House Repossessed? In Debt? Tough Luck!

I got an interesting news letter into my inbox this week, something which may be of interest to those on the verge of a house repossession or for those that are generally in debt and sorely need help and advice.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is about to go decidedly pear shaped, due to a large funding cut that’s being put as high as 45%. The cut will effectively put an end to a variety of CAB centres around the UK, the knock on effect being that those who need them the most may now find ourselves batting completely alone.

Back in 2010, Gov Inc. stated that they were looking at abolishing around 200 quangos (Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation), as a means of covering some of the monies they were hoping to recoup by way of nation-wide spending cuts.

Three of the quangos that were up for wipe-out were Consumer Direct, OFT and Consumer Focus. Gov Inc decided to sit their caseloads onto the shoulders of the CAB. Presumably someone somewhere figured that the CAB were able to cope.

Oddly, Trading Standards were also roped in to take up the slack along with the CAB. In the interim, Trading Standards have found that they cannot cope with consumer need, and having prioritised, those that are deemed not important enough are simply not dealt with.

Fast forward to the poor, beleaguered CAB 2011 – who have just discovered that, despite all the guff about spending cuts not affecting front line services (etc etc) and the recent announcement that there would be 27m allocated for ‘face to face debt service’, funding’s being cut anyway.

Here’s a very recent little snippet, presumably delivered with pride (real or imagined, I guess it seemed sincere) and delivered with good intentions that does, in fact, mean absolutely nothing in the face of local governments cutting back on CAB funding:

“It’s vitally important that everyone has access to free debt advice, and I am pleased to announce that the Department for Business will provide the £27 million necessary to maintain the programme of face-to-face debt advice” – Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Feb 2011

Oh … ok.

So let’s see. Gov Inc said that they wouldn’t cut funding for front line services. But they have. Gov Inc said that they wouldn’t allow bank bosses to pay themselves bonuses that exceeded £2000. But they have.

Gov Inc said they would be abolishing around 200 quangos as a means of saving money. But they haven’t. Crikey. In debt? Facing a house repossession? Worried about the future, your career, your prospects?

So long as you don’t expect Gov Inc to actually help you, so long as you realise that lip service is all you’re ever going to get, all will be well. Not for you. Not for me. But at least those at the top, that don’t need help, that already live in a manner to which most of us don’t even have the time to dream about, will be alright Jack.

You are on your own. Don’t say no one told you.

Cambridge Realty Capital Reports Drop in Loan Requests

In the first month of the New Year, Cambridge Realty Capital Companies reports processing 19 loan origination requests totaling $317.2 million, or slightly fewer than the same month last year when the company processed 22 loan requests totaling $373 million.

Cambridge Chairman Jeffrey A. Davis says the slightly lower numbers for January most accurately reflects changes in the way the company has been entering new loan requests into its internal processing system.

“Today’s tight credit markets have forced us to be more selective in the type of loans we can consider,” he said.

Davis points out that lenders close a relatively small percentage of origination requests received. However, Cambridge regularly tracks this information as an indication of market direction.

“The way we currently read the market is that conditions remain less than ideal but borrower interest remains relatively strong,” he said.

Cambridge is the creator of The Signature Experience™, a four-step process designed to transform the traditional lender/borrower relationship and identify “ideal” capital solutions for worthy projects. The company has a national origination office in Los Angeles, and numerous correspondent and brokerage relationships nationwide.

a la mode expanding Mercury Network to offer Broker Price Opinions

From the floor of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Mortgage Servicing Conference, a la mode today announced the expansion of the Mercury Network Vendor Management Platform (VMP) to also offer Broker Price Opinions (BPOs). Mercury Network is the premier VMP, allowing the nation’s largest lenders and appraisal management companies to manage appraisals nationwide. The same hugely popular platform will soon connect these same clients to real estate agents and brokers via a one-of-a-kind BPO service.

Just as clients have total control over appraisal quality with Mercury, users of Mercury’s BPO service will be able to select providers based on their own preferences including proximity to subject property, late percentage, average turn-around times, load levels and more. The solution will fully integrate with appraisal ordering, making it easier to manage both processes from one platform. Most important, agents won’t be required to pay to be listed or to receive orders, so they’ll be happy to participate.

