That’s a real eye-opener because most of the talk about the ethics of paying a mortgage (or not) in recent years has focused on “strategic defaults,” or the act of walking away from your home mortgage if you owe more on the home than its assessed value.
A 2010 study by Lender Processing Services backs that up, saying that the average homeowner in foreclosure hasn’t paid his or her mortgage in 507 days, representing almost a year and a half of free rent.
But the Wells Fargo study stands that argument on its head. Nowadays, there is less talk of popping your keys into the mailbox and walking away from your home and more talk of personal accountability. As more Americans fight to stay in their homes and keep making payments, that not only helps their credit scores but also helps stabilize their neighborhoods and communities.
As Zakrajsek asks, "Has our moral fiber decreased as a result of this crisis? I would say the answer is no."
That “no” is a great testament to troubled U.S. homeowners, who are showing more moral backbone than many of the banks that went running to the U.S. Treasury for bailout money when things went south for them back in 2008 and 2009.
There aren’t any bailouts for underwater homeowners, but it seems that they’re standing tall anyway.
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