Housing Policy

Dump the House, Take a Vacation, Just Treat Yourself…

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…or stay for a year or three without making payments. It's all good.

How many of our nation's 7.4 million mortgage deadbeats are defaulting just for the chance to take a dream vacation?

Edward Harrison at Naked Capitalism probes the question of why savings rates are dropping at the same time mortgage defaults are either finishing or still in the middle of a historic increase. His tentative conclusion: "[P]eople are defaulting and that is boosting spending."

This issue, I think, falls into the category of unknowable unknowns. The differences in scale and data collection points make it unlikely we'll get a final answer to the question of whether strategic defaults (mortgage deadbeating by people who still have the means to pay) are actually juicing retail sales at this point in history.

But Harrison's anecdotal evidence is pretty entertaining. Naturally, these anecdotes come mainly in the form of readers complaining about what pieces of human waste their relatives and/or in-laws are, and the overriding theme is that all these people are not just skipping out on their debts but either A) still living in the house as banks fail to foreclose, or B) using their newly disposable income to take vacations, or C) both A and B. To add to the anecdotes: I have at least two acquaintances in category C. (Though I rarely have a good word for my own family, nobody I am related to by blood or marriage is currently deadbeating on a mortgage.)

Harrison lays out the temptation:

Basically, someone strategically defaults because one finds oneself in a situation in which repayment no longer makes financial sense. For example, you buy a house for $400,000, $40,000 in cash and $360,000 as a mortgage. The value drops to $300,000, so you are now 20% underwater and rentals are half the price of your mortgage payment.  Meanwhile your repayments are 60% of income and you and your spouse have two children to take care of.

As always when I've read any of these hard-luck scenarios over the past few years, my only response is: I should be so lucky. I can't even default because I'm above water and my remaining principal is much less than the bank (or I) could get for the property.

And yet I know exactly the feeling of wanting to dump the property and take a vacation. I keep thinking I should just accept that whenever I sell is when the real estate bottom will be, take the change, lease an RV, and drive these United States like Albert Brooks. But then, to do that you need a nest egg:

NEXT: Jack Herer, RIP

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  1. Lease an RV? And shit in some funky chemical toilet tank you’re dragging around the country under your mobile futon?

    1. Actually, I was thinking a composting toilet and sleep number bed… but your mileage may vary.

  2. Err… Tim, you said, “I can’t even default because I’m above water and my remaining principal is much less than the bank (or I) could get for the property.” – isn’t that basically the definition of ‘UNDER water’? Owing principal on your loan in excess of the value of the home on the market?

    1. Damn – Friday afternoon and my brain is fried. I be moron. I just re-read your comment and realize I misread.

      1. I was about to post the same thing.

  3. Cheap homes that people are buying and filling full of furniture and remodels could be a reason.

    or simply we are in a recession and out of work so we can’t earn anything to save.

    1. Actually, Josh, if you watch any H&G TV channel, you would find that many of the McMansions are strangely empty. Many people leveraged themselves to the hilt to buy homes they couldn’t afford, and left themselves nothing but credit cards to pay for furniture and decorations.

      In contrast, I live in a mediocre apartment, save a third of my income, and probably the only apartment dweller for miles who could sell his art collection and generate enough cash to pay a year’s rent.

      1. Well, hello Mr. Fancy-pants.

      2. probably the only apartment dweller for miles who could sell his art collection and generate enough cash to pay a year’s rent.

        Wow, impressive Chad. How come you don’t sell that stuff to help the poor?

        There are so many people that could use food and shelter. You could even use a portion to pay down the deficit. Or even pay for a needy child’s health care. You seem to have your needs met.

        1. I donate 5% of my after tax income, and have done so my entire adult life (even when I was in school and “broke”). Plenty of people live on 5% less than I make, and I am sure the same is true for you.

          About 2% goes to the poor, and the rest goes to environmental causes.

          1. Yet you do not donate one cent to the government.

            You claim to believe in the government and high taxes, but you won’t willingly fork over any money not demanded at gun-point.

            Your beliefs = shit.

            1. No, I *do* donate money to the government. As I have said many times, I refuse to claim the charitable deduction, which would typically save me about 1-1.5% of my income. Not claiming it also saves me the hassle of tracking everything.

