Friday, February 29, 2008

Sgt. First Class Nicklaus Skaggs

Sgt. First Class Nicklaus Skaggs, 'Walker'
Mr. Skaggs isn't really inducted into the Hall of Shame, but his action speaks volumes about the Housing Bubble. I wouldn't say it was wise to buy a home at the price he paid, but he and many others are now getting wise. What did he say?...

........... Owning is Throwing Money Away!

2008-02-29: Borrowers Abandon Mortgages as Prices Drop
Other borrowers are walking away in frustration because they can't arrange a workout with their lenders, says D.J. Enga, director of outreach services for Auriton Solutions, which counsels homeowners nationwide. Mr. Enga expects that 10% to 15% of the roughly 4,000 callers counseled this month by Auriton, of St. Paul, Minn., will walk away from their mortgages.

Sgt. First Class Nicklaus Skaggs is among those looking to walk away. Mr. Skaggs bought his home in April 2005 shortly after returning to California from a one-year tour of duty in Baghdad.

The $455,000 three-bedroom home he and his wife purchased in Vacaville, about one hour northeast of San Francisco, is worth an estimated $285,000 today, well below the $453,000 he owes on his mortgage. The monthly mortgage payment, which jumped after its interest rate increased, is now $4,000, up from $2,980 when he bought the house.

Mr. Skaggs expects to be redeployed to Iraq again later this year. But he can't sell his home, since there are few buyers, and he can't refinance because lenders require a large down payment he doesn't have. Now, the 18-year Army veteran has decided to walk away from his mortgage. He hopes in a few years lenders see his decision as a unique situation created by the housing meltdown. "I don't think that house is going to recover in value any time soon," said the 40-year-old. "I'd just be throwing the money away.

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