﬁnd that CM contracts were not simply an inevitable outcome of high house prices. Even within high house price areas these contracts are associated with households stretching to aﬀord more expensive houses, often on the basis of stated income alone. We document that complex mortgages experienced substantially higher defaults, controlling for a variety of borrower and loan characteristics, as well as macroeconomic shocks. Higher default rates cannot be attributed solely to greater leverage of complex mortgages and the onset of amortization resets brought about by inability to reﬁnance complex loans. That complex loans were more likely to be underwritten using stated income may also indicate greater inherent earnings variability of CM borrowers, which would make them more susceptible to economic shocks.
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Table 1: Summary Statistics
This table reports means, standard deviations, medians, and ﬁrst and third quartiles for our data sample.
Mean 218,065 317,294 100,211 3.54 0.75 707 0.11 0.07 0.14 0.13 0.10 0.41 0.13 30.17 0.11 0.64 0.25 5.94 6.19 Std. Dev. 181,464 297,950 88,251 1.94 0.18 67 0.31 0.26 0.34 0.34 0.30 0.49 0.34 13.48 0.31 0.48 0.43 1.44 0.45 1st Quart. 108,300 145,000 50,000 2.22 0.67 662 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 24.00 0 0 0 5.50 5.88 Median 168,000 234,000 75,000 3.18 0.79 715 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 36.00 0 1 0 6.00 6.13 3rd Quart. 268,918 388,000 117,000 4.41 0.86 762 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 36.00 0 1 1 6.50 6.50
Loan Amount House Value Income VTI First Lien LTV FICO FICO less than 620 Subprime Low Documentation Condo Investment Property Reﬁnance With Prepayment Penalty Prepayment Penalty Term (in Months) Above Conforming Limit Government Securitized Private Securitized Initial Interest Rate (in %) Hypothetical FRM Interest Rate (in %) MSA level variables Median Income Median VTI House Price Change Prior 3 Years Decrease in House Prices Prior 10 Years College or More Population Growth (in %) Unemployment Rate (in %) Non-Recourse State Number of Observations
77,641 3.28 0.33 0.13 0.35 1.10 5.03 0.27 10,208,522
20,689 0.82 0.21 0.34 0.16 1.43 1.40 0.44
62,000 2.60 0.14 0 0.22 0.29 4.10 0
74,000 3.15 0.29 0 0.32 0.82 4.80 0
88,000 3.80 0.46 0 0.45 1.74 5.70 1
Table 2: Summary Statistics by Mortgage Type
This table reports summary statistics for Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRM), Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM), and Complex Mortgages (CM).
All Loan Amount House Value Income VTI First Lien LTV FICO Credit Score FICO less than 620 Subprime Low Documentation Condo Investment Property Prepayment Penalty Prepayment Penalty Term (in Months) Reﬁnance Above Conforming limit Government Securitized Private Securitized Initial Interest Rate (in %) Hypothetical FRM Interest Rate (in %) MSA level variables Median Income Median VTI House Price Change Prior 3 Years Decrease in House Prices Prior 10 Years College or More Population Growth (in %) Unemployment Rate (in %) Non-Recourse State Number of Observations 218,065 317,294 100,211 3.54 74.17 707 0.11 0.07 0.14 0.13 0.10 0.13 30.17 0.41 0.11 0.64 0.25 5.94 6.19 FRM 179,415 264,878 88,642 3.40 73.88 710 0.10 0.03 0.11 0.11 0.09 0.06 37.39 0.41 0.05 0.79 0.15 6.16 6.17 ARM 220,374 309,465 101,005 3.46 77.01 684 0.23 0.24 0.09 0.17 0.11 0.25 27.57 0.34 0.13 0.43 0.41 5.97 6.20 CM 357,887 513,728 141,998 4.07 73.45 710 0.07 0.10 0.26 0.18 0.11 0.33 27.85 0.45 0.33 0.24 0.54 5.12 6.23
77,641 3.28 0.33 0.13 0.35 1.10 5.03 0.27 10,208,522
74,105 3.13 0.30 0.13 0.33 1.11 5.04 0.22 7,071,317
76,530 3.28 0.32 0.16 0.36 1.12 5.21 0.26 1,202,383
91,254 3.84 0.44 0.12 0.39 1.08 4.87 0.44 1,934,822
Table 3: Summary Statistics of Complex Loans by Mortgage Type
This table reports summary statistics for diﬀerent types of complex mortgages including InterestOnly Mortgages (IO), Negative Amortization Mortgages (NEGAM), and Teaser Rate Mortgages (TRM).
