Pricing Mortgages: An Interpretation of the Models and Results
Mortgages, like all debt securities, can be viewed as risk-free assets plus or minus contingent claims that can be usefully viewed as options. The most important options are: prepayment, which is a call option giving the borrower the right to buy back the mortgage at par, and default, which is a put option giving the borrower the right to sell the house in exchange for the mortgage. This paper reviews and interprets the large and growing body of literature that applies recent results of option pricing models to mortgages. We also provide a critique of the models and suggest directions for future research.