10 Ways People Rack Up Debt


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Home Mortgages
Foreclosures are on the rise because many homeowners are upside down on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their house is worth.
Foreclosures are on the rise because many homeowners are upside down on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their house is worth.
Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

Thanks to the housing bubble bursting, many people find themselves upside down on their home mortgages, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their property is worth. This leaves many homeowners stuck in houses they cannot afford and they cannot sell. So what do they do? They stop paying the mortgage payments. If a homeowner can no longer make their payments, the bank will seize the property. Often this is the only option for the homeowner who cannot pay. Their remaining debt on the house is forgiven and written off by the bank, but the homeowner's credit is damaged for years. Due to an extremely long foreclosure process, the homeowner is often able to continue living in the house without making payments, while the bank processes the foreclosure.

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