YouWalkAway.com has been around for a few years and Realtors should be aware of their “strategic default” process in the event a consumer approaches them in an effort to short sale or buy another home.
Although as we mentioned, the service has been around for a while, it is gaining a new wave of attention as Fox News ran a special by reporter John Stossel called “Freeloaders” several times over the weekend in which he interviews the founders of YouWalkAway.com and calls them “disgusting” to their faces. To which they explain the legitimacy of their company.
According to the website, “you will immediately know the exact amount of days you have to live in your house payment free. We stay on top of your walk away plan and keep you up to date with weekly progress emails. We also will notify you if the lender is taking longer than expected subsequently giving you more time in your home payment free.”
Stossel then interviewed one of their clients who could afford the payments but values had dropped in his California neighborhood, and when his bank didn’t approve a loan modification, he chose to contact YouWalkAway.com. To be fair, there are likely other clients that have been in situations where strategic default was necessary, it is not uncommon these days and not all defaults are Californians who can afford to pay but choose not to.
What the company offers
Clients pay $995 and receive 30 minutes of legal advice, then the companies file the legal papers to get lenders to stop calling the client. They reject the idea that they are a scam, that they’re not buying defaulted homes, they’re just helping homeowners strategize. The catch? Clients may be enrolled in a “credit repair program.”
Consumerist.com reviews YouWalkAway.com as “Not recommended. Troubled homeowners should refi, get a lower rate or sell, and walk away from ‘you walk away.’” Is that fair or does this appear to simply be a quick way to help homeowners file papers and trategize their impending exit?