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Foreclosure Blog in New York Magazine and Sacramento Bee

I was interviewed about my foreclosure blog in the New York Magazine feature article Say Everything about The Generation Gap and The End of Privacy. It has several examples of other young bloggers and how “internet fame” has affected their lives. Very interesting article!

New York Magazine

CHANGE 3: THEIR SKIN IS THICKER THAN YOURS

The biggest issue of living in public, of course, is simply that when people see you, they judge you. It’s no wonder Paris Hilton has become a peculiarly contemporary role model, blurring as she does the distinction between exposing oneself and being exposed, mortifying details spilling from her at regular intervals like hard candy from a piñata. She may not be likable, but she offers a perverse blueprint for surviving scandal: Just keep walking through those flames until you find a way to take them as a compliment.

This does not mean, as many an apocalyptic op-ed has suggested, that young people have no sense of shame. There’s a difference between being able to absorb embarrassment and not feeling it. But we live in a time in which humiliation and fame are not such easily distinguished quantities. And this generation seems to have a high tolerance for what used to be personal information splashed in the public square.

Consider Casey Serin. On Iamfacingforeclosure.com, the 24-year-old émigré from Uzbekistan has blogged a truly disastrous financial saga: He purchased eight houses in eight months, looking to “fix ’n’ flip,” only to end up in massive debt. The details, which include scans of his financial documents, are raw enough that people have accused him of being a hoax, à la YouTube’s Lonelygirl15. (“ForeclosureBoy24,” he jokes.) He’s real, he insists. Serin simply decided that airing his bad investments could win him helpful feedback—someone might even buy his properties. “A lot of people wonder, ‘Aren’t you embarrassed?’ Maybe it’s naïve, but I’m not going to run from responsibility.” Flaming commenters don’t bug him. And ironically, the impetus for the site came when Serin was denied a loan after a lender discovered an earlier, friends-only site. Rather than delete it, he swung the doors open. “Once you put something online, you really cannot take it back,” he points out. “You’ve got to be careful what you say—but once you say it, you’ve got to stand by it. And the only way to repair it is to continue to talk, to explain myself, to see it through. If I shut down, I’m at the mercy of what other people say.”

[ read more ]

Also, my foreclosure story finally made local paper, The Sacramento Bee, about 2 weeks ago in the business section:

Sacramento Bee article business section

Bob Shallit: Investor’s tale of woe winning big audience

Casey Serin has had more than his 15 minutes of fame. He’s been on the cover of USA Today, in the New York Times, on National Public Radio. Now The Bee.

The reason for his renown? The 24-year-old West Sacramento resident has been singularly unsuccessful as a real estate investor. And, unlike most people who’ve lost a ton of money, he’s been happy — eager, really — to talk all about it.

Last year he launched a blog (iamfacingforeclosure.com) that chronicles in painful detail every mistake he’s made since deciding to get rich “fixing and flipping” — buying homes, making repairs and then selling them for a profit.

The site has caught fire, drawing thousands of people who follow Serin’s every move like a soap opera.

“It’s like a train wreck,” he says of his story and the national attention it’s attracted. People can’t help but stare.

[ read more ]

I got a few calls from people I know who saw the local article. They are concerned and wondering how I’m holding up. I’m holding up OK.

I am continuously being blessed with awesome opportunities through this blog / exposure. Once one of these things actually kick-in all the mistakes, criticism and negativity is going to be well worth it.

Starting this blog and talking honestly about my adventures was the BEST or the WORST thing I have ever done, depending on how you look at.

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