By Ken Bensinger
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 21, 2008
Some folks celebrate their last home mortgage payment by setting fire to their loan agreement. Lately, some people behind on their mortgages are simply setting fire to their homes.
In what appears to be the latest symptom of the nation's mortgage meltdown and credit crisis, insurers, law enforcement officials and state agencies nationwide report a jump in home and automobile fires in the last year believed to have been set by owners unable to pay their debts. The numbers are small, but they're leading the insurance industry to scrutinize more closely what seem to be accidental blazes.