A new category of homeowners has emerged in recent months–those who voluntarily walk away from their mortgaged property. The rising ranks of this group are not comprised of people who can’t afford their mortgage payments and thus go into foreclosure; rather these defaulters are homeowners who choose to let their Bradley Beach NJ real estate holdings go rather than continue to pay on a home which is worth less than what they owe.
Such a phenomenon is new to the United States, where proud homeowners of the past would make every sacrifice necessary to keep their home–and their dignity–and it is a thorny issue in terms of moral responsibility and finances.
The Mortgage Bankers Association has voiced concern about the message these “walkers” send to their families and the community, and even President Obama has urged homeowners to follow the responsible course and honor their financial obligations. Such words too often fall on deaf ears, however, as anxious owners of Bradley Beach NJ real estate watch lenders unload their mortgages with impunity and private businesses practice “strategic default” by letting a company fail rather than continue putting money into it.
One prevailing viewpoint is that homeowners must operate under a moral constraint while lenders and businesses are free to maximize their profits–an unfair and unbalanced system in the eyes of the “walkers.”
There are, of course, many social, moral, and financial arguments against voluntary default. An increase in foreclosures in a community depresses the value of the homes and drives prices down, thus making your neighbors suffer the consequences of your choice. In a May survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, nearly 60% of Americans believe it is ethically and morally wrong to default on a mortgage contract with a lender. Perhaps having a greater impact, however, are the financial repercussions of simply not paying the mortgage on your Bradley Beach NJ real estate, including the following:
- Your credit score will suffer, thus making it extremely difficult to get loans for a car or for another home, renting a house, and possibly having a negative effect on insurance rates and job possibilities.
- Debt consequences: In many states the lender can get a deficiency judgment against you to recover the funds you did not pay. The term of their ability to do so may be as long as ten years.
- You will lose your tax break. Property taxes and mortgage interest often give you a sizable tax advantage in terms of deductions, which you will no longer have.
- Returning to the housing market may prove quite difficult. Although renting a home is a tempting solution, more and more landlords are hesitant to rent to someone going through foreclosure. Buying another property presents another obstacle. With stricter requirements being placed on loan current loan applicants, a “walk away” will not have an easy time overcoming his poor record with lenders.
If you are considering walking away from your current home, do weigh carefully the consequences of doing so. You can calculate the financial impact of such an action here.
Patrick Parker and his Realty Team are experts in Buyer Brokerage and specialize in representing your best interests, negotiating with your goals in mind and getting you the best possible deal when you buy your next Jersey Shore home.
When representing you as a Seller, they go the extra mile to help you achieve your goals. Patrick and his Team are constantly researching the market and property values so your Jersey Shore real estate is priced effectively from day one. They also make sure the public knows your home is for sale by using innovative advertising and marketing techniques to attract potential buyers.
For more information about buying or selling a Jersey Shore home, please call Patrick at 732-455-5252 or via email with our convenient contact form.