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Protect your home

January 30, 2008

Re "A house is more than an ATM," Opinion, Jan. 26

A few years ago, I discovered that my domicile was more than a household -- it was, and still is, a piggy bank in disguise.

This happened when the mortgage industry began bombarding me with pitches encouraging me to crack open the bank. I'll admit I was naive enough to be taken in by this new financial scheme and used the ready cash to improve the property.

Once hooked, I decided to purchase a better car and create an investment account. Next, I tapped into it to bail out a struggling offspring and shore up a retirement portfolio. All this said, I now have a humongous mortgage and barely enough income to make the nut on a monthly basis.

Meghan Daum is right: A house is really a domicile; a place to relax and embrace the family in a sheltered environment. It ought not be a ready source of cash, and it never ought to be a speculative tool subject to high-risk ploys. The time has come to cover the bets; it's really tragic to see so many of us unable to do so.

Earl H. Hygh

Mission Viejo

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