26% of mortgage delinquents default because they want to

A new study conducted by economists at University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the European University Institute suggests that 26% of home owners who go into default are doing so because they want to. The study was based on a survey of 1,000 people.

The reason for the defaults of convenience is simple: Record low down payments during the real estate boom combined with rapidly depreciating home values have left about 20% of home owners with mortgages underwater.

Even though lenders can in most states technically pursue mortgage deadbeats' for damages, that almost never happens. Usually they just take the house and let the person walk away with their credit destroyed.