“Our BPO service will be radically different than what’s currently on the market, said Jennifer Miller, EVP of Products for a la mode’s Mortgage Solutions Division. “Lenders, AMCs and servicers can just order directly from providers on Mercury Network, so there are no middleman markups, delays, contracts, minimums or hassles. Mercury will be their direct connection to the highest quality, nationwide BPOs and they can just log in and start ordering. Agents will be signing up soon and the solution will be available in the spring of 2011.”

Mercury Network is the foremost online Vendor Management Platform allowing lenders and AMCs to manage their appraisal workflow, and soon BPOs.  It is currently used by a lengthy roster of the nation’s largest lenders, credit unions, community banks and appraisal management companies, and more than 10,000 appraisal transactions per day flow through its servers.

For more information on Mercury Network, visit www.MercuryVMP.com.

National Debt And House Repossessions Go Hand In Glove

In the final quarter of 2010, house repossessions levelled out at around 7,900 for the closing period. That’s a drop of around 11% on the previous quarter. Good news. However – if the planned cuts as per the coalition manifesto go ahead it’s unlikely that the numbers will continue on the downward trend.

According to the economics and financial experts – the guys and gals that spend their days watching and analysing various markets, national and global spending and determining mid-term predictions – if inflation kicks in right alongside the spending cuts, more repossessed houses could well be on the cards.

The fact is that inflation will have to rise again at some point. As of today (Feb 14th) the inflation rate remained unchanged at 0.50%. However the likelihood of that staying as is was always an unlikely prospect. In many ways, enjoying a successive 23 months of ‘no change’ – whilst welcome – it’s also beginning to feel a little … frightening.

Of those among us that haven’t yet hit the financial wall – the coming year is going to be nothing short of a trial. Just because we haven’t hit it doesn’t mean we won’t with the slightest tip of the scales. Judging on the coalition’s spending cuts (that are now underway) and the likelihood of a rise in unemployment for those hit by the cuts – the future certainly isn’t orange.

Between what Gov Inc have in store for the UK as a whole, the proposed Big Society (getting off to a great start with Liverpool already backing out of being one of four targeted areas to spearhead the campaign) and the potential for more price hikes, pay freezes and benefits cuts the future of the ordinary working man (and woman) is looking ever narrower.

National and consumer debt is spiralling out of control – currently climbing above and beyond the really scary and likely to morph into the super scary in the next couple of years: 65% GDP as of now – predicted to rise to 79% by 2014 at the current spending rate.

Explaining national debt would make for a really long article and right now is not the time but – the biggest cause of debt in the UK is how our government spend our money. Labour doubled our national debt from 40% in 1997 up to the predicted forecast of 2014.

Unless the coalition stops spending and starts repaying the whole country will eventually go bankrupt. This kind of puts our position as the man at the bottom of the pile into perspective. If Gov Inc raise (nay – demand) ‘x’ amount in taxes – and yet spends double that amount – the money comes from investors.

In 2009/2010 £496.1 billion was raised from taxing the British population. The government spent £671.4 billion. That’s an overspend of £175.3 billion. 2011 isn’t going to get any brighter. So – can we expect to feel the strain even more – will there be rise in house repossessions, despite persistent statements from the experts to the contrary?

The simple answer is – yes. Inflation will rise, probably around May. It should rise (it will need to) at least twice more before the year end. Gov Inc need to spend to withdraw – despite the massive cuts they’re implementing, money will still go out of the pot and foreign investors will need to be repaid this years interest on national debt – as well as borrow more to bridge the gap between taxes raised due to the fiscal policy – and the amount need to keep the UK afloat.

How can you help? By not living beyond your means. Debt is debt – even at the lower end of the scale. The more you tighten your belt now, the quicker you move away from what you want and nearer to what you actually need, the quicker you’ll get a realistic hold on your finances.

How much is your mortgage? How much do you spend month to month? What do you owe on credit cards? Do you live in your overdraft? It really is time to take stock. Denial won’t help, waiting won’t help, and the way that the UK national debt and the banking systems are operating – you may well find that there’s no one left to turn to in a few years time.

