Do you know what the real estate term “jingle mail” mortgage means? I didn’t know until recently, and I’m a real estate blogger broker (yes, I do sell Boston condos, hint, hint).

The Washington Post defines it as

With property values plummeting, real estate experts say American mortgage holders are increasingly walking away from properties — effectively choosing to have their lenders foreclose on them as a way out of the obligation — particularly when they owe more than their homes are worth. The practice is known simply as walking away or as “jingle mail,” referring to when a homeowner mails the keys back to a lender.

The prevailing sentiment over the last five to six years has been that a home is primarily an investment and secondarily a place to live. If it drops in value, just walk-away and don’t forget to mail back the keys. Jingle, jingle goes the mailman.