A troubling number.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080306/...ge/home_equity

Related: one of my favorite local writers describes how he tried to pay off a home equity loan only to be rebuffed at many turns. Also, a common sense view of the value of housing.

http://www.denverpost.com/quillen/ci_8452729

Which all plays into my theory that corporate lenders (not your local banker of old) as a core piece of their marketing strategy are looking for the vulnerable borrower. Keep flooding the borrower with offers of credit he hasn't asked for, or otherwise make it readily available, and some day he may find himself, down, depressed, or in trouble (if temporarily) and you've got one on the hook.

They won't ever admit to it, though.