Check it. I found this at HuffPo.
“Pain of Foreclosures Spreads to the Affluent” is the name of the NY Times article. Wait. Let’s stop right there. Last I heard, all of the foreclosures were because the evil mortgage people tricked the dumb poor people into taking mortgages they can’t afford to pay. Are you telling me that the rich people were “tricked” too? I’m guessing all of these rich folks feeling the heat from the mortgage companies — they’re all either trust fund babies or pro athletes, right? Because people smart enough to become affluent couldn’t ever be “tricked” into taking these mortgages.
I know it’s not possible that people knew what they were getting into when they signed their papers (because some people do actually read a piece of paper that is going to put them in debt for 10, 15, or 30 years), because the media tells me that the evil mortgage companies did it.
Let’s read the article together, shall we? We’re in Greenwich, Connecticut.
On Stanwich Road, for example, a house worth $2.6 million is close to going on the block. On Hettiefred Road, the owner of a 2,720-square-foot, four-bedroom colonial featuring a luxury kitchen, swimming pool and tennis court, has been threatened with foreclosure for months. Several dozen other owners in Greenwich have received foreclosure notices this year.
Oh. Oh. So we’re talking about a house that is “close” to going on the block and another that has been “threatened with foreclosure.” And people who have received foreclosure notices. All of that would suck, yes, but are the affluent of Greenwich really feeling the pain of foreclosure? I would think the pain of foreclosure is when you’re actually, um… foreclosed upon, and you have to move out quickly and have a hard time finding a place to stay because no one wants to rent to you when you just defaulted on your loan for whatever reason.
But there is a difference from most other communities. Auctioning off such homes is a far greater challenge here than elsewhere, as affluent but cash-squeezed owners often find ways to delay losing their homes, sometimes by coming up with just enough to make last-minute payments avoiding a final sale — for a while, anyway.
Come again? I thought the article was going to say that auctioning off such homes is a far greater challenge in Greenwich because the homes are outrageously expensive and people don’t want to pay so much for a house. But no. Auctions are a “greater challenge” there because people are able to make their payments. Oh noes!
Just ask John Thygerson, who parked his Jeep sport utility vehicle in front of the empty house on Hettiefred Road on the flawless spring day last Saturday.
As a foreclosure auctioneer, he was scheduled — for the third time since January — to sell the house. But the owner, a construction business owner who has fallen on hard times, made a last-minute mortgage payment and the foreclosure was postponed yet again.
Poor John Thygerson! Postponed yet again! Poor guy just wants to foreclose on a house on a flawless spring day, and the evil homeowner made a payment!
So Mr. Thygerson was there to shoo prospective buyers off the property, nod at inquisitive neighbors and stake out a new spot for a fourth set of foreclosure signs after the first three had been mysteriously torn down.
Here’s a clue to your mystery: The owner did it. Case solved. And poor guy, having to shoo off prospective buyers. Work is hard.
“We never had a case that had gone through three separate sales attempts,” he said, still dazed that the auction failed to take place. “Greenwich being Greenwich, foreclosures are a rare occurrence.”
And there you go. The pain of foreclosures is hitting the Greenwich affluent because… foreclosures are a rare occurrence. Those poor people in Greenwich who aren’t being foreclosed. I’d just go ahead and off myself if I were them, being able to make their mortgage payments and keep their homes and all.
Rare, perhaps, but not unheard-of, as the housing industry collapse starts to claim victims among the affluent. Personal traumas like business reversal, illness and divorce play a role. There’s no real pattern, with people as diverse as builders, restaurateurs and poker players at risk of losing their homes.
What? The evil mortgage company isn’t at fault? I don’t follow.
But even the most financially stressed of Greenwich homeowners have generally been able to ward off actually losing their homes.
Well, that’s just awful. People keeping their homes.
In the last 30 days, none of the three Greenwich properties listed for auction were actually sold.
In Greenwich, foreclosure filings were made against 100 homes last year, according to RealtyTrac. That translates into less than half of 1 percent of Greenwich’s 24,511 households, compared with a rate higher than 1 percent nationwide.
