The effect of foreclosure laws on securitization: Evidence from U.S. states
A mortgage that defaults is more likely to enter foreclosure rather than renegotiation if it has been securitized in the private non-agency market, according to previous research. We study whether this foreclosure-propensity affects lenders’ securitization decision ex-ante. Due to the higher foreclosure probability, the value of a mortgage should be more sensitive to foreclosure costs if it is securitized. Comparing loans made in the same metropolitan area but under different foreclosure laws, we find that lenders are less likely to securitize mortgages in states with higher foreclosure costs, as measured by laws requiring judicial foreclosure. Two additional results are consistent with the proposed channel. First, the effect increases for loans with higher expected default rates and disappears for mortgage-like loans not subject to these laws. Second, the effect of judicial requirements increases for loans with higher expected default rates, consistent with differences in loss given default driving the results. Borrowers in states without judicial requirements also get riskier loans.