One in every 330 homes.
That is how many houses in Georgia received foreclosure notices in November according to RealtyTrac. Nationally, one in every 579 received a foreclosure notice.
With Georgia's unemployment rate continuing to hover near 10 percent, many people have found themselves unable to pay their bills, including their mortgage payment. Others may be able to make the payment, but have found themselves "underwater" and elected to strategically foreclose their home.
In a recent post, Dacula Patch blogger Cynthia Montgomery wrote:
"Let’s say I pay home taxes on a county assessed amount of nearly $300,000. Fast forward to now, the county has assessed my home at $170,000! ... For many whom bought a home in the past five years and did not put down a hefty down payment, they are now “UNDERWATER.” Underwater means that I owe more on my mortgage than the house is currently worth. In other words, my house is now worth $170,000 yet, I still owe $288,900 to the mortgage company. With families facing this reality, many home owners decide to do a "STRATEGIC FORECLOSURE.” A strategic foreclosure is when a family decides that they will never see the value of their home equal the remaining payment owed to the mortgage company so they make the strategic decision to walk away from their home and payment."
Are the people who choose to walk away from that debt making a morally correct decision? Montgomery continues:
"In my moral mind, I must think, have I broken one of the 10 commandments. Is this stealing? Is a strategic foreclosure stealing? Is a strategic foreclosure lying? I am giving the house back so what has been stolen? I am not stealing a house. Basically, I was only renting the home from the bank is what many feel nowadays."
What do you think? Is it stealing to walk away from mortgage debt when you are able to make the payments? Is it morally wrong to default on financial obligations? Tell us in the comments.