              1. No, I *do* donate money to the government.

                Taxes aren’t donations Chad.

                as I have said many times, I refuse to claim the charitable deduction, which would typically save me about 1-1.5% of my income. Not claiming it also saves me the hassle of tracking everything.

                The deficits are really going to be whittled down with that %1-1.5 Chad. A “hassle”? You must not be a very good chemist with such a meticulous work ethic.

                Are you by any chance providing data for AGW, in an official capacity?

              2. Sorry, but that’s not the same thing.

                If you believe in government so much, send them more money to back it up.

                Honestly though you are like nearly every liberal: it’s not about you paying higher taxes (you can do so at any time), it’s about others paying higher taxes.

                1. We like to be called “progressive”.

                2. That’s an odd statement from a libertarian? Do you honestly believe that there is some important distinction between not taking money from the government that I am legally due, and giving money to the government? If I claimed the deduction, and then sent it back as a donation, how would it be any different?

                  1. There is a distinction as you stated.

                    Many people don’t claim all sorts of deductions because it is a pain in the ass.

                    Big difference between that and sending a check because you believe in government so much.

                    1. It may be a pain in the ass, but it is surely not a $1000 pain. More like a $50 pain.

          2. I donate 5% of my after tax income, and have done so my entire adult life…

            A mere 5%? That’s awfully greedy of you Chad. And inconsistent with your stated ideals of “The Rich” not paying enough. If others can live on < %5, why aren’t you?

            Remember the unssustainable runaway deficit spending that this administration is amassing.

            According to these these stats I am going to assume an income of $60,000 with $12,750 in Federal and State income taxes paid leaving $42,750. 5% of this is $2,362.50. Since you did not specify gross v. net income, let’s include 5% of $60,000 @ $3,000.

            Plenty of people live on 5% less than I make, and I am sure the same is true for you.

            You are suggesting that people live on $3,000/year? Adding an additional %2 of net income of @ is $855. So, we still have less that $4,000. I am assuming you don’t donate that $855 to one person, distributed over say 37,000,000 of Americans, the 2006 number as per the UK Guardian , that arrives @ 2.31 x 10(-13) cents, or ~0.00000000000231.

            Your charity to the poor knows no bounds Chad.

            1. Given that I have a PhD in chemistry, you guess on my income is low. However, I base my donations on my take home pay (ie, after 401k, etc), and the taxes are higher than you guess, so $3000/year is actually correct ($250/month). The vast majority of my donations are tax deductable, and given my marginal tax rate, it amounts to around $1000/year that I am voluntarily donating to the government.

              I am pretty close to the average (not median) taxpayer. If the 150 million households out there were to have their taxes increased by $3000, this would generate $450 billion/year, which would get us a lot closer to balancing our budget over the long term, and within striking distance of closing the gap with reasonable spending cuts.

              1. If the government lowered their outrageously unnecessary spending by $450 billion a year it would get us closer to balancing our budget in the long term. But hey, math is hard for you chemistry people.

      3. What and who do you collect?

        1. My primary piece is an Aleah Koury koi painting.

          I also have my little geek shrine of prints from artists like Mark Ryden in my office and numerous things I have collected during my many trips to Japan.

          1. I can see the Asian influence in Koury’s work. Mark Ryden is fascinatingly creepy! I have collected, but principally enjoy my own work. Interestingly, just bought at piece at auction but the artist had regretted the sale.

            1. Koury’s art’s creepiness factor has nothing on my work.

              1. There is nothing creepy about Koury’s work. In fact, it is too tame for my taste. I appreciate H.R. Giger’s work because of the sci-fi nature. It is self-explanatory. OTOH, Ryden is full of symbolism, that is open to interpretation.

              2. And yours has nothing on mine.

                1. Really, I’m lost. Is it because he photographed nudes/sexual situations? Is that why? What is the difference between his pictures and The Joy Of Sex? His photographs were remarkable.

                  1. I’m a trained architect. Of course my work will has elements of an exact and precise nature. It’s my motif, a marriage with depressing and shocking, yet subtle, content. I employ a great amount of symbolism in my work albeit in a very fantastic execution. To say that it is self-explanatory is pedestrian in taste. Mapplethorpe’s very vivid photography is well executed, homo-erotic porn, simplistic and leaves little to interpretation.

