Bank of Lithuania
Topic
Target group
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All results 3
No 78
2020-08-21

Bowling Alone, Buying Alone: The Decline of Co-Borrowers in the US Mortgage Market

  • Abstract

    Using the universe of mortgage applications data and detailed credit performance data, we document that since the early 1990s there was a significant decline in the share of mortgages with co-borrowers. Although the decline was an almost universal phenomenon across different regions of the US, the rate of the decline showed significant spatial heterogeneity and in turn had implications for regional differences in economic activity. We show that the presence of a co-borrower reduces the mortgage default probability by more than 50 percent for both prime and subprime loans and those regions that had a lower co-borrower share prior to the crisis experienced higher mortgage default rates over the period 2007-2010. Higher default rates created spillovers on economic activity during the Great Recession: a lower co-borrower share at the regional level was also related to persistently lower house price growth, refinancing growth and mortgage credit growth. These results imply that the decrease in the share of mortgages with co-borrowers made the US mortgage market more vulnerable to the financial crisis and contributed to the divergence in economic outcomes across different regions.

    JEL Codes: G21, G51, R21. 

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 69
2019-12-13

Mortgage foreclosure risk after the Great Recession

  • Abstract

    The objective of increased regulation of mortgage origination activities after the Great Recession was to prevent another foreclosure crisis in the future. However, the literature is not conclusive about the actual effect of these policy changes. By using the 2007-09 panel and subsequent waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), we predict foreclosure risk based on individual borrower characteristics. We show that the median mortgage foreclosure probability kept decreasing after 2010, but in 2016 it was still higher relative to the year 2007. The median foreclosure probability has remained high among both non-bank borrowers and bank borrowers. The regulatory changes started in 2010, so we also compare predicted foreclosure probabilities to the levels in 2010 and find that, despite the fact that banks were affected by this regulation more than non-banks, predicted foreclosure probabilities for bank mortgages declined slower than for non-bank mortgages. Our findings offer support for a thorough analysis of the regulatory effects because they might have been weaker than expected or worked in an unexpected way.

    JEL Codes: C53, G21, G23.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 44
2017-04-24

Personal bankruptcy, bank portfolio choice and the macroeconomy

  • Abstract

    This paper explores the spillover effects from increasing personal bankruptcy protection. Innovatively, the paper shows that the spillover effects can be influenced by the bank portfolio choice. Since a low level of personal bankruptcy protection keeps an insolvent individual liable until her debt is repaid in full, lender’s returns on mortgages are less uncertain than returns on other assets ceteris paribus. Risk-averse banks would prefer mortgages over other types of assets such as corporate loans. Corporate lending and thus equilibrium output would fall. In contrary to the popular view that creditor protection smooths credit provision and makes the allocation of resources more efficient, I show that in some cases a low level of personal bankruptcy protection can lead to aggregate consumption losses. Also I show that macroprudential policies (LTV ratios) can successfully complement higher personal bankruptcy protection in ensuring even higher welfare.

    JEL Codes: E44, G11, G21, K35, R21.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.