There has been a great deal of hand-wringing about people with negative equity walking away from their houses. Today’s NY Times reports, though:
So far, however, there is little evidence that people who have the means to pay are walking away from their homes as values sink.
The blogosphere is full of tales of homeowners who supposedly are choosing to mail the house keys to their lenders rather than keep their depreciating homes. And yet “jingle mail,” the term for those tinkling packages of keys, appears to be far rarer than many seem to think.
Freddie Mac, the big government-sponsored mortgage company, estimates that just 0.14 percent of the defaulted mortgages in its portfolio involved properties that were abandoned by borrowers.