A continuing saga:
The credit crisis is no longer just a subprime mortgage problem.
As home prices fall and banks tighten lending standards, people with good, or prime, credit histories are falling behind on their payments for home loans, auto loans and credit cards at a quickening pace, according to industry data and economists.***
Until recently, people with good credit, who tend to pay their bills on time and manage their finances well, were viewed as a bulwark against the economic strains posed by rising defaults among borrowers with blemished, or subprime, credit.
“This collapse in housing value is sucking in all borrowers,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com.***
An example of the spreading credit crisis is seen in Don Doyle, a computer engineer at Lockheed Martin who makes a six-figure income and had a stellar credit score in 2004, when he refinanced his home in Northern California to take cash out to pay for his daughter’s college tuition.
Mr. Doyle, 52, is now worried that he will have to file for bankruptcy, because he cannot afford to make the higher variable payments on his mortgage, and he cannot sell his home for more than his $740,000 mortgage.
“The whole plan was to get out” before his rate reset, he said. “Now I am caught. I can’t sell my house. I’m having a hard time refinancing. I’ve avoided bankruptcy for months trying to pull this out of my savings.”
Don’t worry, Mr. Doyle! You should have a $600 stimulus check in a couple of months.
Of course, noting this is a bad thing means I am some sort of pinko-commie leftard. After all, this is capitalism! The market will sort things out! Mr. Doyle gambles and lost!