Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Optional ARM

I've moaned about the "negative amortization option" on three part optional ARM mortgages here already. Basically an optional ARM an adjustable rate mortgage that lets you pay one of three payments (not by agreeing to it in advance but on a month to month basis):
1. normal payment that (if made each and every month) amortizes the loan after X months.
2. interest only payment that (if made each month) never amortizes the loan (the bank perpetually owns your house).
3. "negative amortization" payment that doesn't even pay off the interest, and adds the difference onto the principle (I'd rather call this the "default incentive" option - do this as long as the bank will let you, default, foreclose, and rent for the rest of your life).
Now the Economist is onto the stupidity (just so you know that I'm not making this stuff up).

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