For most, foreclosure is something to avoid. But some Americans do it on purpose.
It's called a "strategic foreclosure," or when a homeowner is able to pay a mortgage but chooses to default instead, and lenders are trying to avoid it at all cost.
Fair Isaac, the creator of the FICO credit score, has set up a service that helps lenders spot potential strategic foreclosures, according to the Wall Street Journal. They are then able to intervene and offer alternatives, like a short sale, before losing out in a foreclosure.
The FICO rating model scores borrowers from one to 300, Joanne Gaskin, senior director of scores and analytics, told the Wall Street Journal. Any borrower with a score between one and 120 could potentially be strategically defaulting within the next year.
About one in five foreclosure are thought to be strategic in the U.S.