I think the primary reason people are choosing to walk away from debt is pretty simple. They saw that the financial institute was bailed out with taxpayer money. People who would never have defaulted are choosing to default primarily because they figure if financial institutes are getting bailed with tax payer money (which is used for bonuses) Then they can bail themselves out by not paying. They figure the morality of not paying is no longer a problem. Once you remove the moral hazard of defaulting on your loans that is where the problem is. And now I think you will see people defaulting and thinking it is okay since they are going to pay more taxes in the future that is going to be used for bonuses etc.. The whole "If its good enough for trump and financial folks, good enough for me as well."