Thursday, February 07, 2008

Neutron Loans

Exploding Option ARMs.

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Joe Ripplinger took out a $184,000 mortgage in 2006 and makes his payments every month.

Now he owes $192,000.

The 66-year-old Minneapolis house painter has a payment- option adjustable-rate mortgage. It allows him to write a check for $565 a month even though he owes $1,300. The difference is added to the mortgage, and when his total debt reaches $212,000, or after five years have passed, he said his monthly minimum could jump to about $2,800, which he can't afford.


``We call them neutron loans because they're like a neutron bomb,'' said Brock Davis, a broker with U.S. Express Mortgage Corp. in Las Vegas. ``Three years later the house is still there and the people are gone.''

A million of these things out there...