Should I stay or should I go? Many American homeowners are asking themselves that very question when they find themselves owing more on their home loans than their house is currently worth.
According to a recent FindLaw.com survey, a majority of those questioned believe that staying is the right thing to do when asked their thoughts on walking away from a mortgage. Sixty percent of those polled responded that it is never right to simply stop making payments on their mortgage. Another one-third said it was only o.k. for a homeowner to walk away from a mortgage if he or she is unable to make their monthly payments. A small minority, only three percent, answered that a homeowner should be able to walk away at any time.
Rather than worry about the mounting debt and complicated finances involved with a mortgage, one solution FindLaw.com suggests Americans should consider more often is seeking advice from professionals familiar with the options.
Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney in FindLaw's Sunnyvale, California office offers some insight into the problem: "Many homeowners are currently facing very difficult and complicated situations involving their home mortgage, in some cases even including the threat of foreclosure," Rahlfs said. "But before making any major decisions, homeowners should consult with financial and legal professionals, including accountants, real estate attorneys and financial advisers."
In the end, FindLaw suggests that walking away from a mortgage should be a well-informed decision that includes looking at how the choice could also lead to serious and unanticipated consequences involving taxes, contract law, credit scores, ability to borrow in the future, potential for lawsuits, and much more. FindLaw.com offers homeowners a wealth of information on managing a mortgage, foreclosures and the legal implications of real estate decisions in FindLaw.com's Real Estate Center.
-- Michelle Croteau, Director, Marketing Communications
with Laura Strachan, FindLaw Portal Team