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August 2007

Loss Given Default of High Loan-to-Value Residential Mortgages (WP 2007-4)

This publication is part of:

Collection: Economics Working Papers Archive


This paper studies residential mortgage loss given default using a large set of historical loan-level default and recovery data of high loan-to-value mortgages from several private mortgage insurance companies. We show that loss given default can largely be explained by various characteristics associated with the loan, the underlying property, and the default, foreclosure, and settlement process. We find that the current loan-to-value ratio is the single most important determinant. More importantly, mortgage loss severity in distressed housing markets is significantly higher than under normal housing market conditions. Our empirical results have important policy implications for risk-based capital.


Min Qi and Xiaolong Yang