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Yes, you are reading this correctly. According to a CNN article today a Florida couple has been living in their home for the past 5 years and has not made a single mortgage payment.
To be frank, it didn’t really surprise me. Florida was one of the hardest hit states by the real estate bubble bursting and the mortgage companies cannot keep up with the vast number of foreclosures. Funny thing is that I was looking to invest in real estate in Florida before I came to Arizona to do the same. At the time (2005), I could not find a decent home in Florida, but I found a nice home in a Phoenix suburb with great financing terms. Thankfully for me, the market started to decline before I was scheduled to close on the home, so canceled the contract and got my deposit back.
I would imagine at this point, a loan modification is out of the question. This couple probably wants to just stay under the radar of the mortgage company. And thanks for CNN, they may no have much longer.
If you are struggling to make ends meet as so many are, my advice is to look into your options. If you haven’t yet missed a payment, the Home Affordable Refinance Program has been extended and might be able to help you. If you are missing payments and want to get out of the property, a short sale might help. And sometimes walking away isn’t a bad idea.
If I were 5 years behind on my mortgage, I think it would be too stressful for me to stay in the house knowing that at any time I could be kicked out.. since it’s the banks house after all. Always read the fine print!