Oh no:

New research suggests that when a home’s value falls below 75 percent of the amount owed on the mortgage, the owner starts to think hard about walking away, even if he or she has the money to keep paying. …

The number of Americans who owed more than their homes were worth was virtually nil when the real estate collapse began in mid-2006, but by the third quarter of 2009, an estimated 4.5 million homeowners had reached the critical threshold, with their home’s value dropping below 75 percent of the mortgage balance.

They are stretched, aggrieved and restless.

But there’s some good news:

Doubters cite a Federal Reserve study using historical data from Massachusetts that concludes there were relatively few walk-aways during the 1991 bust.

Well, that’s encouraging.

By the way, have any readers gotten “jingle mail” recently? Read the article for the definition.

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