Thursday, February 12, 2009

Treasury Secretary is a debt junkie himself

Voltron says: this is from an Associated Press story that seems to have been buried.

The [Geithners] bought a home in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Md., in 1992 for $275,000, taking a mortgage of $202,300. Through a series of refinancings and the sale of two properties, they climbed the economic ladder until they bought a house for $1.6 million in Larchmont, N.Y., in 2004.

All of the Geithners' mortgages - from big banks including Nationsbanc, which is now Bank of America; Chase Manhattan, which is now J.P. Morgan Chase; and Wells Fargo - carried adjustable-rate mortgages with the risk that annual rate increases could raise their interest payments to as much as 11.25 percent, though the couple tended to refinance or sell their homes before they faced a rate adjustment.

They also took out second mortgages, now known as home equity lines of credit, borrowing a total of nearly $1 million in 2002 on their second Bethesda home, which they bought a year earlier for $1,085,000.

In 2004, they sold that house for $1.45 million and bought their current house in the New York suburb of Larchmont with a $1 million Wells Fargo mortgage, later adding a $400,000 home equity line of credit, also from Wells Fargo.

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