                    1. “To say that it is self-explanatory is pedestrian in taste.” I would love your opinion on let’s say-any sci-fi movie. You thought process lacks maturity and is unquestionably MALE.

                    2. “You thought process lacks maturity and is unquestionably MALE.”

                      Wrong on both conclusions; all female. Why do you assume I am male because I find Mapplethorpe’s photography lacking in substance? Because all males fear the gays and think Mapplethorpe’s subjects will somehow jump out of the photos and rape them? Many attribute an undertone of homo-erotic imagery in Giger’s works. Mapplethorpe’s photography, while vivid, is on the level of Warhol pop art, a one trick pony dependent on shock value. Without the Joy of Sex, most men wouldn’t know how to find their dick, much less know how to use it properly.

                    3. Interesting, a female on Reason is like a daisy in the mud. Mapplethorpe’s photography included female subjects, female portraits and female statuary and yet he is discussed in the context of his homosexuality. I don’t see the Warhol comparison but I agree with your view on his pop art. Men don’t have an issue finding their dicks but lack expertise on its use.

                    4. “…but lack expertise on its use.”

                      Bwa haha ha! Sigh. How regretfully right you are.

                      “Mapplethorpe’s photography included female subjects, female portraits and female statuary and yet he is discussed in the context of his homosexuality.”

                      I am familiar with Mapplethorpe’s body of work and he was certainly prolific. Being industrious does not a good artist make. Which is the essence of comparison between Warhol and Mapplethorpe, in my opinion, who both produced a large body of work whose relevance is dependent on shock marketing, rather than sheer artistic merit. Of the two, Mapplethorpe is the more technically astute.

                      I don’t care for the sci fi genre in movies.

                    5. “Interesting, a female on Reason is like a daisy in the mud.”

                      I noticed that too.

      4. Also, did I mention I have a PhD? I’m easily the smartest person in my apartment building, probably in the entire neighborhood. The rubes in my building should be thankful someone as gifted and intelligent as me lives there. I hand out grass-fed bison jerky to their half-witted children on halloween. And don’t get me started on my 4th generation Prius…

        1. You should try harder when spoofing me.

          Good idea about the bison jerky, though.

          lol

          1. Hell, except for the PhD, he was right on. You are an arrogant, ignorant, asshole, after all.

            1. And I earn it by living up to what I say.

      5. I’m happy to hear that your anime tentacle porn collection turned out to be a good investment after all.

        1. I prefer my j-girls in 3D

          1. I can vouch for this.

      6. If this is spoofing, it’s A+ spoofing.

  4. I can’t even default because I’m above water and my remaining principal is much less than the bank (or I) could get for the property.

    And

    Tim Cavanaugh lives in California

    LOL

    I would start asking Welch if he needs a correspondent in fly over county.

  5. Don’t worry, Mr. Cavanaugh. We’re all here for you.

  6. My social circle is admittedly pretty small but I don’t know a single soul who is deadbeating or even being foreclosed upon.

    … Hobbit

  7. The government’s tacit encouragement for “homeowners” to not pay their mortgage dues is freeing up $8 billion each month that is artificially increasing consumer spending and iPad preorders. And with banks not marking anything to market, all these houses that generate no cash flow are still marked at 100 cents on the books. If you ever needed a justification to not pay your credit card, your mortgage, or anyone else you owe money, now you know – contract law in America no longer exists. Just stop paying everything. And please dont save. Saving is for non-banana republics. Remember – the market is never wrong. And nobody can remember when was the last time we had a downday. So all must be well.

  8. Hey, if your upside down in the equity, what the heck. Might as well right?

    Lou
    http://www.security-tools.us.tc

  9. ….but I do not want to be outed.

    It’s just frustrating as hell that I live pretty well within my means. I’m no pauper, but until I bought a new car (because I could afford it, and my 14 year old car died), I had no debt, yet still lived in rentals and knew/know that I cannot afford any housing where I live(boston area(obviously not joe p. b.)) unless I make more money or share a property with someone or buy a place that I don’t see how it has the value it’s priced at. Basically, a nice condo in a nice location should not cost $200K 25 miles outside of the city.

    1. should also refrain from reading hit n run after a long week at work and having a few beers to wind down.

