HOBOKEN, N.J. — While the housing bubble burst some time ago, it will lead to a second implosion soon, according to Richard D. Manning, director of the Center for Consumer Financial Service at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Since the early 1990s, the growth of U.S. household debt has soared to unprecedented levels, from less than $4.0 trillion in 1990 to over $13 trillion in 2008. During this period, home mortgage debt grew from a total of almost $2.5 trillion in 1990 to nearly $10.5 trillion today. Similarly, consumer revolving or credit card debt quadrupled from $239 billion to about $950 billion today.

Manning believes that the growth of U.S. credit card debt is substantially underreported by the official statistics due to the tremendous volume of mortgage refinancings that were transacted between 2001 and 2005. He estimated that at least $350 billion in consumer credit card debt was paid off through mortgage refinancings, home equity loans and cash proceeds from the sale of real estate over this five-year period.

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