Thursday, August 12, 2010

Debts Rise, and Go Unpaid, as Bust Erodes Home Equity

Good article in yesterday's NY Times titled “Debts Rise, and Go Unpaid, as Bust Erodes Home Equity” (click on heading for full article link)saying the delinquency rate on home equity loans is higher than all other types of consumer loans, including auto loans, boat loans, personal loans and even bank cards.

Lenders say they are trying to recover some of that money but their success has been limited, in part because so many borrowers threaten bankruptcy and because the value of the homes, the collateral backing the loans, has often disappeared.

The result is one of the paradoxes of the recession: the more money you borrowed, the less likely you will have to pay up, it says.

Lenders wrote off as uncollectible $11.1B in home equity loans and $19.9B in home equity lines of credit in 2009, more than they wrote off on primary mortgages, government data shows. So far this year, the trend is the same, with combined write-offs of $7.88B in the first quarter.

Even when a lender forces a borrower to settle through legal action, it can rarely extract more than 10 cents on the dollar!

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