Note, that’s the number of filings, not the number of actual foreclosures. This article is doing such a great job of showing me how painful it is to not lose your house due to wealth.
By 2007, the Connecticut Economic Resources Center reported, the median household income had risen to $122,849, with many homeowners earning far more.
I’d hope they’re earning far more if they’re buying multi-million-dollar homes.
The tearing down of existing homes to make room for new ones has continued despite the mortgage crisis that began last summer. And while prices and sales volume are dropping, Greenwich is not suffering as badly as nearby towns.
Greenwich is growing and building and not suffering as badly as nearby towns? I’m sorry, I missed how this article is about what the title says?
Through April 23 this year, 160 co-ops, condos and single-family homes sold for $290,000 to $30 million. That compares with 240 sales, from $385,000 to $12 million, for the period in 2007, according to the Greenwich Multiple Listing Service.
Just curious, are you comparing apples to apples? Was the $30 million sale a 10,000 sq. ft. house while the $12 million house is only 4,000? You can’t just throw stats out without the important supporting information or they mean nothing.
Still, lawyers working on Greenwich’s early foreclosure cases predict that most will never reach the auction stage because their homeowners almost always have other options.
As for the four-bedroom colonial that just avoided going on the block, Zbigniew Skwarek, the 41-year-old owner, came up with his own money to postpone the auction. Court records show he stopped paying on his mortgage on Feb. 1, 2007. But three days before the scheduled auction, he said, he gave his lender a check for $50,000.
Mr. Skwarek may not live in one of Greenwich’s most coveted neighborhoods. But like many residents here, he owns other properties, including an apartment in Greenwich and a home in Florida, and he can tap into that equity.
Now, there’s your problem. The poor rich guy who *didn’t* lose his house even though he didn’t pay his mortgage for over a year owns another apartment nearby and a house in Florida? He couldn’t have sold something to make his payments? Maybe he just forgot that he had three mortgages and only remembered the other two. I’m crying for him, really.
“I don’t want to lose this house,” Mr. Skwarek said in a telephone interview.
Then make your payments. Sell something else. We can’t have it all, dude.
Mr. Skwarek rented out the house after he divorced his wife, Renata, in 2004, because, he said, it felt too big to live in alone. But last year, he said, his renters, John and Arline Josephberg, stopped paying their monthly rent of $10,000.
Oh, it’s the renters’ fault! Of course! And if it’s too big to live in alone, maybe you should sell it. Do you really not want to lose the house if you don’t even care to live in it?
But public records show that Mr. Skwarek had trouble paying his bills even before he rented out his home. Court documents show that he also owes construction and supply companies more than $200,000 for unpaid bills on his home.
Good grief. I don’t even think I can make it through the rest of the article. The title suggests we’re supposed to be sad, but all I’ve read is that people are keeping their houses and/or are deadbeats.
He has a felony conviction for not paying wages to his workers and a misdemeanor for issuing a bad check.
Who gave this guy a mortgage?
Vincent Scorese, who owns a house next door and also faces the risk of foreclosure, moved out and rented out his home after he went through a divorce. He said that as a builder he became overextended and found it difficult to make his mortgage payments on the five properties he owns in the area. So he has put them all up for sale.
Finally, someone with sense. He can’t afford his mortgages, so he’s selling his five houses.
Mr. Skwarek says he is eager to hold onto his home, especially because it represents the culmination of his longstanding immigrant dream. Mr. Skwarek said he grew up outside of Warsaw and studied construction in Germany, France and Britain.
And studying not paying his bills in America.
Mr. Skwarek has still not figured out how he will hold on to his home. He will try to rent it again, he said. If that doesn’t work, he plans to move in and rent out his apartment. He remains optimistic that foreclosure will never happen and that his lender will help him find a way to escape his financial trap.
“They want to work with people like me,” he said.
People who haven’t paid them even the price of a steak dinner in over a year.
Mr. Thygerson, the auctioneer, agrees that he may never get a chance to do his job.
I hope he doesn’t work on commission.