Delinquent Homeowners More Negative than Underwater Group: Survey
By: Esther Cho
Delinquent borrowers who responded to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey for the first quarter of 2012 expressed more negative viewpoints toward homeownership and paying their mortgage compared to underwater borrowers and those who have seen their home values decline. The data was collected to learn more about the attitudes of the delinquent borrower population that is oftentimes difficult to reach.
A much higher percentage of delinquent borrowers have considered stopping their mortgage payments compared to underwater borrowers and those who have seen their home values decrease. According to the survey, 41 percent of delinquent borrowers said they’ve considered giving up on making payments, while only 11 percent of those who saw their home values decrease considered stopping and 10 percent of underwater borrowers said they considered giving up as well.
Out of all groups, delinquent borrowers were also more accepting of defaulters. When asked if they thought it was okay to stop making payments if one’s house is worth less than what is owed, 23 percent of delinquent borrower said it was okay and surprisingly, only 7 percent of underwater borrowers answered yes.
Since its inception in January 2010, the Fannie Mae survey has found the attitudes of underwater borrowers are generally similar to the total mortgage borrower population, which suggests delinquency, not negative equity, is actually a greater influence on a borrower’s attitude toward default.
“Results indicate that helping keep mortgage borrowers current on their mortgage is a beneficial goal since the negative attitudes resulting from delinquency for the borrower (and those they influence) may be hard to repair and could evolve into ingrained delinquency behaviors,” said Doug Duncan, senior VP and chief economist of Fannie Mae, in a release.
When it comes to borrowers dealing with financial distress, 40 percent of delinquent borrowers said it’s okay to stop making payments if one is facing financial distress, while only 20 percent of underwater borrowers said it’s okay.
In comparison to underwater borrowers and those who have seen their home values decrease, delinquent borrowers are also twice as likely to be stressed about their ability to make payments.
For the first quarter of 2012, 82 percent of delinquent borrowers said they were stressed about making their payments, while only 41 percent of those who saw their home values decrease expressed stress and 35 percent of underwater borrowers said they were stressed.
The majority of delinquent borrowers (52 percent) are also more likely to rent than buy if they were to move as opposed to underwater borrowers (18 percent) and those who saw their home values decrease (19 percent).
Although there was little difference between delinquent borrowers and the general populations when it comes to confidence in the economy, delinquent borrowers were especially more pessimistic when asked if they believe home prices will go up. Only 23 percent of delinquent borrowers surveyed answered positively, while 30 percent of the general population said yes.
According to Fannie Mae, the reasons underwater borrowers and those who have seen a decline in the value of their home have a similar attitude to the general population is because they are still experiencing non-financial benefits of homeownership such as control, personal security, and the best environment in which to raise children.
For the survey, ,3,451 telephone interviews were conducted from January 9, 2012 to March 28, 2012 by Penn Schoen Berland .
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