Is it good not to pay your mortgage loan?

Is it a good thing if you don’t pay your mortgage?

The usual answer is a fat “no” after which comes a discussion of foreclosures, diving credit scores, ugly credit reports, deficiency judgments, loan denials and higher interest costs for mortgage loans and automobile financing.

And yet there’s a strange and somewhat logical theory floating around that not paying a mortgage could be a plus. The “excess liquidity theory” works like this: If you don’t pay your mortgage you’ll be foreclosed, but for a few months at least you’ll have lots more cash — money that can be used to live better and pay off other debts, such as credit cards and auto loans.

Mortgage lenders aren’t thrilled with the excess liquidity theory — and in no case should anyone expect a lower mortgage quote, a better credit score or think that foreclosure is a joy — but there may actually be some truth to the idea of better personal cashflow.


The foreclosure process has slowed to a crawl. RealtyTrac reports that nationwide it now takes an average of 400 days to process a foreclosure from initial default to the loss of a home — and better than 900 days in New York and New Jersey.

In other words, home loan borrowers might have months if not several years to live without mortgage payments before they’re tossed out on the street. During that time they’ll still want to have a car and use a credit card so those payments will be made.

New Study

Now, a new study by TransUnion finds that auto and credit card delinquencies are less likely among those who are paying all of their bills except for their mortgage.


Looking at this information, TransUnion says:

The study did not find any strong evidence supporting the widely accepted “excess liquidity theory,” which suggests consumers who stopped paying their mortgage loans during the recent recession had an increased cash flow in the short term, and therefore could repay other debts. In fact, consumers in the foreclosure process performed similarly, if not better, on certain accounts when they opened them further in the foreclosure process.

“There appears to be a pocket of opportunity among mortgage-only defaulters that is not the result of excess liquidity, but rather the unique circumstances of the recent recession,” said Steve Chaouki, group vice president in TransUnion’s financial services business unit. “This new market segment that the recession created is an important one for lenders to understand. They have the potential, today, to be stronger and more reliable customers.”

Additional evidence suggesting the “excess liquidity theory” was not in effect during the recession was witnessed when comparing consumers who were 120 days past due on their mortgages, but opened new auto loans at various times after their delinquency. The percentage of consumers delinquent on those auto loans decreased as more time passed.

A Different View

I disagree. Looking at the same chart it seems very clear that people in the midst of a mortgage default are more likely to make other payments, thus proving the excess liquidity theory. This is NOT to recommend a mortgage default, merely to consider how people behave in such circumstances.

What do you think?

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Posted in: Mortgages

1 Comment on "Is it good not to pay your mortgage loan?"

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  1. joel says:

    I dont think you need to payoff mortgage You will need all the tax deductions you can get at this point

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