That’s the segment I did with someone who walked away from his mortgage, his home, and his $120,000 down payment after wrestling with the bank for months. It’s powerful, and it’s hopeful.
“It feels great,” Burton said without hesitation. “I’m starting again. I’ve still got my talent; I’ve got my intelligence. I’ve got my health. At least I’m free of the enormous amount of stress that I had and the frustration of doing the best I could and it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t working. Ultimately, I made a decision that my physical and mental health was more valuable than this house and my investment in it.”
At this point in the housing crisis, if you’re having problems, it’s clear that no authority is coming to help you. Not bank regulators. Not Obama. Not the Republicans or Democrats in Congress. And especially not your bank. But the good news is there is hope. You have options. Ryan Grim, Lucia Graves, and Arthur Delaney interviewed 50 people thinking of walking away from their mortgages, and then interviewed them a year later. They wrote up what they found. For those who were able to walk away, it was a profoundly liberating experience.