Survey: More Americans OK with Mortgage Default, Likely to Be “One Flat Tire Away from Financial Disaster”

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In a new survey, more than one-third of adults say they are now saving less than last year, and 33% have no emergency savings whatsoever. The numbers get scarier for African Americans and Hispanics: 54% and 47%, respectively, report no rainy-day savings and are “one flat tire away from financial disaster,” says the survey’s spokesperson.

This is the 2011 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey we’re talking about. The results were just published today.

Among the more eyebrow-raising poll data, as pointed out by USA Today, is that folks are more likely to skip paying bills:

14% of Americans say they sometimes miss a bill payment, up from 10% in 2009

And that homeowners are more likely to view it as acceptable to default on one’s mortgage:

Under growing emotional stress, more homeowners, 34%, find defaulting on their mortgage more acceptable, up from 30% last year, the NFCC survey says.

The final report of the survey also makes it clear that people seem to be aware of just how clueless they are when it comes to personal finance issues:

Many adults (41%) would give themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance, marking a statistically significant increase from 2010, when just about 1 in 3 rated their financial knowledge so poorly.

America: Home of the Financial Ignoramus