      1. This is what I don’t understand; why isn’t anyone speaking up for folks like us when the government tries to shore up housing values? It’ll be a lot easier to own a home if the prices don’t go back to their absurd heights any time soon.

        1. Because that would be unfair to people with poor credit. Which is why humans are an inferior species. Haven’t you seen my commercials of yore? And I don’t require food or water, just a lawn to spy. We Lawn Gnomes are a hardy people.

      2. Je voudrais pouvoir vous rejoindre. Pens? ? toi l’autre jour.

        1. Je vous ai dit que j’?tais une illusion. Nous sommes appel?es ? dispara?tre et j’ai besoin d’aller

          1. Au revoir.

            1. C’est tout?

              1. oubliez ce que j’ai dit. La curiosit? est un vice.

              2. Bolivie.

                1. oui

  10. Tim, thanks for reminding me why I rarely visit H&R anymore. Criticism of people who are maximizing utility given their financial incentives doesn’t really inspire me, whether those people are Magnetar, Goldman Sachs or the guy next door.

    Jingle mail is not lying, stealing, cheating or deceiving. It is making use of the American legal system in the same way that someone who pulled down millions in bonuses for doing deals that were certain to blow up made use of it. Is that a problem? I don’t think so.

    Hope that tea party pandering is workin’ out for ya.

    1. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical. Social pressure (such as suggesting deadbeats possess inferior virtue) is a much less destructive way to maintain acceptable behavior that legislation, except in extreme cases.

      1. It should be illegal in the first place. Most nations do not have the “no-recourse” feature we have on home loans, and yet they have functional housing markets that did not blow up like ours did.

        Fixing this policy, along with removing the mortgage deduction (which subsidizes all debt and is a regressive tax cut) should be eliminated asap.

        1. agreed, particularly on the mortgage deduction. Reagan tried, but it was a political nonstarter.

          1. Actually, what Reagan did was try to end all personal interest deductions. Leaving the home mortgage interest deduction in place was one of the many compromises Reagan made.

        2. Holy shit, Chad said something sensible:

          “along with removing the mortgage deduction (which subsidizes all debt and is a regressive tax cut) should be eliminated asap.”

          1. Most people recognize it as a means to manipulate people into homes. Nothing like a little social engineering.

          2. I hate the mortgage deduction. It is the holy grail of the bankers. Just think about it: does it make ANY sense in a “free market” for you to have $100k in your 401k (where you pay the bankers 1% for their expert management skills), while owing $200k on your house (paying the bankers 5% for the priveledge of borrowing their money)? Of course not. Without any tax policy, you would pay off your house, and get a guaranteed return of 6%, and a whole lot less worry, hassle, and leverage. Yet our government subsidizes both the debt and the savings so much that it becomes sensible to do both at the same time….and the bankers get a cut both ways.

            At minimum, we have to eliminate all subsidies on debt.

    2. Maximizing utility in the short run with no consideration of the long run is a mistake. The fixed variable of having a home that disappears when all your variables are no longer fixed is a rude awakening.

      You’re welcome to max utility in the short run and ignore the long run, just don’t come crying to me when you’re wet, cold, or hungry.

    3. Excellent Sundog,

      It’s amazing how thuggish Reason has become, and the lengths they will stoop to denigrate the people who are victims of this crisis.

      1. When your signature is next to the bad guys and all the writing is in the document, you’re more of an unwitting or stupid accomplice than victim.

        Stupidity is not a defense.

        1. Hmm’s right. Ignorance of the law doesn’t hold up in court.

    4. Hey, a “reminding me why I don’t read Reason anymore” and a “how’s that working out for you” in one comment.

      If you can also work in a “what part of X don’t you understand” and an “if I wanted to hear Y I’d go listen to Z,” I think we’ll owe you a prize of some kind.

      1. Here’s a hint: “What part of boom and bust don’t you understand, because if I wanted to hear the obvious I’d go listen to Thomas Sowell?”

        Am I permitted halfsies?

  11. Let`s have a little market discipline. It won`t be Sweden, but at least we`ll behave like men.

  12. “…probes the question of why savings rates are dropping at the same time mortgage defaults are either finishing or still in the middle of a historic increase.”