All CM Loan Amount House Value Income VTI First Lien LTV FICO Credit Score FICO less than 620 Subprime Low Documentation Condo Investment Property Prepayment Penalty Prepayment Penalty Term (in Months) Reﬁnance Above Conforming limit Government Securitized Private Securitized Initial Interest Rate (in %) Hypothetical FRM Interest Rate (in %) MSA level variables Median Income Median VTI House Price Change Prior 3 Years Decrease in House Prices Prior 10 Years College or More Population Growth (in %) Unemployment Rate (in %) Non-Recourse State Number of Observations 357,887 513,728 141,998 4.07 73.45 710 0.07 0.10 0.26 0.18 0.11 0.33 27.85 0.45 0.33 0.24 0.54 5.12 6.23 IO 352,757 501,394 141,348 4.03 74.05 720 0.05 0.08 0.11 0.20 0.14 0.14 28.01 0.34 0.32 0.31 0.53 5.99 6.24 NEGAM 343,059 497,894 135,024 4.02 74.18 689 0.16 0.23 0.42 0.17 0.06 0.39 28.28 0.54 0.29 0.22 0.51 6.03 6.31 TRM 393,023 571,770 153,249 4.27 70.67 710 0.03 0.00 0.49 0.15 0.08 0.83 27.38 0.64 0.42 0.06 0.57 1.30 6.10
91,254 3.84 0.44 0.12 0.39 1.08 4.87 0.44 1,934,822
89,390 3.75 0.43 0.11 0.40 1.18 4.72 0.39 1,087,058
92,525 3.86 0.43 0.11 0.36 0.98 5.03 0.49 484,574
95,133 4.07 0.49 0.16 0.39 0.93 5.08 0.55 363,190
Table 4: Mortgage Choice Multinomial Logit Regressions
This table reports the coeﬃcients of multinomial logit regressions for mortgage choice. The coeﬃcients are measured relative to FRM. The signiﬁcance levels are abbreviated with asterisks: One, two, and three asterisks denote signiﬁcance at the 10, 5, and 1% level, respectively.
Individual-level Covariates ARM CM Log(Income) Value-to-Income FICO/100 Subprime Low Documentation Above Loan Limit Condo Investment Property Reﬁnance Non-Recourse States College or More House Price Change Decrease in House Prices MSA Median Income MSA Median VTI MSA Population Growth 0.440∗∗∗ (0.024) 0.080∗∗∗ (0.013) −0.379∗∗∗ (0.013) 2.304∗∗∗ (0.040) −0.006 (0.037) 0.718∗∗∗ (0.053) 0.664∗∗∗ (0.054) 0.283∗∗∗ (0.025) −0.535∗∗∗ (0.022) 0.153∗∗ (0.078) 0.773∗∗∗ (0.034) 0.126∗∗∗ (0.016) −0.054∗∗∗ (0.020) 1.481∗∗∗ (0.069) 0.892∗∗∗ (0.047) 1.382∗∗∗ (0.064) 0.742∗∗∗ (0.049) 0.110∗∗∗ (0.040) −0.021 (0.043) 0.720∗∗∗ (0.090) State Fixed Eﬀects ARM CM 0.274∗∗∗ (0.015) 0.028∗∗∗ (0.006) −0.405∗∗∗ (0.014) 2.306∗∗∗ (0.040) 0.036 (0.031) 0.707∗∗∗ (0.041) 0.483∗∗∗ (0.037) 0.346∗∗∗ (0.017) −0.560∗∗∗ (0.020) 0.871∗∗∗ (0.058) −0.152 (0.152) −0.072∗∗ (0.036) 0.276∗∗ (0.120) 0.264∗∗∗ (0.050) 2.673 (1.650) 0.507∗∗∗ (0.028) 0.041∗∗∗ (0.009) −0.053∗∗ (0.022) 1.448∗∗∗ (0.077) 0.914∗∗∗ (0.043) 1.306∗∗∗ (0.044) 0.453∗∗∗ (0.027) 0.072∗∗ (0.029) −0.116∗∗ (0.050)
0.110 (0.086) 0.317 (0.194) −0.212∗∗∗ (0.036) 1.006∗∗∗ (0.161) 0.248∗∗∗ (0.058) 4.398∗∗ (1.852)
Origination Year Dummies State Dummies Observations
Yes No 10,166,582
Yes Yes 8,944,872
Table 5: Mortgage Choice Multinomial Logit Regressions for Detailed Classiﬁcation
This table reports the coeﬃcients of multinomial logit regressions for mortgage choice. The coeﬃcients are measured relative to FRM. The signiﬁcance levels are abbreviated with asterisks: One, two, and three asterisks denote signiﬁcance at the 10, 5, and 1% level, respectively.
