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Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Staff Reports
Understanding the securitization of subprime mortgage credit
Adam B. Ashcraft
Til Schuermann

In this paper, we provide an overview of the subprime mortgage securitization process and the seven key informational frictions that arise. We discuss the ways that market participants work to minimize these frictions and speculate on how this process broke down. We continue with a complete picture of the subprime borrower and the subprime loan, discussing both predatory borrowing and predatory lending. We present the key structural features of a typical subprime securitization, document how rating agencies assign credit ratings to mortgage-backed securities, and outline how these agencies monitor the performance of mortgage pools over time. Throughout the paper, we draw upon the example of a mortgage pool securitized by New Century Financial during 2006.

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Adam B. Ashcraft & Til Schuermann, Understanding the securitization of subprime mortgage credit, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Staff Reports 318, 2008.
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Keywords: Subprime mortgage ; Investments - Government policy ; Investment banking ; Mortgage loans ; Mortgage-backed securities ; Predatory lending ; Credit ratings
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