A headline in the Arizona Daily Star yesterday read: “Think twice before using your house as ATM, experts in Tucson advise.” Solid advice, but so banal you have to ask: are there really a lot of people who have enough equity in their homes today to borrow large sums? And who would think borrowing money against your house to be repaid over 30 years, to buy a car that has a useful life of no more than one-third that long, is anything approaching a good idea? If you take the Star article at face value, however, there are people who are doing just that.
The larger question is: didn’t anybody learn anything from what happened less than ten years ago, when there was tremendous borrowing amid a big run-up in real estate values, followed by a steep decline in values?
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