A mortgage borrower has several options once a foreclosure proceedings is initiated, mainly default and prepayment. Using a sample of FHA mortgage loans, we develop a dependent competing risks framework to examine the determinants of time to default and time to prepayment once the foreclosure proceedings is initiated. More importantly, we examine the interdependence between default and prepayment, through both the correlation of the unobserved heterogeneity terms and the preventive behavior of the individual mortgage borrowers. We find that time to default and time to prepayment are affected by several factors, such as the Loan-To-Value ratio (LTV), FICO score and unemployment rate. In addition, we find strong evidence that supports the existence of interdependence between the default and prepayment hazards through both the correlation of the unobserved heterogeneity terms and the preventive behavior of individual mortgage borrowers. We show that neglecting the interdependence through the preventive behavior of the individual mortgage borrowers can lead to biased estimates and misleading inference.
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