In particular, we can identify a subset of prepayments that seems consistent with the dual trigger theory. If the theory is correct, these prepayments should exhibit similarities to defaults in the data set rather than other prepayments. We test this idea and find that these prepayments are in fact more closely related to defaults than to other prepayments. However, our data also support a role for strategic default. Understanding these relationships may be critical in predicting mortgage default when house prices decline after a long period of increases. While our work is only a first step in this direction, we believe that a better understanding how prepayments may be driven by financial reverses would be valuable for participants in and regulators of mortgage markets.

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