Homeowners have decisions to make regarding property
I am all for free markets and personal responsibility and think there are people that have tried to game the system. However, the vast majority of homeowners are not losers. Mortgages are still being paid on time by well over 90% of the people in the country. The individual homeowner has been used as a whipping post in order to let the banks and brokers milk the system for 2 more years while try to keep people from realizing they have to make a very important financial decision with their real estate. When values were down 15% the case could be made that is it much more valuable to keep the home and your credit in tact rather than walk away. However, the story is not the same when people are 35-45% or more underwater. The home can become an albatross around someone’s neck and the financially prudent thing to do would be to walk away if something drastic isn’t done with the principal. I would imagine there are many bright, successful, hardworking winners out there that may have to make just such a decision if we continue to see falling prices. (Which is not out of the question if we keep letting the big banks yank the chain of government whenever they need capital)? Can any financial adviser actually look a homeowner straight in the eye and say although your home is 50% underwater, you will be paying mostly interest over the next 10 years with little principal reduction, your 20% down payment is wiped out, and the economy is crap, and the government seems set on bailing out big banks while housing prices tank, but all that being said, you should go right no paying your mortgage and hope your home goes up 150% in the next 10 years in order to get you back to even? I highly doubt anyone with integrity could tell their clients that this sounds like a good idea. Santelli says some great things on air but this wasn’t one of them.