Where borrowers are personally liable for shortfalls when they default on their mortgages, lenders have to exercise a duty of good faith in securing a reasonable value for the foreclosed property. The lender is entitled to recover the outstanding loan as quickly as possible, and is not bound to sell the foreclosed property at the highest price. Such an institutional setting allows us to study lender and borrower behavior, specifically the influence of price expectations, volatility and equity losses on foreclosure transactions using non-foreclosure transactions as a comparison. Our results show that differences in seller response to market expectations and equity losses exist across foreclosure and non-foreclosure transactions. Seller behavior matters. While price expectations, volatility and equity losses are influential factors for individual households, past price movements is the most important. This study also further seeks to distinguish loss aversion from disposition effect. By controlling for properties that suffered losses in equity but did not sell, we are able to examine the disposition effect in house owners. The result shows that there is disposition effect for non-foreclosure properties, where individual homeowners are reluctant to sell if the properties suffer losses.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 9, 2007
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