Let’s start the day off with some light news:
Little by little, millions of Americans surrendered equity in their homes in recent years. Lulled by good times, they borrowed — sometimes heavily — against the roofs over their heads.
Now the bill is coming due. As the housing market spirals downward, home equity loans, which turn home sweet home into cash sweet cash, are becoming the next flash point in the mortgage crisis.
Americans owe a staggering $1.1 trillion on home equity loans — and banks are increasingly worried they may not get some of that money back.
To get it, many lenders are taking the extraordinary step of preventing some people from selling their homes or refinancing their mortgages unless they pay off all or part of their home equity loans first. In the past, when home prices were not falling, lenders did not resort to these measures.
Let the good times roll.
*** Update ***
This is helpful: