Our city here in mid-Michigan--Lansing--has been hit hard by home foreclosures. Lots of people have given up on paying their mortgage, either because they didn't have the money or because they owed more on their mortgage than their house was worth.
They give their home back to their lender or they have it taken from them. They think that's it and they can start over. Not so says this Wall Street Journal article.
In a growing number of states including Michigan, lenders are going after homeowners who are foreclosed on for the difference between what the house sold for to a new owner and what was owed. This debt is being sold to investors for pennies on the dollar and they go to court to collect the difference.
It's legal in Michigan and a small group of other states, according to the article.