Alternatives to Libor in consumer mortgages
Many adjustable rate mortgages in the United States are indexed to Libor. While the accuracy of this rate has recently been called into question, another issue affecting U.S. borrowers has become evident since the onset of the financial crisis. Specifically, many U.S. consumers with Libor-based loans may have been hit with substantially higher payments when their loans reset during the financial crisis than if those loans had been tied to a Treasury rate. We investigate several alternative reference rates for consumer loans and estimate their payment effects on a large sample of Libor-linked U.S. mortgages. We find that these alternatives would have delivered average monthly savings over Libor of about $25 to $45 and substantially more for mortgages that reset in October 2008.
AUTHORS: Schweitzer, Mark E.; Venkatu, Guhan
Adjustable-rate mortgages and the Libor surprise
Adjustable-rate mortgages have typically been tied to either of two indexes, one based on U.S. treasuries, the other on the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. The index is used to determine a mortgage?s new interest rate when it is reset, and up until recently, the choice would have made little difference. But since 2007, the rates on which the indexes are based have diverged sharply, and borrowers with Libor-based adjustable-rate mortgages are likely to pay more than they would have had their mortgages been tied to treasuries. Moreover, the proportion of Libor-based ARMs has increased significantly, especially for subprime loans.
AUTHORS: Venkatu, Guhan; Schweitzer, Mark E.
Fed publishes revised handbook on adjustable rate mortgages
Underscoring banking regulators' concerns about the growing use of nontraditional mortgages, the Consumer Handbook on Adjustable-Rate Mortgages has undergone one of its most substantial revisions since its 1987 publication.
Consumer guide to nontraditional mortgages published
Payment changes and default risk: theimpact of refinancing on expected credit losses
This paper analyzes the relationship between changes in borrowers' monthly mortgage payments and future credit performance. This relationship is important for the design of an internal refinance program such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). We use a competing risk model to estimate the sensitivity of default risk to downward adjustments of borrowers' monthly mortgage payments for a large sample of prime adjustable-rate mortgages. Applying a 26 percent average monthly payment reduction that we estimate would result from refinancing under HARP, we find that the cumulative five-year default rate on prime conforming adjustable-rate mortgages with loan-to-value ratios above 80 percent declines by 3.8 percentage points. If we assume an average loss given default of 35.2 percent, this lower default risk implies reduced credit losses of 134 basis points per dollar of balance for mortgages that refinance under HARP.
AUTHORS: Tracy, Joseph; Wright, Joshua
The termination of subprime hybrid and fixed rate mortgages
Adjustable rate and hybrid loans have been a large and important component of subprime lending in the mortgage market. While maintaining the familiar 30-year term the typical adjustable rate loan in subprime is designed as a hybrid of fixed and adjustable characteristics. In its most prevalent form, the first two years are typically fixed and the remaining 28 years adjustable. Perhaps not surprisingly, using a competing risks proportional hazard framework that also accounts for unobserved heterogeneity, hybrid loans are sensitive to rising interest rates and tend to temporarily terminate at much higher rates when the loan transforms into an adjustable rate. However, these terminations are dominated by prepayments not defaults.
AUTHORS: Pennington-Cross, Anthony; Ho, Giang
AUTHORS: Walsh, Joan
AUTHORS: Johnston, Verle
Has the housing boom increased mortgage risk?
AUTHORS: Moore, Robert R.; Gunther, Jeffery W.
Are adjustable-rate mortgage borrowers borrowing constrained?
Past research argues that changes in adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) payments may lead households to cut back on consumption or to default on their mortgages. In this paper, we argue that these outcomes are more likely if ARM borrowers are borrowing constrained, and find that ARM borrowers exhibit characteristics and behavior that are consistent with being borrowing constrained. Although the demographic and financial characteristics of ARM and fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) borrowers are quite similar, ARM borrowers differ from FRM borrowers in their uses of credit and attitudes towards it. In addition, we find the consumption growth of households with an ARM is more sensitive to past income than the consumption growth of other households, suggesting the ARM borrowers are more likely subject to borrowing constraints that hinder their ability to smooth consumption.
AUTHORS: Johnson, Kathleen W.; Li, Geng