It makes ZERO financial sense to stay in a home that's crashed in value, if you owe significantly more than the home is worth.
But still, it must feel so wrong to just walk away. Good honest people, professionals, folks who'd never ever think of filing for bankruptcy or welching on a debt. But they're doing the math, facing the reality, and smartly walking away now.
Welcome to post-housing-crash-America. Where foreclosures and bankruptcies aren't just for yucky people anymore. They're for anyone who listened to a realtor on commission and 'bought' a home these past few years.
Let the banks sort it out now.
America's house price time bomb
Faced with seemingly never-ending falls in the value of their properties, some American home-owners are taking radical action; they are choosing to walk away from homes and their mortgages.
In May 2006, at the height of the housing boom, Karen Trainer bought a $500,000 apartment in California - with money borrowed from her bank.
By this year, Karen still owed $500,000 on her mortgage, but her apartment was worth $200,000 less.
So she was deep in negative equity and, to make matters worse, the interest rate on her loan was about to increase.
"I thought 'this is crazy'," Ms Trainer says. "It just does not make financial sense."