The Rich Are Different

Another dispatch from the front lines of the class war informs us that the rich are more ruthless than the rest of us. And in other news, dog bites man:

LOS ALTOS, Calif. — No need for tears, but the well-off are losing their master suites and saying goodbye to their wine cellars.

The housing bust that began among the working class in remote subdivisions and quickly progressed to the suburban middle class is striking the upper class in privileged enclaves like this one in Silicon Valley.

Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population.

More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.

By contrast, homeowners with less lavish housing are much more likely to keep writing checks to their lender. About one in 12 mortgages below the million-dollar mark is delinquent.

Though it is hard to prove, the CoreLogic data suggest that many of the well-to-do are purposely dumping their financially draining properties, just as they would any sour investment.

“The rich are different: they are more ruthless,” said Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s senior economist.

The rich can also afford lawyers. In some states, despite your mortgage being a secured debt, the mortgage holder can still come after you. So if you’re going to walk away, by all means, do so. But don’t do it until you check your legal status.

One thought on “The Rich Are Different

  1. When it comes to covering the woes of the wealthy, the New York Times has chops no one else can match.

    But the breadth of the paper is what attracts me. They don’t only cover the rich — they cover the very rich too! — no, wait … they’ve actually probably thought about running a piece about an ordinary person who’s trying to find a job, let’s say, and still pay the rent, and can’t afford to go to the doctor to find out how much misery and money will go into not being able to cure whatever’s causing them to cough up blood, too.

    But it just wouldn’t be right to print a story like that so close to the 2012 elections.

    Or 2016.

    I love the Times. A paper for all of us, bless ’em.

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