On NPR, there’s an interesting example of the predicament many homeowners now face. Thad Salter is an underwater homeowner who is actually one of the lucky ones: After swimming through red tape for a year, he was approved for a mortgage modification, which lowered the interest rate from 6.8% to 2% and cut his payment in half, but also extended the mortgage from 30 to 40 years. So what is Salter’s current state of mind? He’s tentatively staying put, even though he thinks it would be smarter to strategically default.

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