Q: I went late on my mortgage payments in order to get a loan modification. My lender did reduce my payments, but not my principal balance, so I’m still way upside down. I decided to walk away, but I wanted to buy another place first with my Veterans Affairs (VA) loan certificate. The mortgage broker told me I can’t qualify, because of the late mortgage payments.

I thought I was being strategic with my actions, and asked around and got advice from all sorts of friends and accountants, but it seems like I’ve ruined my chances of getting out from under this place, anyway. What did I do wrong?

A: Well, friend, you appear to have fallen victim to several of your own incorrect assumptions and fallacious lines of reasoning along the course of your decision-making process recently.

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