Do your bit now. Stop spending what you don’t have. Make positive changes, realistic changes. Take your future into your own hands. The more you understand what’s going on around you – the more you will realise that the quicker you take stock, the less chance there is of losing it all in the future.

HUD and VA Issue Veteran Homelessness Report

For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today published the most authoritative analysis of the extent and nature of homelessness among American veterans. According to HUD and VA’s assessment, nearly 76,000 veterans were homeless on a given night in 2009 while roughly 136,000 veterans spent at least one night in a shelter during that year.

This unprecedented assessment is based on an annual report HUD provides to Congress and explores in greater depth the demographics of veterans who are homeless, how veterans compare to others who are homeless, and how veterans access and use the nation’s homeless response system.

“This report offers a much clearer picture about what it means to be a veteran living on our streets or in our shelters,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Understanding the nature and scope of veteran homelessness is critical to meeting President Obama’s goal of ending veterans’ homelessness within five years.”

“With our federal, state and community partners working together, more Veterans are moving into safe housing,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “But we’re not done yet. Providing assistance in mental health, substance abuse treatment, education and employment goes hand-in-hand with preventive steps and permanent supportive housing. We continue to work towards our goal of finding every Veteran safe housing and access to needed services.”

Last June, President Obama announced the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness, including a focus on homeless veterans. The report, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, puts the country on a path to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015; and to ending homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020. Read more about the Administration’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness in America.

Key findings of the report released today include:

  • More than 3,000 cities and counties reported 75,609 homeless veterans on a single night in January of 2009; 57 percent were staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program while the remaining 43 percent were unsheltered. Veterans represent approximately 12 percent of all homeless persons counted nationwide during the 2009 ‘point-in-time snapshot.’
  • During a 12-month period in 2009, an estimated 136,000 veterans—or about 1 in every 168 veterans—spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. The vast majority of sheltered homeless veterans (96 percent) experienced homelessness alone while a much smaller share (four percent) was part of a family. Sheltered homeless veterans are most often individual white men between the ages of 31 and 50 and living with a disability.
  • Veterans are fifty percent more likely to become homeless compared to all Americans and the risk is even greater among veterans living in poverty and poor minority veterans. HUD and VA examined the likelihood of becoming homeless among American veterans with particular demographic characteristics and found that during 2009, twice as many poor Hispanic veterans used a shelter compared with poor non-Hispanic veterans. African American veterans in poverty had similar rates of homelessness.
  • Most veterans who used emergency shelter stayed for only brief periods. One-third stayed in shelter for less than one week; 61 percent used a shelter for less than one month; and 84percent stayed for less than three months. The report also concluded that veterans remained in shelters longer than did non-veterans. In 2009, the median length of stay for veterans who were alone was 21 days in an emergency shelter and 117 days in transitional housing. By contrast, non-veteran individuals stayed in an emergency shelter for 17 days and 106 days in transitional housing.
  • Nearly half of homeless veterans were located in California, Texas, New York and Florida while only 28 percent of all veterans were located in those same four States.
  • Sheltered homeless veterans are far more likely to be alone rather than part of a family household; 96 percent of veterans are individuals compared to 66 percent in the overall homeless population.

HUD and VA are currently working together to administer a joint program specifically targeted to homeless veterans. Through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, HUD provides rental assistance for homeless veterans while VA offers case management and clinical services. Since 2008, a total investment of $225 million is working to provide housing and supportive service for approximately 30,000 veterans who would otherwise be homeless.

In addition, last month HUD awarded $1.4 billion to keep nearly 7,000 local homeless assistance programs operating in the coming year. The Department also allocated $1.5 billion through its new Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) Program. Made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, HPRP is intended to prevent persons from falling into homelessness or to rapidly re-house them if they do. To date, more than 750,000 persons, including more than 15,000 veterans, have been assisted through HPRP.

