Strategic default an option for struggling homeowners
The housing market in Las Vegas is slowly beginning to rebound. Each month it seems more and more people are deciding to become homeowners. When the recession hit, many homes lost a significant amount of their value. This allowed buyers to have many more affordable options when they were shopping for the right home.
However, homeowners that decided to buy before the recession now find themselves in a very difficult situation. Henderson and Las Vegas had huge housing booms in the early 2000s, and many people moved to the area. Home values increased substantially, and buyers had to take out large mortgages if they wanted to make a purchase.
When these values crashed, homeowners were stuck with high monthly payments, which meant that they owed a considerable amount more than their homes were worth. These so-called “underwater mortgages” led a many families experiencing severe financial hardships.
One of the potential solutions to this problem is for borrowers to strategically default on their mortgage. Homeowners simply stop paying their mortgage payment, and basically let the financial institution decide what to do next.
This approach is becoming much more common across the country. In a survey by JZ Analytics for ID Analytics, 17 percent of respondents said they knew someone who had strategically defaulted because of high mortgage payments.
For many homeowners, it is difficult to make the decision to walk away, and they fear what their friends and relatives may think if they leave a debt unpaid. Attitudes toward those who default are changing as well. Nearly one-third of those surveyed also said that strategic default was an acceptable option for homeowners trapped in underwater mortgages, because they feel that lenders actually caused the problems that many people are experiencing.
This process is not without potential concerns for the homeowners. Some lenders may take aggressive action against those who strategically default. Homeowners may still have to deal with harassing calls from creditors, and might even be sued for past due amounts.
Each homeowner’s situation is different, and it is important to understand the options that are available. While the decision to walk away from this obligation may be difficult to make, it might be the best way for you to reduce the financial challenges that you are facing.
If you are trapped in an upside-down mortgage and are having difficulties making your mortgage payment, speak to an attorney that has experience with strategic defaulting on a mortgage. This is a very complicated process, and you can be exposed to considerable risks if you do not follow the steps correctly.