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Strategic Default: 32% Believe it’s OK

A recent survey by JZ Analytics revealed that a growing number of Americans feel homeowners should be able to strategically default on mortgages.  A strategic default is when a homeowner, who has the financial resources to continue making their mortgage payment, instead decides to walk away and let the house go to foreclosure. In many cases, the house is worth less than is owed on the mortgage

Some responding to the survey “believe the mortgage market has been a scam for many years, built on false promises that took advantage of people that didn’t understand what was happening and they never had a chance of paying the mortgage off”.

The survey’s major findings:

  • Almost 68 million U.S. adults (32 percent) believe homeowners should be able to strategically default on their mortgages without any consequences.
  • 28 million Americans (13 percent) would likely strategically default on a mortgage.
  • 36 million Americans (17 percent) know someone who has strategically defaulted on a mortgage.

John Zogby, senior analyst at JZ Analytics and creator of the internationally renowned ‘Zogby Poll’ commented on the potential consequences of his company’s findings:

“Our research into the consumer opinion of the economic crisis of 2008 found alarming results. What jumped out is how many Americans feel it is acceptable for homeowners to walk away from a mortgage and go into foreclosure. If Americans carry on with that mindset, it will continue to cause problems as the economy undergoes a slow recovery.”

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3 replies
  1. Pete Sambets
    Pete Sambets says:

    I am amazed at this mentality. I suppose this same 32% would feel it is acceptable for their lender to ask for a refund if they are able to sell for a profit. Or that all the people who SOLD at the inflated prices of the mid 2000″s should also refund a percentage to their lenders! This is absurd. Those who purchased (including myself, at the time), should bear some responsibility for their actions. Certainly, some people were taken advantage of. Certainly, many people became victim to the economic system and the fallout of the”mortgage crisis”. However, every means of making good on your obligations should (must!) be exhausted before “walking away”. Like any other debt, the debtor can walk away, but don’t offer a free ride!

  2. Steve Marsh
    Steve Marsh says:

    It was the reckless mortgage lending policies of the Big Banks and their lust for profits and bonuses that resulted in the economic mess we’re in. If it is between the Big Banks taking the hit for losses on strategic defaults or the US taxpayers, I have no trouble at all letting the Big Banks take the hit.


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