It’s hard to believe anyone would willingly walk away from their home. But everyday, more and more upset homeowners are choosing a strategic default to foreclose or short sale . A strategic default happens when a homeowner decides to stop paying their mortgage even if they are financially able to. Here are four reasons homeowners chose to strategically default.

1)  Ethics 101: There are plenty of homeowners who would love to walk away from their crippling mortgage payments, but many feel that a strategic default is an unethical move. They feel morally obligated to pay back their debts because they having a contract. On the other hand, those willing to strategically default argue that the lenders broke their contractual agreements when they were handing out poorly constructed loans to eager homeowners.

2) Revised Priorities: A startling number of homeowners find it easier to make their mortgage a less than number one priority leading to an increased rate of short sales and foreclosures. Some homeowners choose to strategically default because they have other debts they consider more important. A 2010 TransUnion trend study reported that people were maintaining car payments as their first priority, credit cards as second, and mortgages last.

3)  Easing Living: Foreclosures and short sales can be a very lengthy process. Foreclosures typically begin three to six months after the first missed mortgage payment, and short sales could take up to a year! Homeowners who plan to strategically default are aware of this time consuming process and will intentionally plan to continue living in their house for free while the lenders process the details.

4) Tired of losing money: Many distressed homeowners owe 50 percent or more on their home than what it’s worth and feel every house payment they make digs them deeper into a sinking housing market. They’ll never sell their home or recoup their losses and choose to escape by just walking away.

Whatever your choice as a homeowner, be sure to speak to a real estate attorney before making any dramatic decisions as strategic default will harm your credit report. For a list of foreclosed homes in the San Diego Area visit

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This is filed under Foreclosures.

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