should we walk away from a house that we are under 200,000 dollars?

Asked by Jmmac, Murrieta, CA Thu May 19, 2011

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John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Tue Jun 7, 2011
I've answered this question so much lately it's starting to sound like my pet peeve. When I read questions like this it raises the hair on the back of my neck so get ready for my rant. If you like the home and can afford it without any undue financial strain you should belly up to the bar and hang in there.

My home of 30 years is just that. My Home. I've raised 5 children there, have almost 12 grandkids who absolutely love it, have just about every fruit tree, palm species, beautiful Plumaria plants, vegetable garden beautiful landscape, views, great neighbors, etc.

In the past 3 years I've lost over 50% of what it appraised for in 2005 and I'm way underwater. But ask me if I care. I love my home and would never walk away from it as long as I can comfortably afford it. Too many homeowners are cutting and running today when they really don't need to just because their neighbor is. You knew what you were getting into when you signed up for it or you should have. Let's stop the bleeding and be accountable for our actions and commitments.

If, however, you have lost your job, become infirmed, divorced or have some other legitimate hardship that's a different story. Folks go bankrupt everyday with these types of hardships in order to start a new life. But far too many homeowners are just looking for or creating convenient hardships or rationalizations for backing out of their responsibilities and just jumping on the jump off bandwagon.

If we as responsible American citizens, neighbors and parents don't make an effort to bring about an end to this bloodletting we'll bring our whole economy to its knees and won't have anyone to blame but ourselves. We blame the banks and lenders for getting us into this mess by selling us bogus loans that would end up impossible to pay.

In reality we had to be at the age of majority when we signed that purchase agreement. Sure, I'll buy into the naive and ignorant victim BS that's so loosely being thrown around by millions of underwater homeowners and homeowner special interest and advocacy groups. But where does the buck stop? When do we stand up to our responsibilities?

Just my opinion but it has stemmed fodder for my next post.
1 vote
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Thu May 19, 2011
Hi Jmmac,

If the only reason you are considering walking away is because your house is worth less than what you owe, no, you shouldn't walk away. If you do, your credit will be negatively affected.

However, if you cannot afford to stay in your home, you have several options - walking away being the least desirable. You can contact your lender and see if a loan modification is feasible. If that's not an option, your lender may do a Deed In Lieu Of Foreclosure. If that is also not an option, you can do a Short Sale. In the case of a Short Sale, you have to prove to your lender that you have a financial hardship (loss of job, divorce, job relocation, etc. - having negative equity is not considered a financial hardship). A Short Sale will negatively affect your credit too, but not as much as a foreclosure.

If you should decide to do a Short Sale, I would be more than happy to assist you. Also, if you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Here is a link from the California Association Of Realtors that may also help you in making your decision:

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
1 vote
Paul Rinde, Agent, Menifee, CA
Thu May 19, 2011
It would be better for you to consider a short sale or deed in lue before letting it go to foreclosure. A lot of us are having great success at negotiating with the lenders and helping our clients get back on their feet. Each case is unique and a carefull analysis of your finances, note ( loan documents) and title can help to determine what option might be best for you.
When looking for a Realtor look for both education and experience. Credentials can indicate education but not experience. Ask for references and talk to more than on Realtor. My office is in Temecula should you like to stop by to talk.

Best of Luck to You!
1 vote
Ryan Smith, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Thu May 19, 2011
Depends on your situation. If you are having a financial hardship you may have other options than walking away. As Real Estate professionals we will never recommend you walk away from your home but there is relief out there.

Good Luck!
Web Reference:
1 vote
Kevin and Ju…, Agent, Wildomar, CA
Fri Aug 16, 2013
Old post, but I'm curious how things worked out for you. Let us know if we can be of any help.

Kevin McLaughlin, Broker Owner
Berkshire West Realty
0 votes
Alexander Gr…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Aug 15, 2013
I was just looking through old post and I noticed yours. If you were not able to refinance at the time of the post, I can certainly help you out now. You can call me at 408-352-5147 or email me at You can check us out at I will look at your situation and present you with some options.

