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Equifax Incorporated
Home equity credit lines see a resurgence

WASHINGTON — One of the mortgage products that contributed to the housing crash is booming again: New home equity credit line borrowings soared 42% in the final three months of 2013 and were up sharply for the entire year, to $111 billion. But does this point to a return to the "my house is an ATM" mentality that characterized excessive home equity borrowing from 2004 through 2007, just before the crash? Should consumers — and the banks doling out the cash — be cautious about this trend? Researchers at Experian Information Solutions estimate that originations of home equity lines of credit — HELOCs, in mortgage industry shorthand — rose 58% in the final quarter of last year in the...

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