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.”