Creditor Rights and Bank Loan Losses

Amanda Rae Heitz and Gans Narayanamoorthy

We develop hypotheses regarding the association between two types of creditor rights and bank loan losses.  Contrary to prior research conclusions, bank lending risk is negatively associated with both restrictions on reorganization and the secured creditor being paid first.  Using accounting disclosures, we develop novel empirical measures of the probability of default (PD) and loss given default (LGD) at the loan portfolio-level.  Different types of creditor rights have differential effects pertaining to PD and LGD and exhibit significant intertemporal variation.  We corroborate our cross-country findings using the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act shock to creditor rights.