Abstract

Using data on subprime mortgages from ten cities, I examine geographic variation in the effects of prepayment penalties, balloon loans, and reduced documentation on the probabilities of foreclosure and prepayment. Results indicate that across cities, reduced documentation is consistently related to higher probabilities of foreclosure, and prepayment penalties are consistently related to lower probabilities of prepayment. Prepayment penalties and balloon loans are more sporadically associated with foreclosures, and reduced documentation and balloon loans are more sporadically associated with prepayments. These results are robust to controls for several state antipredatory lending law provisions, whose effects are also tested.

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