The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach & Education function engages, empowers and educates the public in the Second District. Our outreach mission furthers the Bank’s commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and developing programs, analysis and sponsored conferences and clinics to help meet their needs. Our education mission aims to advance public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System and its role in the economy.
We study early default, defined as serious delinquency or foreclosure in the first year, among nonprime mortgages from the 2001 to 2007 vintages. After documenting a dramatic rise in such defaults and discussing their correlates, we examine two primary explanations: changes in underwriting standards that took place over this period and changes in the economic environment. We find that while credit standards were important in determining the probability of an early default, changes in the economy after 2004—especially a sharp reversal in house price appreciation—were the more critical factor in the increase in default rates. A notable additional result is that despite our rich set of covariates, much of the increase remains unexplained, even in retrospect. Thus, the fact that the credit markets seemed surprised by the rate of early defaults in the 2006 and 2007 nonprime vintages becomes more understandable.
For a published version of this report, see Andrew Haughwout, Richard Peach, and Joseph Tracy, "Juvenile Delinquent Mortgages: Bad Credit or Bad Economy?" Journal of Urban Economics 64, no. 2 (September 2008): 246-57.