5/10/2011 - Most oppose walking away from a mortgage
When financially-struggling homeowners feel like they're out of options and have nowhere else to turn, some resort to walking away from their mortgage. But a recent survey conducted by a legal advice website indicates most people believe that shouldn't be an option at all.
In a telephone survey
of 1,000 U.S. adults, Findlaw.com found that more than half of the respondents - 60 percent - said it's "never OK" to walk away from a mortgage, or what industry experts refer to as strategically defaulting.
Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor for Findlaw.com, said that consumers should weigh other options instead, including mortgage modification programs.
"Before making any major decisions, homeowners should consult with financial and legal professionals, including accountants, real estate attorneys and financial advisers," Rahlfs said. "Any major change to a mortgage situation could lead to serious and unanticipated consequences involving taxes, contract law, credit scores, ability to borrow in the future … and much more.
The effect of walking away from a mortgage can be particularly devastating for future homeowners insurance rates, as companies factor credit history into determining premiums.