September 22nd, 2006   8:49 pm

Is This a Scam? Goals for This Blog

Reading through the initial feedback I received, many people think that I am making this up. They think I’m just blogging about facing foreclosure to get traffic, exposure, leads, whatever.

You may also be thinking:

  • Why would I share my financial details with the world and risk being embarrassed, criticized, made fun of or taken advantage of? Don’t people in distress normally want to hide and save face?
  • Why would I talk about “shady loans“?
  • Am I really facing foreclosure on all these houses?
  • How can I be so calm talking about my distress?

I was amazed that people mistake my honesty for a scam.

However, I understand how that may be. I went from being embarrassed and distressed about my situation to being confident about overcoming it, learning from it and sharing it publicly. Maybe it’s my new-found confidence that made people suspect it to be a scam.

Nevertheless, I still feel down about the whole situation and feel sorry for making bad moves this year that caused me to get over-extended. But, instead of crying about it I decided that I will be writing about it…

My goals for IamFacingForeclosure.com:

[Updated September 29th, 2006]

1. I want to Sell My Properties Fast to Avoid Foreclosure and Bankruptcy.

When I realized I am facing foreclosure on 6 properties and must sell quickly - I started marketing everywhere. Keeping track of all the details and keeping everyone on the same page was hard. So, I started this blog to A) list the properties for sale, B) and organize all the pertinent information, and C) display changes/updates on the status

It was embarrassing at first to tell everyone that I’m in trouble. But then I figured, I will have the best chance to move my properties quick if people understand that the time is running out!

I also share my financial details to show publicly that I’m really in trouble. Banks want to see evidence of distress before they offer options like loan-modification, payment plans, or allowing a short sale.

2. Share what NOT to do in Real Estate as a Home Buyer or Investor

By telling my story honestly and in detail I have the best chance to help others learn from my mistakes. The lessons I’m learning are costly and painful. I don’t want people re-inventing the wheel like I did. Whether you’re looking to buy a house to live in or you are a beginner real estate investor. Learn from me!

3. Help other People Who are Facing Foreclosure.

It is ironic that I started my real estate investing business by buying houses from MOTIVATED sellers - and now I am a motivated seller MYSELF. Knowing first-hand what it’s like to face foreclosure I now have more of a heart for the distressed person. I know the feelings of denial, desperation, helplessness and intense financial pressure.

As I find solutions for myself, I will be discussing how to stop the foreclosure process, loan work-out solutions and options, forbearance, loan modification, short sale, when (and if) to file bankruptcy, rebuilding credit, etc.

I want to use my negative experience to help others.

4. Expose Shady Loans and Real Estate Practices. It is very easy for investors and borrowers to get into shady practices. Maybe I am over-reacting and it’s not a big deal. But maybe “gray area” type of stuff is going too far. I am NOT a Whistle-Blower and am not qualified to judge these matters. Also, needless criticism is NOT going to help anyone. I will be looking at “shady” loans only in the context of my own situation to see where I crossed over the line.

Expose Bad Real Estate Investing Education. Gurus that I learned from did not teach me anything bad. I was the one who took stupid risks and got over-extended.

Financial Gain?

This is not my primary intent. Though, of I can make a little money in the process via donations, advertising and referrals, that would be great.

Bottom line, why this is not a scam:

A) When I first launched this blog on September 5th, 2006 - I sent an email to everybody in my address book - friends, family, real estate contacts, associates, past clients and co-workers. In the email I shared the situation and provided a link to this blog. Why would I lie to EVERYBODY I know?

B) You can check all the facts. Drive by the houses. Call the lenders and verify. Check the public record next month for Notices of Default. It’s all legit!

What do you think?

24 Comments

  • The Real Estate market has changed…30% more homes on the market… intrest rates have been all over the place..
    Real Estate Brokers are retiring given the boom is over…
    so now what… read more at http://whyrent.net
    Question: Who has the advantage ? answer Home Buyers..
    current market sept. 06

  • I know you are from Sacramento did you here about the flippers that auctioned their house on the internet. You might want to do the same. You probly wont get a million but its worth a try.

    http://www.myebid.com/cgi-bin/.....ingID=2113

    Good luck!

  • I’ve been sharing your story with my teenager, in hopes of teaching him that making money isn’t everything - and it’s nothing if it causes you to lose your money plus your reputation and self-respect.

    To expose the shady real estate gurus, you need only provide a link to this site:
    http://www.johntreed.com/Reedgururating.html

    To help people avoid the shady “gurus”, you need only slap them and shout “wealth follows hard work and discipline! Free lunch comes from the government, only!”

