Exec Says Strategic Defaulters Can Be Good Mortgage Risks
An executive whose prior firm advised homeowners looking to walk away from their mortgages says many of those same homeowners may not be bad risks for new mortgages.
Jon Maddux is a mortgage executive and founder and former CEO of YouWalkAway.com, a website which provides advice and counsel to people seeking to walk away from mortgages which had come to cost far more than their underlying real estate was worth.
Maddux has left daily operation of YouWalkAway.com, but has started a similar site, AfterForeclosure.com, which offers advice to consumers who lost prior homes to foreclosures and short sales to get back into the housing market.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have rules that preclude a borrower who has had a foreclosure from obtaining a mortgage for seven years, but the Federal Housing Administration will insure a mortgage loan with a formerly foreclosed borrower after only three years.
And Maddux pointed out that many of these borrowers are in good financial condition; that many have taken to money they had previously deployed in mortgage payments and used it to both pay other bills on time and also pay down other debts, thus strengthening their scores from the credit bureaus.
“What we saw was that consumers take a 100 point hit in their credit scores from a foreclosure,” Maddux explained. “A one-time 100-point hit that they can overcome if they are careful with their finances for a few years afterward.”
Maddux maintained that many of these consumers are not necessarily bad credit risks and should not be penalized solely for their foreclosures.
“If they have a long history of making their other payments on time, they are not deadbeats,” he said.