    When people get laid off, even if they’re drawing unemployment, they’re also drawing on their savings. I’m just throwin’ this up on the dart board like everybody else, but that would be my first guess.

    A lot of the layoffs have happened in places where there was a lot of home construction. And if loan officers and construction workers were laid off heavily over the past few years, then I’d expect that kind of unemployment to be concentrated in places like Riverside County and Phoenix, Las Vegas…and that’s where the foreclosures are too.

    So, I think a lot of the people who are out of work right now are people whose work was connected to the home construction or finance industries. And if they lived in the communities they were financing and building, then they’re in homes that were recently built. And they’re spending their savings ’cause they’re out of work, and that’s the reason they’re defaulting on their mortgages too.

    In other words, there doesn’t have to be a conflict there.

    1. ‘cept the peak layoff rate is past (i.e. the number of people losing their jobs per week, not the number of people unemployed) and the savings rate had ticked up during most of 2009. (during the same period when layoffs were higher and accelerating)

      1. but you spend down your savings the whole time you’re unemployed, not just when you’re laid off. So Ken Schultz is making a really good point.

        1. I don’t know about you, but when I get laid-off they start paying me again the next day.

          In unicorn farts, sure, but hey they’re stronger than the dollar now.

      2. Even at the peak of layoffs, >90% of people were employed…and panicking.

        1. I disagree with that number Chad. For your consumption.

          I’ve often doubted the numbers, but I didn’t they were as high as suggested in this analysis. I figured the actual number to be about 13%-14%.

          Oh, and I saw those numbers up there. I am glad you are doing better than the ~17% that aren’t. I still think since you are gung ho and glib about spending other people’s money (it’s not your money), perhaps you should donate more than 2% of your net income. I gather you are not married nor any dependents; hows about you donate $22,050 the national poverty guideline for 2009 for a family of four.

          You seem to be doing OK, why not set an example? After all, you could sell that art you have (+1 for discriminating taste in art, Koury is a remarkable artist).

          I will also give you props for support of eliminating the mortgage deduction. AFAIK, one cannot deduct a car loan from their personal tax return (not sure about commercial vehicles for the self employed). It makes little sense to me to deduct mortgage if one does not have the income to sustain paying a mortgage agreement, be it a 15, 20, or 30 year note.

          1. Addendum: I did forget about that horrible C4C debacle. So there’s another subsidy for 2009 that the poor and Y/millenials will see direct market limitation, adding future insult to injury.

          2. I am well aware of the under-employed. I was merely pointing out that the employed vastly out-numbered the unemployed, and therefore the increased savings of the former would more than offset any change in savings by the latter.

            You CAN deduct the interest on your car, vacation, or night at the strip club. Just pay for it with a home equity loan.

  13. contract law in America no longer exists

    It’s our *right* not to be bound by contracts.

    This *is* the Land of the Free?!

    1. The “deadbeats” are bound by their contracts. The contract says “pay X per month or the bank will foreclose on your house.” It’s not the deadbeats’ fault that the banks are so incompetent and drowning in properties that they can’t even get their act together enough to foreclose.

  14. Thanks for taking the time to post such a detailed and informative article. It has given me a lot of inspiration and I look forward to more like this in the future.

  15. Most nations do not have the “no-recourse” feature we have on home loans, and yet they have functional housing markets that did not blow up like ours did.

    Tell that to the Spaniards.

    1. We dont have the no-recourse feature on home loans. That only exists in 16 states. 34 states have recourse.

  16. “What is clear is that this crisis could have been avoided if Wall Street firms were more accountable, if financial dealings were more transparent, and if consumers and shareholders were given more information and authority to make decisions,” Obama said in his weekly address.

    Reuters

    Nothing says “accountability” like bailouts.

    More gibberish.

    1. “Never again will taxpayers be on the hook because a financial company is deemed ‘too big to fail’,” Obama said

      They will, however, be on the ropes.

  17. They will, however, be on the ropes.

    And in desperate need of another bailout. Too systemically vital to the financial markets and all that.

  18. I would find it hard to convict any apartment-dweller who decides to start burning down these houses.

    1. But oddly, easily to convict someone who’s having trouble paying the bills.

      How odd.

      1. It’s not odd at all.

        I’m tired of the government propping up housing prices and I’m tired of idiots buying shit they can’t afford and responsible people getting stuck with the bill.

