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Negative-amortization loan robs homeowner of $23K a year

Is foreclosure only way to get out of mess?

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Editor's note: Robert Bruss passed away on Sept. 26, 2007. This was one of the last real estate columns he wrote. Inman News is publishing Bob's last work as a final salute to the nation's most well-known real estate writer. DEAR BOB: I have a negative-amortization mortgage on a new house in Naples, Fla. It is now worth $140,000 less than when I bought it in January 2006. I am losing about $23,400 each year and will have to take out a $60,000 second mortgage to sell or refinance. Should I stop making mortgage payments and allow a foreclosure to occur? I feel that is my only choice. --Susie T. DEAR SUSIE: As you knew when you obtained that "negative am" mortgage, you had a very low monthly payment. The unpaid interest portion of each payment was added to your mortgage balance. The result is you owe more than you originally borrowed. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Just because a property has lost market value after purchase doesn't mean its owner should walk away. Whe...