'Walking Away' Loses Couple $116,000 in Cash


Walking away from your underwater home, even temporarily, can have serious consequences. Just ask Willard and Holly Brown, who lost $116,000 by walking away from their house in Clarkston, Wash.

The Browns, who owned a home with a filed homestead exemption -- which protects a home from creditors in certain circumstances -- fell into some financial troubles with their company WW Cedar, based in Idaho.

Unable to pay back a $200,000 small business loan from Wells Fargo secured by their home, they figured they were underwater between that debt and their mortgage with Alaska USA Mortgage Company, so they walked away. Although they claimed they left temporarily, the court ruled otherwise based on a contested series of events.