    Good luck selling your properties. As a whistle-blower, you had more credibility before you signed the inaccurate docs.

    I am curious to hear what you have to say about the so-called gurus, though. Anybody who charges thousands of dollars to “help” people with “no money” to get ahead by borrowing money has got to have a full snoot of steam on them. The people who pay thousands of dollars they haven’t got have a full head of something else.

    As you demonstrate your hardship to the banks, be sure you disclose your income from this website.

  • So you are volunteering to be the example of the flipper that goes to prison.

    Ask and you shall receive

    People will learn what not to do from you.

    All people’s lives are either warnings or examples. You are choosing to be a warning.

    How about filing BK and turning things around. Then you’ll be an example. If you keep sharing that you lied on your applications you will certainly be a warning.

  • Casey,

    It’s been a while since I’ve talked to you, I’m sorry things turned out the way they did but we both know you’ll pull through. Be grateful of the time frame, in that your friends and family did not get mixed too deeply as investors / partners. As sad as it is to say, most friendships wouldn’t stand up to financial crisis very well. Money can be made again, and in this fury of grabbing what you can, be sure to hang on to your friends and family.

    If you haven’t read it already, Psalms 22 and 23.

    Your Friend,
    Aaron

  • 6. La Faux Veritas
    September 23rd, 2006 at 8:54 am

    Jeff,
    The buyers only have the advantage now if they DON’T BUY. We have a long, long way to drop from the current prices.

  • You definitely got guts kid. This might end up pretty ugly, it is definitely going to get worse before it gets better. But just try to keep a good attitude and never hault your entrepreneurial spirit. I wouldn’t be suprised if your a millionaire by age 40.

  • Just updated this post with links to related: Will I go to Jail for Mortgage Fraud?

    Cable Guy - thanks for the link to the million dallar house. I’m following up to see if I can meet the buyers and seller and get the full story. The house is only worth around 200K but they sold it for a MIL. Something seems shady about that one.

    Aaron - thanks for the encouraging words - you’re a good friend.

    Michael - thanks for the positive words, I’m thinking 40 yrs is too long to wait though :-)

    Traceroute - thanks for the link to Gurus. You know to tell you the truth the Gurus out there are not that bad. Some of them are overpriced and some give you watered-down crap. Most of the education can be had for free on the internet or in a book store / library. But even if you pay 10K for a “bootcamp” and go out there and make 30K profit then that 10K is a worthwhile investment. So I don’t want to dog the GURUS too much, except when they are teaching you to do shady stuff.

  • Casey,

    Isn’t “life about lying?” All you’re doing is admitting that you’re living life!

    George Bush says he’s religous but does he follow the ten commandments? Hell no! We know he lies, steals, covets– you name it! Regardless of his behavior, “God Bless America” he says.

    What you figured out is “ripping off people is easy” and you’ll have to decide if that’s what you’re about!

    Our oceans are dying, our water is polluted, the world’s major ecosystems are being sacrificed in the name of economic progress, you name it!

    I’m not religous but I respect what Christ had to say: “life is about repenting” and “forgiving.”

    If you continue along the path of lusting after money and power, you’ll learn to lie in a socially acceptable way like the rest of us do. However, maybe you’ll want to take the higher road and find something more noble to do too.

    $2 million isn’t that much these days– the 400 richest people on Forbes list were billionaires and that’s 500 times higher than your wealth or you’d need to double your current wealth about 10 times– minimum.

    If the homes go into foreclosure, and they’re sold, the banks might lose $1 million but then they’ll earn that back in interest payments and break even in 30 years– maybe sooner if they deduct the loss from their taxes since that might mean a $500,000 taxbreak. So, really, how much will they suffering. Probably not that much!

    In the end, the US government might send you a thank-you note for spending recklessly and, therefore, helping them grow the economy– all the way through bankrupcy.

  • t say if I actually have any power to completely change a bad spin in the media. I will have SOME influence though. I have a good story to share - Dealing with Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, and what NOT to Do in Real Estate. My primary goals are: 1) I want to Sell My Properties Fast to Avoid Foreclosure and Bankruptcy 2) Share what NOT to in Real Estate as a Home Buyer or Investor 3) Help Other People Who are Facing Foreclosure 4) Discuss Shady Loans and Real Estate Practices

  • * People will not want to do business with you. Because who knows what Casey might write about me on the Internet? If I do a deal with Casey and he doesn’t like something, what if he will try to “expose” me?? Who knows what Casey’s intentions are anyway? * You will have a bad reputation for talking too much. We can’t trust Casey. We better not invite him to any meetings. Most definitely we better not share anything about our deals or Casey might think something is “shady” and want

  • “Gurus don’t have too much to do with it. Most of them teach you good clean real estate investing skills. If I misuse the information, take stupid risks and get over-extended, then IT’S MY FAULT.”

