A story making the rounds in local banking circles tells of an upscale couple in a big house at Smith Mountain Lake. Behind in their jumbo mortgage they mailed the keys to their house along with keys to both of their luxury cars to First National Bank of Christiansburg and walked away from the house and a lifestyle they could no longer afford.

Bankers tell me such stories are common nowadays and often true. The housing industry, living too large for too long on a boom that had to bust, is in trouble and with them the banks and mortgage brokers who cut too many corners and handed out money with too much ease to those who really couldn’t afford to buy.

We have friends trapped in this cycle, some forced to sell their homes at a loss to get out from under a heap of trash debt.

A banker friend tells me this mortgage crisis in this country may surpass the savings and loan junk bond debacle that struck in the go-go eighties.

Trouble has already hit the urban areas and it’s coming our way. And that starts with "T" and that rhymes with "D" and that stands for "debt."