Sad Story of our Times


I was referred to an individual last week who wanted to know if I could sell his house. He’s a 59 year old disabled man who, as far as I was able to ascertain, has never worked in his life. He inherited the home following his parents death in 1993 and has been living there ever since.  There was no loan on the property at the time of his inheritance. His sources of income are his Social Security checks and rent from a separate in law unit at the house. As I was touring the house I asked him why he wanted to move. He told me because he couldn’t afford to live there for much longer. Why, I asked. He told me that the mortgage he has is burying him. He told me if he could get $800,000 for the house he’d be OK and could move someplace else and rent. In my opinion the house is worth somewhere between $650,000 and $700,000. When I asked him how much he owes he produced his mortgage statements…2 of them. He has a first loan of $645,000 and a second of $80,000, both from lenders I’ve never heard of. The first has been negatively amortizing. He also has $60,000 in credit card debt and to make matters even worse…he has terminal cancer. For the last 7 or 8 years he’s had a relationship with a mortgage broker who has refinanced him several times and on three separate occasions has taken equity out of the house to use as second deeds of trust, for other clients of this broker, on properties he did loans for in the East Bay. Payment on the seconds went to the mortgage broker who then paid this man. The aroma from all of this was stifling. When I told him he had no shot at $800,000 and a short sale would be his only way to sell the home outside of foreclosure he dejectedly told me he thought he’d ride it out. It’s awfully hard not to feel like he didn’t get ripped off. How does a lifelong unemployed person get $725,000 in loans? Where did all the money go? I gave him several options of people he could call to discuss these issues in detail but I don’t know if he ever will. He was real embarrassed by his plight and said he didn’t want to get anybody in any trouble. It’s haunted me ever since.


  1. Zaloezie says:

    That is indeed a sad stroy.

  2. It seems like I’ve heard this kind of story over and over again. It’s SO very sad. The whole last 10 years just seems like a long binge and now we’re having to sober up.

  3. I saw him again today. He actually has an appointment to consult with an attorney next week. I was really glad he decided to take the initiative. If anything comes from it I’ll pass it along.

  4. WOW! Having been a mortgage professional and wanting to “cash in” on real estate investing myself over the past 10 years I have attended many of the “Become and Investor”… “Training Camps” and my husband and I have invested a good $15,000 or more on coaching. Be it Foreclosure Bootcamps, Be The Bank Strategies (which is what this realtor was doing, Flip It or whatever… There are too many snakes in the water who attend these events and with limited information go out and either get hurt themselves or hurt others. It’s a shame.

    I do believe as consumers, which this poor soul is, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves on what we are about to do… a little research, ask a friend, get references – you know what I mean.

    That said… I hope the attorney gets this mortgage brokers license taken away – and he’d benefit from some good jail time!

  5. Ultimately, he got too uncomfortable with the idea of getting anybody into trouble and decided it really was all his fault. He spent the time he had with the attorney talking about how to file for personal bankruptcy and he’s planning on moving forward with that.

  6. This is incredibly sad but it sure seems like a common story in this day and age. So tragic!

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