As economic indicators go, this isn’t one that I follow in normal times. In normal times banks are happy to accept an application for a home equity loan from anyone who owns a house. Real estate is a good credit risk. In normal times.
But if you’re still looking for signs that these aren’t normal times–especially in the credit markets, you don’t need to look further than this. On Thursday, Wells Fargo (WFC) said on it will temporarily stop accepting applications for home equity loans given the economic uncertainty fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) stopped taking new applications for home equity lines of credit on April 17.
We know that banks have been moving to tighten credit quality standards in this coronavirus recession. Stopping accepting all applications for home equity loans goes a bit beyond “tightening credit quality,” however.
Today shares of Wells Fargo were down 5.03% to $27.59. Shares of JPMorgan Chase were down 2.63% to $93.25.
I own Put Options, a bet that shares will fall in price, in my Volatility Portfolio on my JubakAm.com and JugglingWithKnives.com subscription sites on Wells Fargo at a strike price of $25 and an expiration date of October 16, and on JPMorgan Chase at a strike price of $75 and an expiration date of September 18.