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Call Protection in Mortgage Contracts

Michael LaCour-Little

California State University at Fullerton

November 22, 2005

Call protection in debt contracts is ubiquitous in the bond market, customary in the commercial mortgage market, yet reviled and highly restricted in the residential mortgage market. We examine the reasons for these differences and use Monte Carlo techniques to calculate the economic value of call protection (prepayment penalties) in residential mortgage contracts. Results explain why prepayment penalties are more prevalent in the subprime, compared to the prime, market segment. From the simulation results we also compute the reduction in equilibrium contract rates call protection allows and then verify those predictions using empirical using data on actual contracts, extending the existing literature. Results strongly suggest that call protection has significant economic value to both borrowers and lenders and that, hence, the trend toward greater restrictions on this contract feature is bad public policy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: mortgage, callable debt, prepayment, prepayment penalty

JEL Classification: G21, G28

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Date posted: February 15, 2006  

Suggested Citation

LaCour-Little, Michael, Call Protection in Mortgage Contracts (November 22, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=881618 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.881618

Contact Information

Michael LaCour-Little (Contact Author)
California State University at Fullerton ( email )
5133 Mihaylo Hall
Fullerton, CA 92834-6848
United States
657-278-4014 (Phone)
657-278-2161 (Fax)
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