The full report can be downloaded here

Rent To Own HUD Homes

Lease to buy options in your area is possible with HUD subsidized housing first time home buyers can buy HUD foreclosures with reduced sales prices for law enforcement, teachers and firefighters.  HUD rentals for single family homes are usually for low income families with the HUD rental assistance going to families with median income limits.
HUD rental vouchers are part of the section 8 public housing agency program that helps the elderly and those with disabilities. Private landlords will take the vouchers which will cover 30 % of the full rent amount for home seekers who qualify.
Foreclosed homes for rent fall under a few different categories with one of them being that a borrower decides to rent out his or her home to avoid going into default on their mortgage when this happens they may just run an ad advertising the home if for rent, this is not the same as a lease option to buy agreement.
If you decide you want to buy a house using a lease option then you will want to save for the purchase price of the home while moving in with a small down payment for a set lease amount. Your mortgage rate will be determined by your credit rating so this home buying tool that gives you the opportunity to negotiate the terms of the lease up to 24 months in length.
No matter what financing instrument you use it is still necessary to apply and get approved for a home loan before the terms of the agreement expire.Consult a real estate attorney to help you with the paperwork and answer any questions you may have.
As you can see there are many ways to rent a foreclosure or HUD home and the process can be different for each state. Distressed home investing can be profitable for the right individuals, get the facts and start building your future with rent to own home programs.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has local public rental assistance programs that come in the housing choice section 8 voucher program, government sponsored public housing, and subsidized apartments. If you want the option to buy the place in the future you will have an option for homeownership try looking at for sale by owner signs and negotiate an agreement with the borrower of the residence.
How it works is that you will be able to lease the home with the exclusive rights to purchase the property in the future.  Benefits is that you will be able to save up for a bigger down payment while clearing up any negative credit issues. Sellers can avoid drop in house values by staying in control of the price and offering the residence as a rent to own property and avoiding the decline of a neighborhood.

Buy pre-foreclosure Properties Short Sale Investing

In todays real estate investing market the hottest transactions are those that involve no equity properties that will allow you to make money on distressed homes.

You save by purchasing bulk real estate directly from the bank before they reach the public auction.  It will take the right investment strategy and the help of a certified short sale realtor.

Cashing in on short sales and pre foreclosures is not as easy as many marketers claim, it will require that you understand how homeowners who are underwater must do to qualify to keep from going into foreclosure.

Asset managers and brokers must follow the federal and state laws before they can settle for any agreement between you and the seller of the defaulted residence.

The tricky part is that the homeowners are unable to sell the properties that they are finding hard to manage due to the rise in their mortgage payments and the drop in the homes value.

Real estate investors are trying to buy these homes from the borrower at really low prices with the permission of the lenders on the mortgage loans.

Finding the right investment strategy in short sales may be hard to come by, because of so many training seminars looking to profit off the attendees who want to learn how to negotiate with the banks and mortgage holders, prepare an offer and profit from an investment group can be a challenge for novices.

The best buyers market in decades is here, some will earn great money in the current economy. The key is to find, evaluate and obtain the partnership between the investor, seller and bank.

Competition between investors makes it harder to find a profitable deal so that is why some are deciding to help homeowners get out of unaffordable mortgages while getting into one that is manageable for their finances.

State and federal foreclosure laws and regulations have made it stricter to use creative financing solutions as well as requiring the need for property inspections.

Most short sale and preforeclosure investors want to buy low and sell at a profit but may end up just fixing, rehabbing and renting out the homes instead for a monthly cash flow amount.

Short Sale Transactional Funding

Pre-foreclosure investors who need funding for short sales and REO’s, works when a investor buys a home from a seller using a transactional funding bridge loan to do a double escrow closing . If the property can be sold the same day the title company will accept funding for the purchase transactions .

Companies who will help you fund the deal as long as you have an approved end buyer to flip short sale deals. Hard money loans for short sales and foreclosure investing generate income with simultaneous closings between buyers and sellers.

The benefits of back to back deals is that it makes it easier for those who want to profit from real estate transactions such as dry closing  or quick flips.  Bank REO asset managers may require that you understand new state and federal laws regarding short funding.

Transactional funding companies and programs make it possible to have the use of loans for a fee which works better if you already have a end buyer who is ready to buy the property that you will buy from a seller facing foreclosure.