    This is a joke,right? I have never seen a No Money Down “guru” who did not REQUIRE fraud to get the deals done.

  • Great site and kudos to you for trying your best. And those that complain or whine you twisted the system for your own financial gain? I am sorry but are there not hundreds of thousands of people not even US Citizens, doing the same? The mortgage lenders and banks used to be a fearsome group, heck when we bought our first Napa Valley home in 2001, I felt like we were meeting a judge and jury. We were sweating our personal and financial WORTH. Today? Even with the market soft, I could pull off loans and not think twice. The market WILL rebound, property is still a good investment, do your best to hang on and push forward until things turn around. If you bought 8 time shares I would say you are doomed.

    Great courage, keep the good fight. And remember there is no “Debtors Prison”!

  • 14. revenge of the gentrified
    October 6th, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    I have to say, that as a native Californian who has been displaced multiple times due to this real estate frenzy, and has witnessed the California landscape succomb to greedy real estate developers and get rich quick skeemers, I’m relieved. I’m sorry as such a young guy engrossed in American capitalism that you lost your head with greed. Next time you think of participating in a dot com boom or real estate frenzy to propel you into the stratosphere of American economic success, think about how your selfishness effects not only yourself, but communities and the landscape that you are exploiting. Happy foreclosure!!!

  • I’m sorry to hear about your troubles and I’m sure you’re not getting enough sleep at night. My senior citizen parents are on the same boat(targeted by subprime lenders). They bought a house that they felt would make them really comfy but they’re stucked with hefty monthly bills and a rising interest rate(ARM 2/1). I do hope your troubles will pass and I don’t think you’ll go to jail. I think the lenders should be responsible for each of these foreclosure because they are fully aware of the risks of potential buyers. The worse case, your credit history will be tarnished forever(sans houses, sans new cars… etc for a certain period of time and let’s just hope it will not be forever.). Remember, this is just a learning pace for you. You’re getting older and you’re getting wiser. Hang in there kid. A lot of people are sharing your pain– including my parents.

  • no money down looking to fix ‘n flip. I made some mistakes and fell flat on my face with millions in debt and facing foreclosure. Trying to avoid foreclosure, sell quickly, repay everyone, and blog my lessons to help others in trouble. Comments welcome! Email CaseyView All Entries

  • I commend you for telling people the truth. They are many pitfalls in the market and in the buying and selling that the real estate gurus do not tell people.

    I too get excited when I see the TV shows about buying and selling.

    With all the good and bad about the market, I want to take a chance and “FLIP’ at least one house. The TV shows make it look so easy that I want to get the idea out of my system by doing at least one house.

    I read your article about the 10 mistakes, I will keep them with me to make sure I do not repeat them.

    My goal is to do one house at a time. A few years back I worked with a doctor. He was a real estate guru, with over 28 properties to his name. He was doing great, with a net worth of about 3 million. But I am not a doctor and I do not have the line of credit he had, or the friend to go in and finance the deals.

    There was one thing he told me that stuck with me and I want to use it as the mission statement to my ventures. He said: “the market is not providing homes for the average working family. Banks are willing to finance 150K and up for a home with no problem. But homes for the average working family (between 50K and 90K) are not available. There is where the market is…”

    If you take the average working family (4) in the US (living in the heartland not in a high cost area) working at a good job ($8.00 to $10.00 per hr), if both are working, they are making between 21K to 35K per year. They can not afford an average home, because the average home is 125k with payments of $700 to $950 per month. The only housing they can afford is an apartment of a run down home that is not fit to live. This area of the market is not been address. In my business plan that is the area of the market I want to focus.

    My plan is to buy homes in the range of 30K to 45K, spend about 15K to 20K to make them something I would like to live on, and sell them for 75K to 95K. I want to provide an afforable home to the average family and make a few buck in the deal. My current problem at this time is finding the financing for the first home.

    Thanks again for all your information and I wish you luck. I will keep you informed.

    Juan
    Arkansas

  • I am facing a sale date in one day is their anything I can do to save my house.?