State Fixed Eﬀects IO NEGAM 0.433∗∗∗ (0.029) 0.056∗∗∗ (0.010) 0.113∗∗∗ (0.020) 1.316∗∗∗ (0.052) −0.067 (0.041) 1.362∗∗∗ (0.047) 0.473∗∗∗ (0.032) 0.243∗∗∗ (0.032) −0.435∗∗∗ (0.057) 0.439∗∗∗ (0.098) 0.331∗ (0.183) −0.185∗∗∗ (0.051) 0.761∗∗∗ (0.176) 0.277∗∗∗ (0.058) 4.882∗∗ (2.031) 0.520∗∗∗ (0.022) 0.007 (0.006) −0.303∗∗∗ (0.018) 2.213∗∗∗ (0.097) 1.742∗∗∗ (0.060) 1.114∗∗∗ (0.040) 0.472∗∗∗ (0.031) −0.330∗∗∗ (0.038) 0.166∗∗∗ (0.042) −0.342∗∗∗ (0.076) −0.300 (0.256) −0.292∗∗∗ (0.049) 1.699∗∗∗ (0.209) 0.082 (0.099) 1.807 (1.708)
ARM Log(Income) Value-to-Income FICO/100 Subprime Low Documentation Above Loan Limit Condo Investment Property Reﬁnance College or More House Price Change Decrease in House Prices MSA Median Income MSA Median VTI MSA Population Growth 0.277∗∗∗ (0.015) 0.029∗∗∗ (0.006) −0.410∗∗∗ (0.014) 2.291∗∗∗ (0.041) 0.082∗∗ (0.032) 0.699∗∗∗ (0.042) 0.481∗∗∗ (0.036) 0.340∗∗∗ (0.017) −0.548∗∗∗ (0.020) 0.853∗∗∗ (0.057) −0.192 (0.153) −0.072∗∗ (0.036) 0.312∗∗∗ (0.120) 0.253∗∗∗ (0.050) 2.560 (1.610)
TRM 0.725∗∗∗ (0.038) 0.016∗∗ (0.007) −0.304∗∗∗ (0.035) −2.771∗∗∗ (0.204) 1.901∗∗∗ (0.049) 1.376∗∗∗ (0.053) 0.306∗∗∗ (0.048) −0.120∗∗ (0.048) 0.685∗∗∗ (0.076) −0.640∗∗∗ (0.097) 0.712∗∗ (0.285) −0.298∗∗∗ (0.046) 1.677∗∗∗ (0.247) 0.133∗ (0.076) 4.677∗ (2.729)
Origination Year Dummies State Dummies Observations
Yes Yes 8,944,873
Table 6: Mortgage Delinquencies, Household Bankruptcies, and Prepayment Decisions
This table reports the proportion of mortgages that are at least 60 days delinquent, the proportion of households with mortgages that declare bankruptcy, and the proportion of mortgages that are prepaid after one, three, and ﬁve years. Mortgages are prepaid if a borrower reﬁnances the loan or pays back the loan completely before maturity.
