Million-Dollar Home Defaults: Just What the Doctor Ordered

million dollar homes
million dollar homes

When Junaid Nazeer's wife, Neelofur, lost her job as a pathologist for a private medical lab her income plummeted from $400,000 to just about one-fifth of that. Now Neelofur is working through a fellowship to be a pathologist in a hospital environment. In November 2010, six months after she lost her job, the Chicago couple realized they could no longer afford the mortgage payments and made the decision to strategically default on their mortgage. They had been draining their savings to try to keep up.

"We were putting money into something which was not going to get us anywhere," Junaid Nazeer said. The Nazeers' house about 25 miles north of Chicago had dropped in value from about $1.4 million when they had it built two years ago to about $850,000 today. "We tried to work with Bank of America, but they would not consider a principal reduction. While our conscious did not permit us to default on a loan, people we knew convinced us this was a business decision."

Today the Nazeers are clients of You Walk Away, which is helping them through the process of strategic default. They are part of a growing crowd of people who paid more than $1 million for their homes and now deciding to walk away. "Our clients include celebrities, pro hockey players and pro-ball players," says You Walk Away CEO Jon Maddux.