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Tapping a Flow of Cash From the Credit Cri

THE United States may have already entered a recession set off by the upheaval in the subprime mortgage market and sharp declines in house prices nationwide. For the rich, however, the mortgage crisis and housing slump have created opportunities to leverage their real estate holdings for other investments.

“There’s a lot of talk about a credit crisis, but the fact is there’s plenty of available capital for wealthy clients,” said Michael J. McPartland, a managing director at Citigroup and head of residential real estate at Citigroup Global Wealth Management, where the average mortgage size in 2007 was $1.7 million on homes worth $2 million to $3 million.

From a wealth management perspective, the crisis is about house values and not about subprime mortgages, said Erin M. Gorman, national sales manager for mortgage products at the Bank of New York Mellon. “The wealthier borrower is going to ride the storm out,” she said.

For many rich people, that means repositioning their investment portfolios, and a big part of that is being accomplished by borrowing

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