Is this more anecdotal evidence of media awakening?
As stated here, there is absolutely no moral obligation not to. A mortgage is a financial transaction.
Where this essay in the New York Times fails, is in correctly identifying the reasons government attempts to persuade you that walking away is immoral. The NYTimes article says: “There are two reasons why so-called strategic defaults have been considered antisocial and perhaps amoral. One is that foreclosures depress the neighborhood and drive down prices. […] The other reason is that default (supposedly) debases the character of the borrower.”
Actually, the NYT only partially got it wrong. The reason government does not want you to walk away is because doing so would immediately cause a revaluation of the property to the downside. This would require a re-marking of the outstanding debt thus triggering a reduction in total outstanding debt.
Of course, if you follow this blog, you know that in an unchecked fiat monetary system inflation is the conditio sine qua non of the existence of government. Thus, the survival of government is predicated on the continued expansion of inflation thus on the continual expansion of debt.
A reduction of outstanding debt is contrary and lethal to the logic of government.
Deflation brings about a reduction of outstanding debt. Deflation is the enemy of debtors and nobody is deeper in debt than government issuer of the reserve currency.