Private funding options that do not require credit or capital the use of wet funds to purchase property from a seller who are underwater.

Beginning investors can use this tool with alternatives to private money lenders due to having a partner who has the access to the funds that you will need to close the short sale deal within 24 to 48 hours.

Qualified buyers who are approved by the mortgage broker in the title seasoning process can help you close more double closing deals with the necessary real estate finance lending for a short period of time.

Getting the funding for your REO flip financing deals is what will allow for you to purchase the short sale from the distressed homeowner where the market is constantly changing.

So quick investor money can work on easily funding your shortsales, REOs, residential or commercial flips in back to back closings.

The types of short term loans also known as short term financing or flash funding that you borrow is paid back from the proceeds of the sales transaction.

It is important to have a proof of funds letter to secure financing with a short term loan before the property acquisition can take place.

House Repossessions Of The Rich And Famous – Nicolas Cage

It would seem that the financial crisis is hitting more than just the little people these days. In the last year or so there’s been a marked increase in house repossessions of the rich and famous – Nicolas Cage being the most talked about. Presumably this relates to the fact that he either:

  • A – appears to have been on a cyclical journey of spend some, spend more … spend it all (hell yeah!)
  • or B – he’s had bad financial advice from his financial advisor (oops)

Nicolas Cage

Across the pond – where most of the better known celebrities dwell – a repossessed home is known as a foreclosure. The deal is about the same – you borrow money to buy a property, you don’t keep up with the mortgage repayments, in swoops the bank and … it’s all over. You’re foreclosed, repossessed, sans house and absolutely sans your hard earned rep.

If you’re Nicolas Cage that is. For the likes of you and me, no one really cares about where our millions have gone or what we’ve done with them because – well … we didn’t have millions in the first place.  And even if we did – we wouldn’t have blown it on fast living, thrill seeking nonsense and homes so large you could house enough people and animals to fill Noah’s Ark … twice over.

A modern replica of Noah’s Ark. And no Mr Cage – it’s not for sale.

No – we’d have been a bit more sensible. We’d have bought a nice, fashionable detached suburban home, in a leafy, picturesque street. We would (we’ve got millions right?) have filled with all the latest modern conveniences, installed under floor heating (the UK weather is unpredictable so … justified) and probably stretched to a few little unnecessary luxuries in keeping with our bank accounts.

Four washing machines are definitely classed as unnecessary. Still – what’s good enough for Nicolas Cage. These are in his Spanish Trails home.

What’s unnecessary is his kitchen? Those three stools. Way over the top.

Maybe a hot tub for six, a solidly stocked wine rack and (whoop whoop) one part-time house maid. Not a full-timer mind – that’s a step too far for an Englishman but you know … wandering down to the local and dropping ‘sod the housework – that’s what we employ Mavis for. You know … our house maid?’ into conversation over a pint of good red wine is absolutely the right way to crow about our good (though imagined) fortune.

That kind of thing. We’d have stayed away from anything ostentatious (bright red Ferrari’s and crystal chandeliers) or anything too – obvious (£50 notes and a hair weave) simply because we’re sensible, we’re British – and we’re not bloody stupid.

Nicola Cage isn’t British – he’s American. Being American  isn’t mutally exclusive with being stupid either. That appears to be a trait that trancends culture – it’s entirely dependant upon nature. By nature Nicolas Cage got looks, charisma and the ability to act his way to global recognition, millions in the bank – and a rather unhealthy (I presume) attitude towards value for money.

Nicolas Cage was blessed by Nature – he’s pretty, talented and … brim full of ‘hell yeah!’

It appears that he’s blown millions on living it large. We’re talking huge – mind blowingly huge. Now – why he’s done so is anyone’s guess – his financial advisor Samuel Levine has been reported as saying that he advised Mr Cage against his penchant for spending money like he owned the Federal Reserve.

However, the rich and famous live ostentatious lives at the best of times and – judging by the global recession – at the worst of them too. Does that qualify as being stupid? I’d say it’s at least very silly and incredibly frivolous.

