Borrowers are opting to walk away from their houses as values of the loans eclipse the value of the homes. In many cases, the borrowers can afford to make their payments but choose not to, erasing earlier trends when only borrowers who could no longer afford the payments would turn in their keys. "It may not be a big thing yet, and hopefully it won't be," says David Berson, chief economist for mortgage insurer PMI Mortgage Group Inc.

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