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Subprime Mortgage Design

This paper offers evidence on the design of subprime mortgages as bridge-financing products. We show that the viability of subprime mortgages was uniquely predicated on the appreciation of house prices over short-horizons. High rates of early prepayments on subprime mortgages are suggestive of the use of prepayments as an exit option. This paper argues that high early defaults on post-2004 originations can be explained when one considers high early prepayment rates for pre-2004 originations.

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