  19. This is probably something similar to when mortgage payments were defaulting at a faster and higher rate than credit card payments. I imagine motivation and incentive play a huge role in this. (obviously) The interesting thing would be to see exactly who is doing it, to what extent, the limits of the driving motives/incentives in conjunction with the who is doing it.

  20. I don’t know anyone (related or not) who is socking away money or going on vacation by defaulting on a mortgage. I do know many who are in danger of going under, but doing their best to stay in their homes.

    I find it odd that so many assume that only the borrower should lose everything in this mess created by the lenders. Both parties in a contract assume risk. When housing prices fall this dramaticly, lenders should expect to share in the losses as well as the borrowers.

    Lenders could easily minimize their own loss by creatively cutting deals with borrowers to keep them in their homes and making substantial payments, but seem to prefer huge inventories of unmarketable houses and continued decline in value.

    Of course, when many made money by stacking the deck and betting on the decline, you can’t expect them to be reasonable.

    1. Hey dude,

      You do realize you’re talking to folks who fervently believe in protectionism for banks and lenders.

      They barely complained about the bailouts until they went to the auto companies. Now it’s deadbeat paranoia for as far as the eye can see.

      1. They barely complained about the bailouts until they went to the auto companies.

        Either you are unable to read and comprehend or you are just a fucking liar?

      2. You do realize you’re talking to folks who fervently believe in protectionism for banks and lenders.

        I guess that issue of the print mag devoted to the bailout, which hit the stands when Bush was still in office, and for which I wrote the cover story, was all just a dream. But a beautiful dream.

        As for these hard luck stories you’re positive are happening to innocent people out there, there are only so many times I’ll say this: I can show you the tax returns, the job history, the mortgage payments, the changes of residence and whatever other evidence you require: There is not a person in America who has had a harder financial time than I have in the last three years.

        So when you cry the blues about these unfortunates, all I can say is keep the hell out of my body bag.

        And stop lying about our record

        1. “…not a person in America who has had a harder financial time than I have in the last three years.”

          If this is the real Cavanaugh, that’s pretty freakin’ sad. Are you homeless? Are you uninsured trying to pay for chemotherapy and radiation treatments? Are you in prison?

  21. “created by the lenders”

    Borrowers are also at fault. If you bought a house you couldn’t afford, it’s your fault. If you bought a house thinking ‘housing prices always go up!!!11!1’, it’s your fault. If you bought a house and weren’t planning on living in it for 10 years, it’s your fault.

    I could go on and on. Many lenders were stupid in many ways. One of those being lending money to idiots.

    As a responsible renter who recognized I couldn’t truly afford a home, I didn’t buy one. I want those houses to return to market value so I can then responsibly afford one.

    1. Exactly. I seriously don’t get thinking like this, from the previous commenter:

      “I find it odd that so many assume that only the borrower should lose everything in this mess created by the lenders. Both parties in a contract assume risk. When housing prices fall this dramaticly, lenders should expect to share in the losses as well as the borrowers.”

      Sorry, but an individual borrower has no concern except the specific contract he holds with a lender. Some “mess” that’s been created outside of that is irrelevant. It has no bearing on what is a pretty simple situation: Party X agreed to pay Amount Y to Party Z.

      I also don’t get this whole issue with a home’s “value,” and how its perceived decline has any bearing on the merits of that contract. The original post cites the example of a home, purchased for $400,000, whose “value” has dropped to $300,000. So what? When you bought it, it was worth to you what it was worth to you. That doesn’t change just because you happened to set up some arrangement to pay cash over time.

      When I set up such an arrangement to purchase, say, a car, I don’t suddenly feel cheated three years in just because the car’s “value” has depreciated. I’m merely honoring the agreement I made three years ago when I assessed the car’s value, agreed it was worth Amount Y, and set up the arrangement.

      Anyone who is financially capable of honoring their agreements, and chooses not to, is utter scum — and provides a walking example of how shitty human beings really are when it comes down to it.

      1. “Anyone who is financially capable of honoring their agreements, and chooses not to, is utter scum”

        Excuse me, but the ‘utter scum” are the lenders who engineered the mess, made the bad loans, bundled them and sold them to unsuspecting investors as ‘mortgage-backed securities’, and made a fortune by betting they would go down in value and ensuring that they did.

