Interesting survey here. 88% of respondents self-classify themselves as “strategic defaulters” and 68% say the walked away because the property fell in value (in contrast to hardship and being unable to make their payments, at least as I read the survey). 97% say they would recommend the same course of action to others. Interesting quote from one client who touted their financial savvy in being able to save their mortgage payments for two years while the foreclosure process was in process.
The findings here are generally consistent with the “option” model of foreclosures that I discussed here (among other places). The last figure (97% would recommend walking away to a family member) is especially striking because it suggests how information flows and norms change through society and the economy.