Mortgage Defaults More Common Among the Wealthy

America's wealthy are defaulting in greater rates on their homes
America's wealthy are defaulting in greater rates on their homes

It's not just the laid-off industrial worker or the owner of the rundown shanty that's tumbling toward foreclosure or struggling to stay current on their home mortgage. Contrary to common stereotypes, the current housing crisis is plaguing the so-called rich harder than the common man.

One in seven homes with loans of $1 million or more are "seriously delinquent," which is defined as missing three payments in a row; that's according to data compiled by the real estate analytics company CoreLogic for The New York Times.

In fact, owners of high-rolling loans have ceased paying their mortgages at a rate higher than the rest of the population. These borrowers -- in upper-crust havens like Los Altos and Orinda, Calif. to Wilmette, Ill.-- are faring worse than those with loans under a million dollars, where about one in 12 mortgages are underwater.

So, why are the rich the biggest defaulters?