August 25, 2007

Sorry HP'ers I'm gonna be in Prague until Tuesday. Head on over to Blown Mortgage again for great housing crash info and chatter

London weather is awful, so gonna get to Prague for the weekend. I'll be interested to see how overpriced real estate got in this ex-communist city. Maybe I could find something in a Soviet-style junker for a reasonable price. We'll see..

I'll be back Tuesday - post anything here that you want me to look at, use tinyurl, hit the highlights only, and also head on over to HP sub-teacher Blown Mortgage for the next couple of days.

I might get to a 'net cafe in Prague to moderate and post - we'll see.


Keyser Soze said...

Prague is a beautiful city.
Don't be taken in by the 'fake' concerts on the town square. There is a church at the base of the big bridge which has awesome Baroque concerts.....the real deal.

Anonymous said...


Isn't that 20 miles east of Indianapolis?

Anonymous said...

The country has a large industry of high quality lead glassware, called Bohemian Crystal.

You should absolutely visit one of the crystal works located near Prague.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time for HousingPanic to interview Milca Fanfan? She certainly seems to be living proof.

The three-bedroom bungalow that Milca and Josy Fanfan bought in 2002 in Brockton, Mass., a blue-collar suburb of Boston, wasn't their dream house. But at $215,000 it was what they could afford for themselves and their 3-year-old son Nathaniel.

With subpar credit scores, the Fanfans were able to secure a loan from Ameriquest Mortgage Co. with a hefty fixed interest rate of 9.5 percent. The problems began when their mortgage broker called at the last minute to say they needed to come up with an extra $8,000 in fees. Then at the closing, they were told the loan would be adjustable-rate, not fixed.

Milca tried to read everything she signed at the closing to learn how high the rate would go, but she found it impossible as sheet after sheet of paper was thrust at her.

"I had a gut feeling that this was not good," the 48-year-old information technology professional recalled. "They said, 'Don't worry about it, just keep your credit clean. In two years, you can refinance."

But Josy, a self-employed remodeling contractor, lost a finger in an on-the-job accident and was out of work for months. That put the couple behind in payments, and refinancing was out of the question. Meanwhile, the mortgage rate kept climbing.

Milca asked that the loan be reworked, to no avail. Meanwhile, monthly payments on the adjustable-rate mortgage have ballooned from $1,700 to $3,000.

"I've heard on TV where the lenders want to work with you," she said bitterly. "Bullcrap. ... These people are not out to help you, they're out to take your home."

Milca called her lender almost daily without response and piled up attorneys' bills and late fees. She had problems sleeping from all the anxiety, and her hair started falling out.

"Every month it was like 'Is this nightmare going to be over?'" she said. "How could somebody be asked to pay $3,000 a month on a mortgage that's $193,000? That's highway robbery."

Ameriquest spokesman Chris Orlando said the loan was made through an independent broker and that his company had worked with the Fanfans for some time to keep them in their home.

After foreclosure proceedings began in February, Milca was referred by her state bank commissioner's office to a state-funded agency (Jamaica Plain, Mass.-based ESAC) that fights unscrupulous mortgage lenders and brokers.

Through ESAC, the Fanfans negotiated a rate of 9.5 percent and the right to refinance in two years. The monthly battle to make payments isn't over, but Milca is working several jobs to make sure it is won.

"I want people to know they can fight," she said. "Don't be ashamed to cry out for help."

Anonymous said...

Hmmm if past performance is any indication Monday should be a 700 dow drop, every time AL-QWAFFER leaves shit happnes

Tulsa Time said...

My sister is in Prague looking for a house to purchase. See a good buy? Post it baby! Prague is bound to be a better value than 5th Ave. NYC. Not kidding you, my brother in law just got a great offer to work there. Keith, ya gotta post what you found there!

Anonymous said...

I left Prague and moved to San Diego. The ocean and beaches are very nice. That's something, you will not find in Czech.
Ooh by the way ... waiting for the condo crash in San Diego, so I can buy something affordable.

In Prague you have to have 20% down, in San Diego you have to have 3% down ... so I guess it's easier to buy condo here than there

Anonymous said...


The best weekend of my life was spent in Prague. 10 years ago after graduating college, I did the summer in Europe thing. Yeah I was a rich spoiled kid, so sue me.

Anyway, met a couple of wild and I mean wild Australian girls on the train to Prague. Unreal what these girls were into. Vegas Shegas, what goes on in Prague stays in Prague.

So I raise a glass to you amigo and wish you the best on your weekend.

Markus Arelius said...

Just wish the Americans, Germans and Italians would step back and let the city remain a Czech city.

Also, if you can Keith, head to Karlovy Vary and drink some of the healing mineral water....