Marketing executives knew that “second mortgage” had an unappealing ring. So they seized the idea of “home equity,” with its connotations of ownership and fairness. The phrase was also used for lines of credit, which are sometimes taken out by people who have already paid off their first mortgage.
But in the early 1980s, Americans were not very familiar with the concept of dipping into home equity. Charles Humm, the senior vice president for marketing and sales at Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation, had to go on a road show explaining the idea to potential customers.
He had to change the notion that only people in financial trouble took out a second mortgage, he recalls. Merrill wanted to sell second mortgages to consumers who did not need to borrow money urgently.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The Marketing of "Second Mortgages" into...
...a "home equity loan" disaster. The NYT has the backstory how this banking scheme has contributed to the current housing crisis in big ways: