HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

In
finance Finance is the study and discipline of money, currency and capital assets. It is related to, but not synonymous with economics, the study of Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics) ...
, default is failure to meet the legal obligations (or conditions) of a
loan In finance, a loan is the lending of money by one or more individuals, organizations, or other entities to other individuals, organizations, etc. The recipient (i.e., the borrower) incurs a debt and is usually liable to pay interest on that de ...
, for example when a home buyer fails to make a
mortgage A mortgage loan or simply mortgage (), in civil law (legal system), civil law jurisdicions known also as a hypothec loan, is a loan used either by purchasers of real property to raise funds to buy real estate, or by existing property owners ...
payment, or when a corporation or government fails to pay a bond which has reached maturity. A national or sovereign default is the failure or refusal of a government to repay its national debt. The biggest private default in history is
Lehman Brothers Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. ( ) was an American global financial services firm founded in 1847. Before Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, filing for bankruptcy in 2008, Lehman was the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States (behind Gol ...
, with over $600 billion when it filed for bankruptcy in 2008. The biggest sovereign default is
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
, with $138 billion in March 2012.


Distinction from insolvency, illiquidity and bankruptcy

The term "default" should be distinguished from the terms "
insolvency In accounting, insolvency is the state of being unable to pay the debts, by a Natural person, person or company (debtor), at Maturity (finance), maturity; those in a state of insolvency are said to be ''insolvent''. There are two forms: Cash flow ...
", illiquidity and "
bankruptcy Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debt ...
": * Default: Debtors have been passed behind the payment deadline on a debt whose payment was due. * Illiquidity: Debtors have insufficient cash (or other "liquefiable" assets) to pay debts. *
Insolvency In accounting, insolvency is the state of being unable to pay the debts, by a Natural person, person or company (debtor), at Maturity (finance), maturity; those in a state of insolvency are said to be ''insolvent''. There are two forms: Cash flow ...
: A legal term meaning debtors are unable to pay their debts. *
Bankruptcy Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debt ...
: A legal finding that imposes court supervision over the financial affairs of those who are insolvent or in default.


Types of default

Default can be of two types: debt services default and technical default. Debt service default occurs when the borrower has not made a scheduled payment of interest or principal. Technical default occurs when an affirmative or a negative covenant is violated. Affirmative covenants are clauses in debt contracts that require firms to maintain certain levels of capital or financial ratios. The most commonly violated restrictions in affirmative covenants are tangible net worth, working capital/short term liquidity, and debt service coverage. Negative covenants are clauses in debt contracts that limit or prohibit corporate actions (e.g. sale of assets, payment of dividends) that could impair the position of creditors. Negative covenants may be continuous or incurrence-based. Violations of negative covenants are rare compared to violations of affirmative covenants. With most debt (including corporate debt, mortgages and bank loans) a covenant is included in the debt contract which states that the total amount owed becomes immediately payable on the first instance of a default of payment. Generally, if the debtor defaults on any debt to the lender, a cross default covenant in the debt contract states that that particular debt is also in default. In corporate finance, upon an uncured default, the holders of the debt will usually initiate proceedings (file a petition of involuntary bankruptcy) to foreclose on any collateral securing the debt. Even if the debt is not secured by collateral, debt holders may still sue for bankruptcy, to ensure that the corporation's assets are used to repay the debt. There are several financial models for analyzing default risk, such as the Jarrow-Turnbull model, Edward Altman's Z-score model, or the structural model of default by Robert C. Merton ( Merton Model).


Sovereign defaults

Sovereign borrowers such as
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the co ...
s generally are not subject to bankruptcy courts in their own jurisdiction, and thus may be able to default without legal consequences. One example is
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
, which defaulted on an IMF loan in 2015. In such cases, the defaulting country and the creditor are more likely to renegotiate the interest rate, length of the loan, or the principal payments. In the
1998 Russian financial crisis The Russian financial crisis (also called the ruble crisis or the Russian flu) began in Russia on 17 August 1998. It resulted in the Russian government and the Russian Central Bank devaluing the Russian rouble, ruble and sovereign default, defaul ...
, Russia defaulted on its internal debt ( GKOs), but did not default on its external Eurobonds. As part of the Argentine economic crisis in 2002,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...
defaulted on $1 billion of debt owed to the
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and Grant (money), grants to the governments of Least developed countries, low- and Developing country, middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital pro ...
.


Orderly default

In times of acute insolvency crises, it can be advisable for regulators and lenders to preemptively engineer the methodic restructuring of a nation's public debt—also called "orderly default" or "controlled default". Experts who favor this approach to solve a national debt crisis typically argue that a delay in organising an orderly default would wind up hurting lenders and neighboring countries even more.


Strategic default

When a debtor ''chooses'' to default on a loan, despite being able to service it (make payments), this is said to be a strategic default. This is most commonly done for nonrecourse loans, where the creditor cannot make other claims on the debtor; a common example is a situation of negative equity on a
mortgage loan A mortgage loan or simply mortgage (), in civil law (legal system), civil law jurisdicions known also as a hypothec loan, is a loan used either by purchasers of real property to raise funds to buy real estate, or by existing property owners ...
in
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipres ...
jurisdictions such as the United States, which is in general non-recourse. In this latter case, default is colloquially called "jingle mail"—the debtor stops making payments and mails the keys to the creditor, generally a bank.


Sovereign strategic default

Sovereign borrowers such as
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or society. A nation is thus the co ...
s can also choose to default on a loan, even if they are capable of making the payments. In 2008, Ecuador's president Rafael Correa strategically defaulted on a national debt interest payment, stating that he considered the debt "immoral and illegitimate".


Consumer default

Consumer default frequently occurs in rent or mortgage payments, consumer credit, or utility payments. A European Union wide analysis identified certain risk groups, such as single households, being unemployed (even after correcting for the significant impact of having a low income), being young (especially being younger than around 50 years old, with somewhat different results for the New Member States, where the elderly were more often at risk as well), being unable to rely on social networks, etc. Even internet illiteracy has been associated with increased default, potentially caused by these households being less likely to find their way to the social benefits they are often entitled to. While effective non-legal debt counseling is usually the preferred -more economic and less disruptive- option, consumer default can end-up in legal debt settlement or consumer bankruptcy procedures, the last ranging from 1-year procedures in the UK to 6-year procedures in Germany. Research in the United States has found that pre-purchase counseling can significantly reduce the rate of defaults.Pre-Purchase Counseling Benefits Banks and Homeowners
''American Banker''.


References


Bibliography

* * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Default (Finance) Credit Debt Loans Credit risk