Stop paying your mortgage today!… and be a victim!
A few days ago a friend of mine placed a very interesting link on my wall and included this message:
“This story made me think of your blog. Dominique, I would love to hear your opinion on this.”
Well, if you know me, and lets be honest you don’t… yet. When people want my opinion, I give it to them. When you don’t want my opinion, I still have one. I might not give it to you, but when you’re not looking my opinion is looming over you waiting to pounce.
The articles is titled: A million-dollar mortgage goes unpaid for years while couple fights foreclosure.
Say what now? With a title like that, who the hell wouldn’t click the link and read the article?
It’s a Washington Post article and like all news sites they want to maximize page views and ad space so they require you to click through 6 pages to read the whole article.
I highly suggest you read the whole article, but I’ll give you the cliff notes version.
This couple Keith and Janet Ritter have a rags to riches story, and they took advantage of hot real estate market to become rich. They went from hamburger helper to filet mignon! From a 15 year old Hyundai to a New Mercedes. They were living the life! Feeling invincible (who wouldn’t?)
“During the boom, they set out to become mini real estate moguls, buying properties and flipping them for a profit. In the process, Keith Ritter, 54, went from being on probation for bankruptcy fraud and making minimum wage to being a successful real estate investor and landlord with a six-figure income. Then, when the housing market tanked five years ago, the couple found themselves facing multiple foreclosures.”
See, the financial pundits always tell you when to get it, but they never tell you when to get out now do they?
This couple bet everything on black and spun the real estate roulette again this time with 1.29 million on the table. They bought the most mansion of mansions, named it “Gods House” and all. Because obviously the big man upstairs wanted you to ball out beyond measure and shine on your haters.
Unfortunately, the ball landed on 00 (big guy upstairs has a funny sense of humor, I guess) when they moved into the 4900 square foot mansion on the river. By this I mean that the home’s value plummeted. They couldn’t flip it, and they were stuck with a home they couldn’t afford.
So, they have been using various tactics to hold off foreclosure for the last 5 years, all while not paying 1 cent to the their lien holder since moving into the mansion.
How Did They Do It?
The Ritters have kept the sheriff at bay by repeatedly filing for bankruptcy and by exploiting changes in Maryland’s laws designed to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure.
This couple has gamed the system to make money and is gaming the system to stay in a house that they should have been evicted from years ago. I applaud their working of the legal system to stave off foreclosure time and time again, but I hope these people are not looking for sympathy (they were).
Let me get this straight, when they were flipping overpriced homes and purchasing luxury goods everything was all good. But, when the market bottomed out, and they had to have skills to make money… woe is me?
He had the nerve to say, “real estate is all I know.” Apparently not, since you can’t make it work in a down market and oh… and that whole… fraud thing.
The thing that really burnt me up was the complete hypocrisy of it all. These people claimed to religious and into the church, but they clearly violated the biblical principles concerning debt to maintain a pretentious lifestyle. They didn’t even bat an eye at their wrong doings. They didn’t considered they were wrong for speculating!
Call to action!
Do you sympathize with this couple? Specify why or why not in the comments.