The Value of Equitable Redemption in Commercial Mortgage Contracting
Posted: 11 Sep 2007
Equitable redemption is a feature of all common law mortgages that allows a borrower a chance to redeem the real estate in the event of default. What is puzzling is that equitable redemption is universally enforced in all mortgages, including commercial mortgages. The purpose of this study is to understand if there might be conditions under which the universal enforcement of equitable redemption could be an efficient legal doctrine. We build a model of asymmetric information where the cash flows from the investment are known to the borrower but not to the lender. We show that there exists a separating equilibrium where high-risk borrowers choose to include equitable redemption (and pay a higher interest rate) while low-risk borrowers choose not to (and pay a lower interest rate). We then show that there exist conditions under which a universal enforcement of equitable redemption results in a higher surplus than this separating equilibrium.
Keywords: equitable redemption, asymmetric information, commercial mortgages, separating equilibrium
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