What is a strategic default?
Let’s first define strategic default in simple terms. Wikipedia says:
A strategic default is the decision by a borrower to stop making payments (i.e. default) on a debt despite having the financial ability to make the payments.
This is particularly associated with residential and commercial mortgages, in which case it usually occurs after a substantial drop in the house’s price such that the debt owed is (considerably) greater than the value of the property – the property negative equity or “underwater” – and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future, such as following the bursting of a real estate bubble. Such borrowers are called “walkaways.”
How do Americans feel about strategic default?
- The number of underwater homeowners who believe it is okay to default on your mortgage if you are under financial distress has almost doubled in the last twelve months (14% to 27%).
- 47% of people that are underwater and behind on their mortgage have considered strategic default.
- Those who know a strategic defaulter are more likely to have considered defaulting.
- 1 in 5 Americans knows a strategic defaulter.
For more information on this and other real estate news, visit my website!