Walking Away

by
Abby Zimet

An intriguing, unprecedented phenomenon: With real estate values still plummeting and no real help in sight, over five million homeowners,
or about 10 percent of Americans with mortgages, are walking away from
their debts. Feeding the populist revolt are oblivious banks that, as
usual, "are damned if they will help."

"It
doesn't seem right that I can rent a place somewhere for half of what
I'm paying. I told my bank, ‘Just take a little bite out of
what I owe. That would ease me up. Isn't that why the president gave
you all this money?' " - Joe Figliola, a newspaper circulation manager in Elgin, Ill. whose salary has been cut.

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