        Again, most people are NOT financially able to continue making payments. The lenders, if they forclose, are getting exactly what THEY agreed to in the contract. They get the property back. Only a damn fool would continue throwing money into a property the lender is going to take back anyway.

        Oh, I see. The contract is only fair if the bank doesn’t lose any money.

        1. Excuse me, but the ‘utter scum” are the lenders who engineered the mess, made the bad loans, bundled them and sold them to unsuspecting investors as ‘mortgage-backed securities’, and made a fortune by betting they would go down in value and ensuring that they did.

          Yep, that’s scummy. And it is absolutely irrelevant to the fact that you saw a house; you thought to yourself, “hmm, i judge that property to be worth 400,000 of my dollars; you decided to buy it; and someone loaned you the money to do so.

          1. Christ almighty, fucking A, stupid unclosed tags.

  22. How sad, I can’t imagine what kind of person would go out of their way to incite anger and hatred against people who are struggling in this economic climate.

    1. Yes, that would be sad, so thank goodness this post was not about that. This post was instead about people who can afford to honor their contracts but choose not to, then enjoy vacations and whatnot as the fruits of their deadbeat-ness.

      Yeah — “oh no.”

      1. “This post was instead about people who can afford to honor their contracts but choose not to, then enjoy vacations and whatnot as the fruits of their deadbeat-ness.”

        The only people doing this are the ones in this author’s head. Seriously, if you think this is a major occurrence than there is something wrong with you. Yep, all those surging airline and travel agency profits are all thanks to these deadbeats walking away from their bills. How sad, you were so eager to nod your head, and say right on stick it to those deadbeats. But in the end, the phantoms in your head are much easier to denigrate than anything in the realworld.

        This ranks up there with all those Phil Gramm is right posts we read towards the beginning of the financial crisis. If this magazine had any credibility left, I’d be amazed, but they’d probably say it was stolen by a deadbeat.

        1. Seriously, if you think this is a major occurrence…

          What does that have to do with anything? It may have happened a grand total of twice in the history of mankind, for all I know. A scenario was outlined in the original post; I commented on it.

          You’re the one turning it in something bigger and grander, with your breathless sanctimony about “anger and hatred.”

          1. “You’re the one turning it in something bigger and grander, with your breathless sanctimony about “anger and hatred.”
            reply to this ”

            No, that was the article trying to making something you think happened about twice into something grand and sinister.

            I’m just pointing it out. If you think there’s a more innocent motive involved, feel free to share, but it looks like hate to me. Taking an unhappy figure, a broke person struggling, and trying to make them out to be some conniving selfish person, HMMMMMMMMM what could be the motive.

            Sure looks like hate to me.

            1. Are you actually trying to play a pseudo racism/hate card here? Really? The data shows what the data shows, the conclusions are just taken from that. I’m sure you can come up with a million stories and probably a million variables. One just might be that people have an incentive to not to pay a mortgage and pay or spend elsewhere.

              You’re viagra prescription is too strong, your hardon hath runneth over.

              1. Sure am, but I’d settle for just plain ol ignorance on your part. Except he took that data, and went out into the middle of nowhere, surprisingly, there were no deadbeats. No, what he did was illustrate a villain to cater to his bias.

                His words were his words, the conclusion presents itself, and it’s pretty odious to say the least.

                1. You know this phenomenon has occurred before?

  23. Arrogance and hatred, that’s all this magazine offers nowadays. Oh, i forgot, we’re attaching ourselves to the teabaggers and corporatist republicans, i see.

    Funny, how fervently Reason defends the Tea Baggers against racism, but how silent they become when they tacitly toss that accusation at Ron Paul. Just something to think about.

    1. Whereas you love that Obama cock deep down your throat.

      He can’t spend money fast enough for you and you heap scorn upon any that oppose his plans to bankrupt this country.

      Osama couldn’t hope to do as much damage as Obama actually is doing.

  24. Lenders could easily minimize their own loss by creatively cutting deals with borrowers

    Does the term “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” mean anything to you?

  25. How sad, I can’t imagine what kind of person would go out of their way to incite anger and hatred against people who are struggling in this economic climate.

    Is this what people mean by “concern troll”?

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