One-Third Of Americans Find Strategic Default Acceptable

Although most people believe walking away from a mortgage obligation is unacceptable, more than one-third of Americans say it is okay, according to the results of survey from the Pew Research Center.

The survey, which was conducted in May and included nearly 3,000 respondents, found that 59% of Americans believe strategically defaulting on a mortgage is wrong, 19% believe it is acceptable and 17% believe it is acceptable under certain circumstances.

‘As the number of financial hardships a person suffered during the recession increases, so does tolerance for walking away from mortgage payments,’ says the report, which was written by Pew senior editor Rich Morin. ‘But even among those who faced multiple hardships, solid majorities still say it is unacceptable to quit making house payments.’

Responses also varied by respondents' financial conditions. One-quarter of respondents who say they can barely meet their basic expenses believe strategically defaulting is acceptable, while 14% of respondents who ‘live comfortably’ believe walking away is acceptable.

The complete report can be accessed here.

SOURCE: Pew Research Center


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