Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Childhood Home Sold After Foreclosure

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is from a small town in South Carolina called Dillon — a town where the impact of the economic meltdown is being felt keenly.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Travis Jackson walks through his modest ranch house, admiring the kitchen’s built-in spice rack and the red-oak floors. He draws back the curtains, and sunlight illuminates the pride on his face.

The young banker just bought Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s childhood home at a foreclosure sale.

“This is where it all happened,” marvels Mr. Jackson, a 27-year-old loan officer at First Citizens Bancorp, which is down the street from the old Bernanke place. “Kind of a surreal feeling, isn’t it?”

Bernanke refused to comment on theWall Street Journal’s story, but he told 60 Minutes that he was sorry to hear about the home’s sale:

“When you first heard that your childhood home had gone into foreclosure, what did you think?” Pelley asked.

“Well, I was sorry to hear it. But, you know, in a way, I wasn’t surprised. Dillon has taken, you know, a pretty big hit in the economic downturn. Unemployment rate’s about 14 percent. And there have been a good number of foreclosures and plant closings and those things I think about that,” Bernanke said.

Now other details of Bernanke’s South Carolina youth are emerging. It’s sort of cute, actually. Did you know he was in the marching band and spent summers waiting tables at South of the Border?

As for the people who lost the house, it seems they were given a 10.1% fixed rate mortgage back in 2006.

Landmark Mortgage, a Dillon finance company, gave the couple a 10.1%, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, well above the rate for a prime loan. Their payments on the $123,000 mortgage came to $1,088 a month, including principal and interest. Landmark transferred the couple’s loan to Option One Mortgage Corp., then a unit of H&R Block Inc., which packaged it with other mortgages into an $818 million security.

Fed Chief’s Boyhood Home Is Sold After Foreclosure [WSJ]
Ben Bernanke’s Greatest Challenge [CBS]
(Rebecca Ducker for The Wall Street Journal)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.