Panel A: Proportion of Mortgages that are Delinquent FRM ARM CM 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years Number of Loans 2.65 9.31 11.95 6,895,047 6.43 15.63 18.48 1,174,328 4.02 17.56 22.75 1,917,719
Panel B: Proportion of Households Declaring Bankruptcy FRM ARM CM 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years Number of Loans 0.25 1.51 2.15 6,895,047 0.52 2.28 2.94 1,174,328 0.26 2.20 3.18 1,917,719
Panel C: Proportion of Mortgages that are Prepaid FRM ARM 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years Number of Loans 7.66 28.32 37.29 6,895,047 15.10 47.12 59.98 1,174,328
CM 12.05 38.33 45.34
Table 7: Hazard Model of Mortgage Delinquency
This table reports the hazard rate for mortgage delinquency. The signiﬁcance levels are abbreviated with asterisks: One, two, and three asterisks denote signiﬁcance at the 10, 5, and 1% level, respectively.
Individual-level Covariates 0.792∗∗∗ (0.020) 0.761∗∗∗ (0.026) 0.774∗∗∗ (0.021) 0.964∗∗∗ (0.027) 0.346∗∗∗ 0.343∗∗∗ (0.013) (0.013) −0.249∗∗∗ −0.250∗∗∗ (0.018) (0.018) −0.030∗∗∗ −0.030∗∗∗ (0.008) (0.008) −1.108∗∗∗ −1.106∗∗∗ (0.016) (0.016) 0.408∗∗∗ 0.422∗∗∗ (0.016) (0.016) 0.052∗∗∗ 0.039∗∗∗ (0.015) (0.013) 0.395∗∗∗ 0.403∗∗∗ (0.038) (0.038) −0.086∗∗ −0.084∗∗ (0.041) (0.041) 0.289∗∗∗ 0.290∗∗∗ (0.033) (0.033) −0.152∗∗∗ −0.160∗∗∗ (0.009) (0.009) 0.108∗ 0.112∗ (0.061) (0.061) State Fixed Eﬀects 0.689∗∗∗ (0.014) 0.664∗∗∗ (0.019) 0.687∗∗∗ (0.014) 0.800∗∗∗ (0.022) 0.326∗∗∗ 0.324∗∗∗ (0.012) (0.012) −0.164∗∗∗ −0.165∗∗∗ (0.017) (0.016) −0.014∗ −0.014∗ (0.008) (0.008) −1.058∗∗∗ −1.057∗∗∗ (0.018) (0.018) 0.421∗∗∗ 0.430∗∗∗ (0.011) (0.011) 0.053∗∗∗ 0.043∗∗∗ (0.012) (0.010) 0.442∗∗∗ 0.438∗∗∗ (0.026) (0.026) −0.064∗∗ −0.063∗∗ (0.026) (0.026) 0.283∗∗∗ 0.284∗∗∗ (0.030) (0.030) −0.164∗∗∗ −0.170∗∗∗ (0.013) (0.013) −1.415∗∗∗ (0.061) 0.762∗∗∗ (0.066) 0.037∗∗∗ (0.008) −0.040∗∗∗ (0.004) Yes Yes Yes 26,019,616 −1.411∗∗∗ (0.062) 0.761∗∗∗ (0.066) 0.037∗∗∗ (0.008) −0.040∗∗∗ (0.004) Yes Yes Yes 26,019,616
CM IO NEGAM TRM ARM Log Income Value to Income (VTI) FICO/100 Subprime Low Documentation Above Loan Limit Condo Investment Property Reﬁnance Non-Recourse State College or More Current LTV Unemployment Level Income Growth since Origination Calendar Dummies Orig. Year Dummies State Dummies Observations
Yes Yes No 32,960,513
Yes Yes No 32,960,513
Table 8: Hazard Models of Mortgage Delinquency, Personal Bankruptcy, and Mortgage Prepayment
This table reports the hazard rate for mortgage delinquency, personal bankruptcy, and prepayment decisions. The signiﬁcance levels are abbreviated with asterisks: One, two, and three asterisks denote signiﬁcance at the 10, 5, and 1% level, respectively.
