Holdup by Junior Claimholders: Evidence from the Mortgage Market
When borrowers are delinquent, senior debtholders prefer liquidation whereas junior debtholders prefer to maintain their option value by delaying resolution or modifying the loan. In the mortgage market, a conflict of interest (“holdup”) arises when servicers of securitized senior liens are also the owners of the junior liens on the same property. We show that holdup servicers are able to delay action on the first-lien mortgage. When they do act, servicers are more likely to choose resolutions that maintain their option value, favoring modification and soft foreclosures over outright foreclosures. Holdup behavior is more likely to result in borrower self-curing.
Previously circulated as "Second Liens and the Holdup Problem in Mortgage Renegotiation." The authors would like to thank Fredrik Andersson, Gadi Barlevy, Ted Durant, Ronel Elul, Karen Furst, Dennis Glennon, Bruce Krueger, Mark Levonian, Amit Seru, and seminar participants at the OCC, FIRS, and AREUEA (Chicago) for helpful comments and suggestions. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Sumit Agarwal & Gene Amromin & Itzhak Ben-David & Souphala Chomsisengphet & Yan Zhang, 2019. "Holdup by Junior Claimholders: Evidence from the Mortgage Market," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, vol 54(01), pages 247-274. citation courtesy of