  • …everything in life is either win, or lose up, or down…

    I need some ribs, no sauce and a Coke.

    Baccarat at 50K per hand, anyone?

    - D.

  • no money down looking to fix ‘n flip. I made some mistakes and fell flat on my face with millions in debt and facing foreclosure. Trying to avoid foreclosure, sell quickly, repay everyone, and blog my lessons to help others in trouble.” What he really did is by questionable means, ( some say fraud), used “liar loans”, 0 % percent & cash back at closing financing, pumped up appraisals, and more dubious methods to purchase 8 houses in less than a year. Fast forward to 2007

  • CA. After going to a few seminars I bought 8 houses in 8 months in 4 states with no money down looking to fix ‘n flip. I made some mistakes and am now millions in debt, trying to avoid foreclosure, sell quickly, repay everyone, and share my lessons to help others in trouble. Comments welcome! |View All Entries

  • After going to a few seminars I bought 8 houses in 8 months in 4 states with no money down looking to fix ‘n flip. I made some mistakes and am now millions in debt, trying to avoid foreclosure, sell quickly, repay everyone, and share my lessons to help others in trouble. Comments welcome!” Ca sa intelegeti entuziasmul meu, daca nu v-a cuprins deja, recititi, va rog, articolul meu despre cel care a transformat o agrafa intr-o casa cu ajutorul blogului…

  • After going to a few seminars I bought 8 houses in 8 months in 4 states with no money down looking to fix ‘n flip. I made some mistakes and am now millions in debt, trying to avoid foreclosure, sell quickly, repay everyone, and share my lessons to help others in trouble. Comments welcome! via Economist

  • Casey:
    You think you got problems—learn from the Byrd brothers in Greenville, South Carolina who fell for the entrapment scams of the so-called gurus. The gurus are the ones who are getting wealthy not the suckers who follow their advice. ABC said you had spent 30k on their schemes.
    The Byrd brothers were a pair of almost dirt poor blacks before they went to the ’seminar’. They bought into the “guru’s” schemes and bought properties all over town. Bank of America, Wachovia and Piedmont loaned them huge sums. However, the would borrow from one bank and then deposit into another in a kiting scheme that lead the banks to think that they were more credit worthy than they were. It caught up with them just as your schemes have and they had the same problems that you have. Banks foreclosed on them and that was just the easy part of it hell that they had to go through. They are now sitting in prison (note: not Jail) for a very long time (as you yourself could be at Levenworth–if the Feds were involved) to come and they must pay resititution +interest to their lenders and others who invested wtih them. They not only hurt those who loaned them money they also hurt people who lived in many of the places that they bought from out from under them —leaving them in the street, homeless or living at the Salvation Army.
    South Carolina does not take too kindly to schemes like you and the gurus have been up to and particularly when many businesses and people get caught up into the web.
    Things are very sensitive here because of a Savings and Load situation in which the schemers used a kiting scheme to cheat reitirees and others out of more the 20-million dollars. IN this case the promised high returns on savings accounts (20-30 per cent) in a Ponzi scheme.. When a new investor came in they took their money and paid the interest of the older investors from their money. This lead to a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It worked for some 20 years when it finally came tumbling down hard against them. These hoodlums are now sitting in prison for some 20 years.
    Most people could do something better with their lives than sitting in prison for some 20 years, being victims of prison mind games, being sold as a sex slave to other prisoners etc.
    Looking at you —you should pray that you do not go to prison or jail—you have just the right young looks that might get you victimized, raped, sold and even killed if that is where you ended up by some of the pedophiles and sex predators there.
    In both cases above—these guys will NEVER ever have full American citizenship again as the result of going to prison—they will not be able to vote, they will not be able to borrow money legally, and they maybe denied work, a place to live, and other such punishements —even though they may have paid the fine and done the time.
    ludwig

  • few seminars I bought 8 houses in 8 months in 4 states with no money down looking to fix ‘n flip. I made some mistakes and got over-leveraged, trying tried to stop foreclosure, and still trying to repay everyone (if possible), and share my lessons to help others in trouble. CNET has him as basically being picked on by groups who think he’s a sniffling little brat for lying on mortgage applications and letting his debt inflate like that. And groups who want to learn from his mistakes seem to like throwing

  • few seminars I bought 8 houses in 8 months in 4 states with no money down looking to fix ‘n flip. I made some mistakes and got over-leveraged, trying tried to stop foreclosure, and still trying to repay everyone (if possible), and share my lessons to help others