Our website will undergo scheduled maintenance on the morning of Thursday, August 11, 2022. During this time, connection to our website and some of its features may be unavailable. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Working Paper

Mortgage defaults


Abstract: We present a model in which households facing income and housing-price shocks use long-term mortgages to purchase houses. Interest rates on mortgages reflect the risk of default. The model accounts for observed patterns of housing consumption, mortgage borrowing, and defaults. We use the model as a laboratory to evaluate default-prevention policies. While recourse mortgages make the penalty for default harsher and thus may lower the default rate, they also lower equity and increase payments and thus may increase the default rate. Introducing loan-to-value (LTV) limits for new mortgages increases equity and thus lowers the default rate, with negligible negative effects on housing demand. The combination of recourse mortgages and LTV limits reduces the default rate while boosting housing demand. Recourse mortgages with LTV limits are also necessary to prevent large increases in the mortgage default rate after large declines in the aggregate price of housing.

Keywords: Mortgage loans; Default (Finance);

Access Documents

File(s): File format is application/pdf http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2011/2011-019.pdf

Authors

Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2015-07-31

Number: 2011-019

Pages: 54 pages