I had a conversation with a friend recently and we discussed debts, paying off mortgages, and the housing market. The current debate: Is it morally right to simply stop paying your mortgage and walk away?

If you’ve lost your job and don’t have any money? Yes, it’s okay.

If you could pay the mortgage but simply don’t want to, and plan to pocket the money while waiting to be evicted? No, that’s not right.

If you bought the house as an investment expecting to flip it and are now deeply underwater on the loan? Well…maybe.

This is an issue for our industry. People walking away from houses and mortgages tends to depress values and discourage home building. People waiting to be foreclosed normally aren’t planning to refurbish their kitchen.

We all benefitted from the boom. Now we’re paying for it. And it looks like we're going to pay for it a little longer.

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