There are nearly 2 million people who still owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth in the U.S., but a far majority of owners who fit that description say they are making monthly mortgage payments, MarketWatch staffer Andrea Riquier reports.
A recent survey published by the New York Fed asked underwater owners: “Have you considered no longer making your monthly payments on loans against your home?” Nearly 87% said “no, absolutely not.” Another 6% said “yes, considered but did not stop.” No one admitted, “yes, actually did stop.”
When asked, “Why didn’t you stop making payments?” 78% said it was because they liked their home and didn’t want to lose it, far and away the top response.
While it’s fairly obvious that survey responses are always subjective, the responses to this particular survey may be even more complicated than usual. For one thing, many homeowners who loved their homes but lost their jobs may simply never have been able to keep them.
But perhaps even more poignant is the 11% of people who said they knew home prices would recover. In the depths of the downturn, with prices down 30%, that was probably hard to fathom.Read More