How’s Your HELOC?

Posted by Dave Fratello on Monday, May 12th, 2008 at 7:44pm.

The national news has carried warnings that several household-name banks have been freezing, reducing or otherwise restricting Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs).

There have been stories about the more hard-charging, riskier lenders (Countrywide, WaMu) cutting back, as well as new limits being imposed by Bank of America and Chase.

This was one of those phenomena that we, frankly, assumed was a bigger problem outside MB than here in town. And then a loyal reader asked for help using MBC data to back up a rough, conservative estimate of his home’s value. Why? To tell the bank how wrong they are about the home’s value, so they’ll unfreeze the HELOC.

That freeze, the bank’s letter said, was allegedly due to a decline in value. However, in that case, the real underlying issue seems to be the bank’s growing problems, and resulting extreme conservatism, not the home’s value or our reader’s LTV ratios.

From that anecdote we spin out to a new MBC poll of a different sort. Tell us: How’s your HELOC? Vote in the poll and tell a part of your story in the comments.

We’re really looking for homeowners with HELOCs to respond, but we’re offering choices for others, too.

No doubt along the way we’ll hear about which banks are cutting back on credit and which might still be offering it to those whose HELOCs are frozen or too restricted with their current banks. We welcome your input, even borderline advertising, as to which local, reputable lenders might be worth considering for those who need a HELOC or want to move theirs.
Poll closes Wednesday night at 8pm.
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