68 Million Americans Believe it’s OK to Strategically Default on Mortgages

ID Analytics Survey Also Finds Millions of U.S. Adults Would Exaggerate Personal Information to Get Credit and Feel it’s Acceptable to Have a Poor Credit Score

SAN DIEGO, CA – Nearly 68 million U.S. adults (32 percent) believe homeowners should be able to strategically default on their mortgages without any consequences, according to recent survey results revealed yesterday at Advance 2012, ID Analytics’ 10th consumer risk conference. The survey of 1,026 U.S. adults, conducted online by JZ Analytics last month on behalf of ID Analytics, also found that 28 million Americans (13 percent) would likely strategically default on a mortgage and 36 million Americans (17 percent) know someone who has strategically defaulted on a mortgage.John Zogby, senior analyst at JZ Analytics and creator of the internationally renowned “Zogby Poll,” shared the survey results during his keynote address which offered insights on how the 2012 presidential election process can provide a stronger understanding of consumer sentiment, behavior and market trends.”Our research into the consumer opinion of the economic crisis of 2008 found alarming results,” Zogby said. “What jumped out is how many Americans feel it is acceptable for homeowners to walk away from a mortgage and go into foreclosure. If Americans carry on with that mindset, it will continue to cause problems as the economy undergoes a slow recovery.”A strategic default is when a homeowner, who has the financial ability to make the payment on a house that is worth less than is owed on the mortgage, decides to walk away and let the house go to foreclosure. Some of the survey respondents feel homeowners should be able to strategically default on mortgages because they believe the mortgage market has been a scam for many years, built on false promises that took advantage of people that didn’t understand what was happening and they never had a chance of paying the mortgage off.Other Key Findings:

  • Stretch the Truth— The survey found that 36 million Americans (17 percent) would exaggerate personal information to obtain credit.
  • The New Normal— According to the survey, 77 million Americans (36 percent) believe it’s socially acceptable to have a poor credit score.
  • Fear of Identity Theft— The survey also discovered that 75 million Americans (35 percent) are more afraid of becoming an identity theft victim than five years ago.

“Every day, the largest financial organizations in the U.S. use ID Analytics to provide them with real-time insight into consumer behavior to help improve their business decisions,” said Dr. Stephen Coggeshall, Chief Technology Officer, ID Analytics. “We commissioned this survey to get a stronger understanding of consumer sentiment surrounding the mortgage crisis/financial slowdown, in particular consumer credit behavior and identity fraud in our current economy.”Understanding the MethodologyThis survey was conducted online within the United States by JZ Analytics on behalf of ID Analytics from September 21-22, 2012 among 1,026 U.S. adults. Using trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time. Based on a confidence interval of 95 percent, the margin of error for 1,026 is +/- 3.1 percentage points.About JZ AnalyticsFor three decades, the Zogby companies have produced polls with an unparalleled record of accuracy and reliability in the polling field. Zogby telephone and interactive surveys have generally been the most accurate in U.S. Presidential elections since 1996.JZ Analytics is composed entirely of senior level executives from Zogby International. JZ Analytics, along with renowned pollster John Zogby, have continued in the tradition of conducting telephone and interactive surveys, while keeping an eye on the future by incorporating social media tracking and analysis into our work.JZ Analytics conducts a wide variety of surveys internationally and nationally in industries, including banking, IT, medical devices, government agencies, colleges and universities, non-profits, automotive, insurance and NGOs.About ID Analytics, Inc.ID Analytics is a leader in consumer risk management with patented analytics, proven expertise, and real-time insight into consumer behavior. By combining proprietary data from the ID Network®—one of the nation’s largest networks of cross-industry behavioral data—with advanced science, ID Analytics provides in-depth visibility into identity risk and creditworthiness. Every day, many of the largest U.S. companies and critical government agencies rely on ID Analytics to make risk-based decisions that enhance revenue, reduce fraud, drive cost savings, and protect consumers. ID Analytics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LifeLock, Inc. Please visit us at www.idanalytics.com.

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