Walking Away: One-Third Say It’s Sometimes Acceptable to Stop Paying Mortgage

Source Organization: Pew Research Group

09/15/2010 - A majority of Americans say it is "unacceptable" for homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments and abandon their homes, according to a Pew Research Center survey. But more than a third (36%) say the practice of "walking away" from a home mortgage is acceptable, at least under certain circumstances.

Nearly six-in-ten (59%) believe it is wrong for homeowners to deliberately stop paying their mortgages and surrender their homes to the mortgage lender, according to the survey of 2,967 adults conducted May 11-31.

But two-in-ten (19%) say it's acceptable and an additional 17% volunteer that it depends on the circumstances.

As the housing market continues to flounder in many parts of the country, more than one-in-five homeowners (21%) say they owe more on their mortgages than their home is worth, the survey finds.

Some homeowners in this situation stop making their mortgage payments and let the bank foreclose on their homes.

Read the full report, Walking Away on the Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends Project Web site.

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