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Author:Agarwal, Sumit 

Working Paper
The role of securitization in mortgage renegotiation

We study the effects of securitization on renegotiation of distressed residential mortgages over the current financial crisis. Unlike prior studies, we employ unique data that directly observe lender renegotiation actions and cover more than 60% of the U.S. mortgage market. Exploiting within-servicer variation in these data, we find that bank-held loans are 26% to 36% more likely to be renegotiated than comparable securitized mortgages (4.2 to 5.7% in absolute terms). Also, modifications of bank-held loans are more efficient: conditional on a modification, bank-held loans have lower ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2011-02

Journal Article
How do private firms use credit lines?

The authors find that firms that face higher upfront commitment fees, risk premium spreads or usage fees have smaller credit lines, while those with higher overdraft fees have larger ones. Firms with greater profit growth in the past have larger credit lines, while those with more internal funds or higher volatility in profit growth have smaller credit lines. The results for line utilization are quite similar.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 35 , Issue Q II , Pages 71-79

Journal Article
The asset-backed securities markets, the crisis and TALF

The authors explain the role of asset-backed securities markets in generating credit and liquidity and how this role was disrupted during the financial crisis. They discuss the implementation of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) and argue that this program helped reestablish the ABS markets and the credit supply. and the reversion to a stable fiscal regime.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 34 , Issue Q IV , Pages 101-115

Working Paper
Does the Relative Income of Peers Cause Financial Distress? Evidence from Lottery Winners and Neighboring Bankruptcies

SUPERSEDED BY WP 18-22 We examine whether relative income differences among peers can generate financial distress. Using lottery winnings as plausibly exogenous variations in the relative income of peers, we find that the dollar magnitude of a lottery win of one neighbor increases subsequent borrowing and bankruptcies among other neighbors. We also examine which factors may mitigate lenders? bankruptcy risk in these neighborhoods. We show that bankruptcy filers can obtain secured but not unsecured debt, and lenders provide secured credit to low-risk but not high-risk debtors. In addition, we ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-16

Working Paper
The reaction of consumer spending and debt to tax rebates; evidence from consumer credit data

The authors use a new panel data set of credit card accounts to analyze how consumers responded to the 2001 federal income tax rebates. They estimate the monthly response of credit card payments, spending, and debt, exploiting the unique, randomized timing of the rebate disbursement. They find that, on average, consumers initially saved some of the rebate by increasing their credit card payments and thereby paying down debt. But soon afterward their spending increased, counter to the canonical permanent-income model. Spending rose most for consumers who were initially most likely to be ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-34

Newsletter
Comparing the prime and subprime mortgage markets

Against the backdrop of news reports on high mortgage delinquency rates, this article examines recent trends in mortgage lending and compares the prime and subprime markets in particular.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue Aug

Working Paper
Benefits of relationship banking: evidence from consumer credit markets

This paper empirically examines the benefits of relationship banking to banks, in the context of consumer credit markets. Using a unique panel dataset that contains comprehensive information about the relationships between a large bank and its credit card customers, we estimate the effects of relationship banking on the customers' default, attrition, and utilization behavior. We find that relationship accounts exhibit lower probabilities of default and attrition, and have higher utilization rates, compared to non-relationship accounts, ceteris paribus. Such effects become more pronounced with ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2010-05

Working Paper
Do consumers choose the right credit contracts?

A number of studies have pointed to various mistakes that consumers might make in their consumption-saving and financial decisions. We utilize a unique market experiment conducted by a large U.S. bank to assess how systematic and costly such mistakes are in practice. The bank offered consumers a choice between two credit card contracts, one with an annual fee but a lower interest rate and one with no annual fee but a higher interest rate. To minimize their total interest costs net of the fee, consumers expecting to borrow a sufficiently large amount should choose the contract with the fee, ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-06-11

Working Paper
Serving the Underserved: Microcredit as a Pathway to Commercial Banks

A large-scale microcredit expansion program---together with a credit bureau accessible to all lenders---can enable unbanked borrowers to build a credit history, facilitating their transition to commercial banks. Loan-level data from Rwanda show the program improved access to credit and reduced poverty. A sizable share of first-time borrowers switched to commercial banks, which cream-skim less risky borrowers and grant them larger, cheaper, and longer-maturity loans. Switchers have lower default risk than non-switchers and are not riskier than other bank borrowers. Switchers also obtain better ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-041

Working Paper
Perverse incentives at the banks? Evidence from a natural experiment

Incentive provision is a central question in modern economic theory. During the run up to the financial crisis, many banks attempted to encourage loan underwriting by giving out incentive packages to loan officers. Using a unique data set on small business loan officer compensation from a major commercial bank, we test the model?s predictions that incentive compensation increases loan origination, but may induce the loan officers to book more risky loans. We find that the incentive package amounts to a 47% increase in loan approval rate, and a 24% increase in default rate. Overall, we find ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-09-08

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