Learning To Walk: Fear, Shame And Your Underwater Mortgage

Learning To Walk: Fear, Shame And Your Underwater Mortgage

WASHINGTON — Nearly one in every four homeowners across the country owe more on their home than it’s worth. Once a month, those 10.8 million are faced with a question that cuts to the core of the American Dream and offers a confusing collision between a deep-seated sense of personal obligation and a cold, simple business calculation: Should I pay my mortgage?

For decades, there was only one answer for most people: Of course I should keep paying, it’s the right thing to do. Besides, the argument went, a home is a great investment. Today, in the wake of the most seismic housing collapse in the nation’s history, that logic has increasingly been challenged by homeowners despondent about their lack of options.

Although researchers find that some underwater borrowers who could continue paying their mortgages strategically default anyway, the vast majority continue to pay. Many homeowners, out of a combined sense of fear, shame, courage and morality, resist making what is otherwise a logical financial decision.

Walking away from a home, however, is more than the sum of a few business decisions. For many homeowners, it’s either an act of civic defiance against a system they no longer buy into or the end result of being shuffled around by institutions that don’t help them solve their financial problems.

While walking away is a frightening and dangerous step into the unknown, millions have beaten the path in the past few years. To find out what it’s like to walk away, The Huffington Post asked readers who were considering making the move, or who had already done so, to write in and share their stories. That was in January 2010. A year later, we followed up with them to see how they reflected on the experience.

Find out how it went here…



5 Responses to “Learning To Walk: Fear, Shame And Your Underwater Mortgage”
  1. FAITH says:

    Please everyone do not leave, stay in your homes and fight! Do not give away what you have worked so hard for.
    Stay in your homes!

  2. Pj says:

    CBC, could not agree more… Arriana Huffington is one of the select mental masturbator’s at Davos. Shuttling back and forth to her swiss bank account in Geneva in her personal helicopter!

    In fact the online Huffington Post is one of the top web site that tracks users and sells information.

  3. US and Them says:

    If there is anything the American people can learn from Egypt this week – is that they too do not have to take tyranny from a cartel of Government and Banking, solutions to housing problems exist and they exist with the people.

  4. Corrupt Bar Counsel says:

    The assumption from people who have the means – this includes Brent White and perhaps folks at Huff Po- can’t fathom what it would be like to simply not have a place to live. I could be wrong, but their idea is that you just “move to another place”. Where would that be? The homeless shelter? A campground? Skid row? Academics, writers at major news corporations, simply cannot imagine homelessness. Perhaps the neo-liberal idea is that not owning a home, or not having a place to live, is indicative of some kind of pathology with the victim, ergo, the neo-liberal supports the status quo and won’t challenge the corruption.
    I theorize that the anaylsis on the victims keeps the press away from the real criminals who created the mess to begin with. Huff is keenly aware of how they stay financially afloat, and their so-called objectivity is letting thieves get away with it. Most of the press will never challenge power, but instead will focus on the personal tragedies with the pretense of investigative reporting.

  5. l vent says:

    Just the latest Government scheme. The Huff Post is now telling the people to just walk away from their homes that THE PEOPLE OWN so that the Government criminal enterprise can grab our land effortlessly? DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES PEOPLE. YOUR HOMES ARE PAID FOR FREE AND CLEAR. The Huff Post is obviously part of the criminal enterprise or are being paid to lie to the people. You are not underwater if your home was paid for BY YOU for a nominal fee to a bank so that they could use YOUR COLLATERAL to make hundreds of trillions of dollars in the BIGGEST PONZI SCHEME HEIST OF OUR WEALTH IN HISTORY. DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES. They are becoming more and more deceptive in the ways they want to STEAL YOUR HOME. THIS IS A GIANT GOVERNMENT THEFT OF THE PEOPLE’S PROPERTY. CNBC, the Illuminati controlled criminal enterprise were telling people the same garbage. DO NOT walk away because_ YOU OWN IT_ NOT FANNIE/FREDDIE, the banks/loan servicers or the Government.

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