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Nicolas Cage denies he’s going (or gone) broke. Bit mean IMO – he was nice enough to sign autographs then someone got personal. The down side to celebrity – folks think they know you well enough to … talk to you. When I hit the big time I’m not talking to no one – no how.

It’s also what makes us judge celebrities as being just a little bit foolish. We’ve all heard the saying – a fool and his money are soon parted. I reckon it’s time to bring the well known phrase up to speed, give it a little polish in keeping with modern times …

a tool and his money are soon parted – especially when he takes bad advice and buys more homes that a man needs hot dinners

Long winded I know but – you get the picture. At one point Nicolas Cage owned a whopping 15 homes. Now we all know that you can only ever (truly) live in one at a time – it’s impossible to be everywhere at once.

I base this upon a divine analysis. Of God. For all the omnipotence He’s supposed to possess He doesn’t hang out in all the homes he’s got dotted around the globe – no matter what the faithful believe.

Let’s face it – we’re mere mortals and the best we can come up with is dark, atmospheric buildings full of symbols, cranky organs and really uncomfortable seating. God wants Peace On Earth and don’t forget that he said:

Let there be light – God

Of which the average church is sadly lacking. And the peaceful part is subjective – according to what denomination you follow and how you interpret it. So if God ain’t doing it – I’m figuring we of the mortal state don’t stand a chance.

Similar to the average Church Sacristy. Only this is an interior shot of one of Nicolas Cage’s former homes. God probably has more taste.

Devine analysis aside; I do believe Nicolas Cage to have been a property investor, rather than a complete idiot. Unfortunately – and this goes for the rich and famous and the likes of you and me – home ownership requires the owner/s to pay taxes.

Forget Devine Analysis – house repossessions occur when you ignore Levine protagonists.

The UK and the US both require that certain levies are paid for the privilege (gone are the days when a house kept the wolves from the door – now they don’t bother knocking, they just enter by way of a bill on the door mat) and the bigger the property – the bigger the burden taxes.

It’s the taxes – and presumably his carefree spending – that have tripped Nicolas Cage up. That and the fall in property values. Now – depending on who you believe – he either thought he could afford his lifestyle (because his financial advisor advised him that he could) or he just went crazy.

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This is what it sounds like when Nicolas Cage goes crazy. A little different to spending money but you know – crazy is as crazy does. As for what he says (it’s a little fuzzy) it amounts to several ‘get the f*** off me’ rants, one about ´respect my f***ing eyes’ *shrugs* and a few more threats relating to what he’s gonna do if …

Over the last couple of years he’s found himself taxed to the point that he’s had to offload his homes as a means of repaying what he owes. Unfortunately – most folks don’t have film star bank accounts.

Hell most folks don’t have bank accounts that match the D list guys. If we’re lucky we have the kind of money that the guys that tell Nicolas Cage he’s wonderful possess. So saying that when some of his homes have been up for sale, they haven’t sold.

That led to the Men In Banks foreclosing on the properties. Why? Well that’s the easy bit – he owed money, they wanted some, and don’t forget the Tax Man wanted his cut. Just like the Grim Reaper – the Tax Man never lets anyone bargain his way out of the inevitable.

The Men In Banks – they exist, they want their money – and they’re coming to a house near you – soon.

Now – I don’t know about you but I always figured guys like Nicolas Cage were raking it in. Making enough moolah to buy outright. I based this opinion on how much I get charged everytime I go down to the Odeon. For the price of a good bottle of wine and a loaf of bread you get to watch Nicolas Cage in his latest movie.

But – then again – perhaps Orange Wednesdays are having a bigger impact than they were supposed to? The wrong kind. Maybe throwing around two-for-one tickets negatively impacts on box office takings – which ultimately reduces what the rich and famous get in their pay-packets every Friday?

Perhaps Nicolas Cage should also take issue with Orange? They’re undermining take home pay and … and … maybe I should shut up. I like Orange Wednesdays and I don’t give a rats ass if Hollywood A listers are down a few bucks. Last time I looked they’re weren’t cutting me any slack so …

Maybe Orange are partly responsible for house repossessions? Nah …

Anyway – here’s the irony moment – one of the last properties that Nicolas Cage had for sale didn’t do so well with the estate agents. Realtors if you’re American. From what I picked up the guys appointed to take the houses to resale weren’t overly impressed with what it was that they had to sell. Apparently Cage had turned the interior of his (former) home into a ‘frat house bordello’.