Delinquency CM ARM Log Income Value to Income (VTI) FICO/100 Subprime Low Documentation Above Loan Limit Condo Investment Property Reﬁnance College or More Current LTV Unemployment Level Income Growth from Origination Calendar and Orig. Year Dummies State Dummies Observations 0.689∗∗∗ (0.014) 0.326∗∗∗ (0.012) −0.164∗∗∗ (0.017) −0.014∗ (0.008) −1.058∗∗∗ (0.018) 0.421∗∗∗ (0.011) 0.053∗∗∗ (0.012) 0.442∗∗∗ (0.026) −0.064∗∗ (0.026) 0.283∗∗∗ (0.030) −0.164∗∗∗ (0.013) −1.415∗∗∗ (0.061) 0.762∗∗∗ (0.066) 0.037∗∗∗ (0.008) −0.040∗∗∗ (0.004) Yes Yes 26,019,616 Bankruptcy 0.631∗∗∗ (0.017) 0.208∗∗∗ (0.013) −0.358∗∗∗ (0.024) −0.171∗∗∗ (0.011) −0.763∗∗∗ (0.012) 0.075∗∗∗ (0.022) −0.006 (0.011) 0.408∗∗∗ (0.040) −0.193∗∗∗ (0.030) −0.200∗∗∗ (0.023) 0.232∗∗∗ (0.015) −1.373∗∗∗ (0.070) 0.707∗∗∗ (0.062) 0.046∗∗∗ (0.010) −0.032∗∗∗ (0.004) Yes Yes 25,851,519 Prepayment 0.372∗∗∗ (0.019) 0.545∗∗∗ (0.011) 0.079∗∗∗ (0.012) 0.001 (0.002) −0.091∗∗∗ (0.013) 0.289∗∗∗ (0.017) −0.008 (0.008) −0.099∗∗∗ (0.020) −0.051∗∗∗ (0.011) −0.270∗∗∗ (0.011) −0.116∗∗∗ (0.010) 0.123∗∗∗ (0.045) −0.634∗∗∗ (0.063) −0.037∗∗∗ (0.008) 0.012∗∗∗ (0.004) Yes Yes 25,989,417
Table 9: Variable Descriptions
This table reports the description of the variables used and the corresponding data sources.
Variable Loan Amount Home Value Income FICO VTI First Lien LTV Hypothetical FRM Interest Rate
Data Source LPS LPS HMDA LPS LPS LPS LPS
Aggregation Individual Individual Individual Individual Individual Individual Individual
Zip (static) State Individual Census Ghent and Kudlyak (2010) LPS and FHFA BLS BEA CBSA-Qtr CBSA-Qtr
Reﬁnance Condo Investment Property Subprime Prepayment Penalty Prepayment Penalty Term Percentage above Conforming Share Government Securitized Share Private Securitized House Price Change Prior 3 Years Decrease in House Prices Prior 10 Years
LPS LPS LPS LPS LPS LPS LPS LPS LPS FHFA FHFA
Individual Individual Individual Individual Individual Individual Individual Individual Individual CBSA-Qtr CBSA-Qtr
Share College or More Non-Recourse
Unemployment Level Income Growth from Origination
Description Loan amount Appraised home value at origination Reported Income from loan application FICO at origination Appraisal value divided by income from loan application Loan amount divided by appraised value of home Average interest rate on 30-yr FRM within month, state, conforming, LTV, and FICO buckets Reﬁ or not Condo property or not 2nd home or investment Subprime indicator as the servicer believes; does not include Alt-A Flag for prepayment penalty along Length in months of prepayment penalty Flag for conforming loan. Securitization ﬂag after 1yr of loan life Securitization ﬂag after 1yr of loan life House price change in the past 3 years Indicator variable for whether there were 4 quarters of house price depreciation in the past 10 years Proportion of 2000 population with college education or better States where recourse in residential mortgages is limited by the value of the collateral securing the loan. The mortgage loan amount at the end of the prior period divided by the current home value. The current home value is estimated by adjusting the home value at origination by the house price appreciation at the MSA level since the origination. Unemployment rate Growth rate of per capita personal income
0.70 FRM Cumulative Proportion 0.60
Figure 1: Composition of Mortgage Products.
