Millions of Americans are “underwater” on their home mortgages; that is, they owe more than their homes are worth. Many of those families could simply walk away from their mortgage, rent a similar home, and save thousands of dollars per year. Doubtless many decline to abandon their mortgages because they fear the consequences for their credit records and they want to avoid the cost of changing homes, but surely some continue to make payments simply because they believe defaulting would be immoral. While serving as U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson said that anyone who walks away from his or her mortgage is “simply a speculator—and one who is not honoring his obligation.”50
a. Make the argument that deliberately walking away from an underwater home mortgage situation is immoral.
b. Make the argument that walking away is not immoral.