That’s American for ‘no taste’. Having seen the pictures – I have spent some time wondering just who who was responsible for the  interior decor.

The house looked like a group of bachelors, desperate for some action – had run amok with a carte blanche card, a blind interior decorator and an invitation to spend whatever they wanted down at Camden flea market. Really – it’s frightening what money can buy you. And just as frightening what it can’t.

Stunning exterior. But wait – that’s the outside.

There are no words … Oh yes there is – Magnolia!

Lose the Dragon, the furniture, everything else and you’ve got an … empty room. Bad taste sucks.

Just when you thought is was safe to enter the water. No escape.  Sheesh.

Having failed to sell by way of the usual route, the Tudor pile turned up at a property auction. And even then – it didn’t make the sale it was pitched at. The actual figure hasn’t been disclosed but – instead of selling for somewhere above 25 million, it’s reported that it  didn’t quite make 10. That’s some reductionand a lesson to those that think purple velour and whacky dragon sculptures are what sells houses for stupid money.

I’m assuming that Nicolas Cage is now languishing somewhere minus his Bel Air home. And his New Orleans one. And the one he had in Las Vegas – not to mention the castle In Bath. It seems the words (not the) National Treasure and Leaving Las Vegas (because he had to) have come home to roost. According to his former financial advisor unfortunately Cage is not known for his … financial restraint.

Over the years preceding his fall from financial grace, he blew money on crap goodies such as:

A gulf stream jet. Gimme another hell yeah!

Milford Castle – not one bath in a Castle … one whole castle in the city of Bath.

Four yachts – like this or similar. We’re not talking rubber dinghy’s here.

Nine Rolls Royce models. Almost one for every home.

  • jewelry and art work totalling millions of dollars
  • unbelievably good parties
  • and other … stuff

See – no modesty in this shopping list. Not a hot tub or a half-time house-maid in sight. No Sireee … Nicolas Cage goes large. He goes huge. He goes … stratospheric. Awesome.

So you see there’s a moral to this story. And I’m not talking about overspending (too obvious), being silly (lol) or even … I told you so! No – I’m talking about assertiveness.  Samuel Levine’s (I reckon he probably wasn’t clear enough) – and those that have managed to mess up the world’s economy. If you’ve got something to say – say it like you mean it. Don’t hide behind spin or psycho babble or BullS**ters Anonymous.

YouTube Preview ImageTell us the truth. We can handle the truth. We have a right to know exactly where all this spending has gotten us. We need a little direction. We want to know what it is we’re heading for – because most of us really don’t have a couple of million stashed in an off shore holding facility bank account – just in case you guys decide to crap on us just … a little bit more.  We have the right to plan ahead – sensibly, knowledgeably … effectively.

Just how far are the guys sat behind the desks at Whitehall and the Big Banking Institutions going to push us in order to redress their mistakes – their overspending – their big bloody global cock-up? I wish I had the answer. But I’m not the men In Banks, I’m not on the Whitehall payroll.

If I was – I wouldn’t be blasting the clowns running the banking systems and the like of Nicolas Cage for being so damn silly. I’d be telling you guys what it is you want/need to know … what the hell really happened behind closed doors that caused the likes of us to have our homes repossessed, our financial credibility left in ruins – and our futures’ so messed up that it looks like there’s a one helluva storm heading our way.

Pictures:

Wikipedia Commons – User BetacommandBot, JasonAQuest, Daily Mail UK, Realtor, WEbShots – User JenMars23, Everett Fenton Gidley,

House Repossessions Of The Rich And Famous

It would seem that the financial crisis is hitting more than just the little people these days. In the last year or so there’s been a marked increase in house repossessions of the rich and famous. Across the pond – where most of the better known celebrities dwell – a repossessed home is known as a foreclosure.