Alex Greer
NMLS #1056079
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Fri Nov 4, 2011
I thought this thread was dead. If this guy hasn't made his mind up by now it's probably too late
0 votes
Robert Newsom, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Fri Nov 4, 2011
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0 votes
Ryan Smith, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Thu Nov 3, 2011
Hi Jmmac,

Just curious to what you decided? Did you walk or stay put?
0 votes
David Burnham, , Washington, DC
Tue Jun 7, 2011
Very well put John. Keep in mind that if you want way, it may be 3 or 4 years before your credit is good enough to qualify for a home loan with decent rates. In that time, you are going to be trying to rent an apartment on bad credit.

If you can afford to stay, then do so and enjoy our home. In time, you will pay down your mortgage and your home value should go back p some and you will have equity again.
0 votes
Diana Doulam…, Agent, Temecula, CA
Thu May 19, 2011
Hello JMMAC!

Please join me this saturday at a non Profit organization called HELP. Supervisor Jeff Stone will be there, as well as other government and private entities. I am thrilled to HELP our community by getting them good advise, as there is too much misinformation be given. Here is the information:

This Saturday our HELP event “Distressed Home Owner Work Shop” will be held at the Realtor Board in Murrieta office from 8:30 to 12:00. Please register and invite anyone you know to register. Register @ and enter 1001936 as your code.

We would like to encourage all Realtors as well to invite local homeowners to learn about:
• Federal protection on rights the public must know
• How to deal with deficiency issues
• How to avoid scams and possibly get your money back
• How to possibly postpone & stop a foreclosure
• IRS issues explained
• The proper way for a HUD Certified Loan Modification

HELP Non-Profit with the County of Riverside, is scheduled for May 21 as a “Distressed Home Owner Out Reach” work shop, “Should I Sell My Home or Can I Keep It?”

We would like to use this as a leadership spring board within SRCAR to encourage our local Realtor Network to reach out to distressed home owners and offer terrific educational and counsel value HELP provides.
We envision a 200+ attendance. The “Big Room” has been schedule the for the HELP Event.

Thank you and hope to meet you there,

Diana L. Doulames, MBA, Realtor
0 votes
Dianne Hicks, Agent, Rancho Bernardo, CA
Thu May 19, 2011
There are a variety of options depending on your situation. I agree with everyone that states short sale is a much better option than foreclosure. Has anything happened to effect your income or ability to pay? That is a key question before knowing what direction for you to purse. Or are you wanting to walk away just because of the lost value? The more specific you are on your situation, the better we can answer or give suggestions on the avenue to travel.

Kindest Regards,
Dianne Hicks
0 votes
Cecilia Mutia…, Agent, Temecula, CA
Thu May 19, 2011
You definitely have options other than foreclosure. The govt and banks have made it so that you would not have to foreclose your home if you know your options. Allow me to start by saying that Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act of 2007 allow taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their own principal residence. This provision applies for 2007-2012. This is awesome you would not have to foreclose if you are able to short sale your home by 2012 and get the benefit of getting the 200,000 waived. There is more involved to short sale and would be happy to assist you in giving you the options, letting you know the provisions and where the market is now. You are not alone. I am an active short sale agent and have a team that assist with negotiate my file. I have personally worked with 25 different lenders and successfully closed and know the ins and outs of the distress market. Visit my website for more detailed information regarding foreclosure timeline, information, provision, and more . I can also be reached at 951-491-3372.
0 votes
Cheryl Somme…, , Murrieta, CA
Thu May 19, 2011
More than likely you shouldn't, but there are a lot more factors to take into consideration before blindly answering one way or another. Individual circumstances must be examined to be able to answer this question fully. We do specialize in working with distressed properties and there never is a fee to the owner. Please call me so I can fully evaluate your personal situation.

Cheryl Sommerville - Broker
HomeQuest Properties, Inc.
0 votes
Becky Chapman, Agent, salt lake city, UT
Thu May 19, 2011
Never walk away from your Home, there are alternatives that are in your best interest. Call me for a free personal appointment to discuss your options.
Becky Chapman (951) 837-6565
Tarbell Realtors - Scott Rd Office Murrieta, Ca
0 votes
John Butler, Agent, Temecula, CA
Thu May 19, 2011
No, you don't want to walk away. You want to do a short sale. Especially if you have a 2nd loan that was refinanced, because they can still come after you even if you foreclose. I was speaking with a lady who foreclosed on her house two years ago and the 2nd loan is just now coming after her for $30,000, and now she will have to file bankruptcy.

It is much better to do a short sale, so you don't have that financial cloud following you around.

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