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Walking away from home sweet home

September 21, 2009 | 11:12 am

Ken Harney's column this week at raised the question: Who is more likely to default on their home loan, someone with a high credit score or a low credit score? The answer:

Research using a massive sample of 24 million individual credit files has found that homeowners with high scores when they apply for a loan are 50% more likely to "strategically default" -- abruptly and intentionally pull the plug and abandon the mortgage -- compared with lower-scoring borrowers.

Seems these homeowners just make the decision and walk without the usual warning signs of late payments or falling behind on other debts. And, as you might suspect, the practice is more prevalent in negative-equity states such as California.

Would you bail on your house and mortgage? Call me a stubborn fool if you like, but as long as I had the income to pay that mortgage, I'd pay it and wait out the downturn, even if it lasted a decade. You have to live somewhere. And it's my home, not a business decision.

-- Lauren Beale

Thoughts? Comments?