The Washington Post reported on a national study done by credit bureau Experian and consulting company Oliver Wyman on 24 million credit files.
The results of the study are both surprising and very revealing:
*** HOMEOWNERS WITH HIGH CREDIT SCORES ARE 50 PERCENT MORE LIKELY TO DEFAULT (DELIBERATELY) ON THEIR MORTGAGES ***
So much so that the mortgage industry calls these "STRATEGIC DEFAULTS" and their numbers doubled to 588,000 from 2007 to 2008, well beyond most earlier estimates...
The study also highlighted:
- These defaulters tend to go straight from paying their mortgages dependably to not paying at all, and two-thirds have only one mortgage;
- Most are heavily concentrated in high fluctuation markets like California and Florida, where negative equity is more common nowadays;
- Homeowners most likely to default are those with large balances and the highest credit ratings!
- Strategic defaulters are aware of the effect of a foreclosure on their credit scores but calculate the pro's and con's and make this a business decision
So why is it that lenders keep insisting on raising the bar on the credit scores for buyers? Suddenly credit score is not the greatest predictor for risk that it was supposed to be... I guess they will have to figure out a better way in the future.
YOU'D NEVER GUESS WHO'S DEFAULTING ON THEIR MORTGAGES...
Source: REALTOR Magazine Online Oct. 2. 2009