Mortgages: Walking Away Gets Moderate Acceptance
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There's nothing like a housing crisis
to inspire moral ambivalence. In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, more than a third of respondents said walking away from a mortgage is acceptable in certain situations
. While a solid majority (59 percent) believes that so-called "strategic defaults" are wrong, an alarming number of underwater mortgages
in the U.S. appear to be changing the terms of the debate. In July, lenders foreclosed on 93,000 properties
, the second-highest monthly total since records began being compiled in 2005. According to the survey, approximately one-in-five homeowners are currently underwater -- that is, their mortgage debt exceeds their home value
. As of the first quarter of 2010, 14 million borrowers were underwater
, with another 6 million expected to follow in the months to come.
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