The ﬁgure depicts the composition between Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRM), Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM), and Complex Mortgages (CM) over the period between 1995 and 2009.
0.04 Q3 Quarterly House Price Appreciation 0.02 Q1 0 1998
Figure 2: Quarterly House Price Changes by Complexity Quintile
This ﬁgure depicts the quarterly house price changes of MSAs quintiles sorted according to the proportion of complex mortgages in 2004. Q1, Q3, and Q5 correspond to the mean appreciation levels of MSA in the ﬁrst, third, and ﬁfth quintile according to the complex share.
Panel A: Value-to-Income Ratio
1 0.9 0.8 0.7 Cumulative Distribution 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 Value to Income Ratio 6 7 8 FRM ARM CM
Panel B: FICO Credit Score
650 FICO Score
Figure 3: Cumulative Distribution Functions by Mortgage Type
These ﬁgures depict the cumulative distribution functions of the value-to-income ratio (VTI) and FICO credit scores for Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRM), Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM), and Complex Mortgages (CM) over the period between 1995 and 2009.
Panel A: Complex Mortgages in 2002
Panel B: Complex Mortgages in 2005
Panel C: Complex Mortgages in 2008
Figure 4: Geographic Distribution of Complex Mortgages
These ﬁgures depict the geographic distribution of complex mortgages in 2002, 2005, and 2008.
Panel A: Mortgage Payment After One Year Relative to FRM
0.05 0.045 0.04 0.035 0.03 Distribution 0.025 0.02 0.015 0.01 0.005 0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Actual Mortgage Payment after 1 Year Relative to FRM CM ARM
Panel B: Mortgage Payment After Three Years Relative to FRM
0.06 ARM 0.05
0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Actual Mortgage Payment after 3 Years Relative to FRM
Panel C: Mortgage Payment After Five Years Relative to FRM
0.08 ARM 0.07
0.05 Distribution CM
0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 Actual Mortgage Payment after 5 Years Relative to FRM
Figure 5: Mortgage Payment Relative to FRM
These ﬁgures depict the actual mortgage payments for Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) and for Complex Mortgages (CM) one, three, and ﬁve years after origination relative to the mortgage payments of a Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRM) with similar borrower characteristics.
Panel A: Remaining Balance After One Year
0.5 CM 0.4
0 0.8 0.85 0.9 0.95 1 1.05 Remaining Mortgage Balance After One Year Relative to Original Balance 1.1
Panel B: Remaining Balance After Three Years
0.4 FRM 0.35 CM
0 0.8 0.85 0.9 0.95 1 1.05 Remaining Mortgage Balance After Three Years Relative to Original Balance 1.1
Panel C: Remaining Balance After Five Years
0.25 FRM CM ARM 0.2
0 0.8 0.85 0.9 0.95 1 1.05 Remaining Mortgage Balance After Five Years Relative to Original Balance 1.1
Figure 6: Remaining Mortgage Balances
These ﬁgures depict the remaining mortgage balances after one, three, and ﬁve years relative to the initial balances for Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRM), Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM), and Complex Mortgages (CM).
0.008 Hazard Rate ARM 0.006
0.004 FRM 0.002
0 0 10 20 30 Months After Origination 40 50 60
Figure 7: Proportion of Mortgage Delinquencies by Month After Origination
The ﬁgure depicts the proportion of surviving loans that are delinquent by month after orignation for Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRM), Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM), and Complex Mortgages (CM) over the period between 2003 and 2009.
