Americans Shed Mortgage Debt At Record Pace
Low interest rates, defaults and refinancings have shaved more than $100 billion off the nation's annual mortgage bill — an amount comparable to all unemployment benefits for one year or this year's Social Security payroll tax cut. 'This is a form of economic stimulus that goes to Main Street rather than Wall Street,' says Nicholas Carroll, a journalist on consumer finance and author of Walk Away From Debt for a Better Future. When freed from a mortgage payment, people's first purchases tend to be necessities, such as socks and underwear, he says. Read more.