Working Paper Series
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Using Stock Returns to Identify Government Spending Shocks Jonas D.M. Fisher and Ryan Peters Stochastic Volatility Torben G. Andersen and Luca Benzoni The Effect of Disability Insurance Receipt on Labor Supply Eric French and Jae Song CEO Overconfidence and Dividend Policy Sanjay Deshmukh, Anand M. Goel, and Keith M. Howe Do Financial Counseling Mandates Improve Mortgage Choice and Performance? Evidence from a Legislative Experiment Sumit Agarwal,Gene Amromin, Itzhak Ben-David, Souphala Chomsisengphet, and Douglas D. Evanoff Perverse Incentives at the Banks? Evidence from a Natural Experiment Sumit Agarwal and Faye H. Wang Pay for Percentile Gadi Barlevy and Derek Neal The Life and Times of Nicolas Dutot François R. Velde Regulating Two-Sided Markets: An Empirical Investigation Santiago Carbó Valverde, Sujit Chakravorti, and Francisco Rodriguez Fernandez The Case of the Undying Debt François R. Velde Paying for Performance: The Education Impacts of a Community College Scholarship Program for Low-income Adults Lisa Barrow, Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Cecilia Elena Rouse, and Thomas Brock Establishments Dynamics, Vacancies and Unemployment: A Neoclassical Synthesis Marcelo Veracierto The Price of Gasoline and the Demand for Fuel Economy: Evidence from Monthly New Vehicles Sales Data Thomas Klier and Joshua Linn Estimation of a Transformation Model with Truncation, Interval Observation and Time-Varying Covariates Bo E. Honoré and Luojia Hu Self-Enforcing Trade Agreements: Evidence from Antidumping Policy Chad P. Bown and Meredith A. Crowley Too much right can make a wrong: Setting the stage for the financial crisis Richard J. Rosen
Working Paper Series (continued)
Can Structural Small Open Economy Models Account for the Influence of Foreign Disturbances? Alejandro Justiniano and Bruce Preston Liquidity Constraints of the Middle Class Jeffrey R. Campbell and Zvi Hercowitz Monetary Policy and Uncertainty in an Empirical Small Open Economy Model Alejandro Justiniano and Bruce Preston Firm boundaries and buyer-supplier match in market transaction: IT system procurement of U.S. credit unions Yukako Ono and Junichi Suzuki Health and the Savings of Insured Versus Uninsured, Working-Age Households in the U.S. Maude Toussaint-Comeau and Jonathan Hartley The Economics of “Radiator Springs:” Industry Dynamics, Sunk Costs, and Spatial Demand Shifts Jeffrey R. Campbell and Thomas N. Hubbard On the Relationship between Mobility, Population Growth, and Capital Spending in the United States Marco Bassetto and Leslie McGranahan The Impact of Rosenwald Schools on Black Achievement Daniel Aaronson and Bhashkar Mazumder Comment on “Letting Different Views about Business Cycles Compete” Jonas D.M. Fisher Macroeconomic Implications of Agglomeration Morris A. Davis, Jonas D.M. Fisher and Toni M. Whited Accounting for non-annuitization Svetlana Pashchenko Robustness and Macroeconomic Policy Gadi Barlevy Benefits of Relationship Banking: Evidence from Consumer Credit Markets Sumit Agarwal, Souphala Chomsisengphet, Chunlin Liu, and Nicholas S. Souleles The Effect of Sales Tax Holidays on Household Consumption Patterns Nathan Marwell and Leslie McGranahan Gathering Insights on the Forest from the Trees: A New Metric for Financial Conditions Scott Brave and R. Andrew Butters Identification of Models of the Labor Market Eric French and Christopher Taber
Working Paper Series (continued)
Public Pensions and Labor Supply Over the Life Cycle Eric French and John Jones Explaining Asset Pricing Puzzles Associated with the 1987 Market Crash Luca Benzoni, Pierre Collin-Dufresne, and Robert S. Goldstein Does Prenatal Sex Selection Improve Girls’ Well‐Being? Evidence from India Luojia Hu and Analía Schlosser Mortgage Choices and Housing Speculation Gadi Barlevy and Jonas D.M. Fisher Did Adhering to the Gold Standard Reduce the Cost of Capital? Ron Alquist and Benjamin Chabot Introduction to the Macroeconomic Dynamics: Special issues on money, credit, and liquidity Ed Nosal, Christopher Waller, and Randall Wright Summer Workshop on Money, Banking, Payments and Finance: An Overview Ed Nosal and Randall Wright Cognitive Abilities and Household Financial Decision Making Sumit Agarwal and Bhashkar Mazumder Complex Mortgages Gene Amromin, Jennifer Huang, Clemens Sialm, and Edward Zhong
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