The deal is about the same – you borrow money to buy a property, you don’t keep up with the mortgage repayments, in swoops the bank and … it’s all over. You’re foreclosed, repossessed, sans house and absolutely sans your hard earned rep.

If you’re a celebrity of course. For the likes of you and me, no one really cares about where our millions have gone or what we’ve done with them because – well … we didn’t have millions in the first place.  And even if we did – we wouldn’t have blown it on fast living, thrill seeking nonsense and homes so large you could house enough people and animals to fill Noah’s Ark … twice over.

No – we’d have been a bit more sensible. We’d have bought a nice, fashionable four bedder, in a leafy suburb. We would (we’ve got millions right?) have had it filled with all the latest mod cons, installed under floor heating (the UK weather is unpredictable so … justified) and probably stretched to a few little unnecessary luxuries in keeping with our bank accounts.

Maybe a hot tub for six, a solidly stocked wine rack and (whoop whoop) one part-time house maid. Not a full-timer mind – that’s a step too far for an Englishman but you know … wandering down to the local and dropping ‘ohhhh I don’t worry about cleaning the three bathrooms – that’s what we employ Mavis for. You know … our house maid?’ into conversation over a pint of good red wine is absolutely the right way to crow about our good (though imagined) fortune.

That kind of thing. We’d have stayed away from anything ostentatious (bright red Ferrari’s and crystal chandeliers) or anything too – obvious (£50 notes and a hair weave) simply because we’re sensible, we’re British – and we’re not bloody stupid.

Take for example Nicolas Cage. Heard of him? He of Con Air, The Weather Man and Leaving Las Vegas. In the spring of 2010 one of his 15 homes was foreclosed.  Repossessed. Taken away from him by the Men In Banks. Why? Well that’s the easy bit – he wasn’t keeping up with the mortgage repayments.

Now – I don’t know about you but I always figured that these guys were raking it in. Making enough moolah to buy outright. I based this opinion on how much I get charged everytime I go down to the Odeon. For the price of a good bottle of wine and a loaf of bread you get to watch Nic Cage in his latest blockbuster.

But – then again – perhaps Orange Wednesdays are having a bigger impact than they were supposed to? The wrong kind.

The story goes that Cage hit the financial wall. So he sued his financial advisor. Then his ex sued him (clever move that – the man’s up to his nuts in debt and that’s when she goes for maintenance – meh) and just for laughs (not really – they just wanted their money back) the bank sued for the repossession of his house.

Here’s the irony moment – the guys appointed to take the house to resale weren’t overly impressed with what it was they had to sell. Apparently Cage had turned the interior of his Bel Air Tudor mansion into a ‘frat house bordello’. That’s American for ‘done out like something on Shameless’. Having seen the pictures – I have spent some time wondering just who who was responsible for the  interior decor.

The house looked like a group of bachelors, desperate for some action – had run amok with a B and Q card, Frank Gallagher and an invitation to spend whatever they wanted down at Camden flea market. Really – it’s frightening what money can buy you. And just as frightening what it can’t.

I’m assuming that Mr Cage now is languishing somewhere minus his Bel Air home. And his New Orleans one. And the one he had in Las Vegas. It seems the words (not the) National Treasure and Leaving Las Vegas (because he had to) have come home to roost. According to his former financial advisor unfortunately Cage is not known for his … financial restraint.

Over the years preceding his fall from financial grace, he blew money on crap goodies such as:

  • a Gulfstream jet
  • a castle in Bath (not a castle in a bath – a castle in the city of Bath)
  • four yachts (and we’re talking you know – big boats here, not rubber dinghys)
  • nine Rolls Royces
  • jewelry and art work totalling millions of dollars
  • unbelievably good parties

See – no modesty in this shopping list. Not a hot tub or house-maid in sight. Mr Cage goes large. He goes … nuclear. Awesome.

So you see there’s a moral to this story. And I’m not talking about overspending (too obvious), being silly (lol) or even … I told you so! No – I’m talking about assertiveness. Samuel Levin’s – and those that have managed to mess up the world’s economy. If you’ve got something to say – say it like you mean it. Don’t hide behind spin or psycho babble or BullS**ters Anonymous.

YouTube Preview ImageTell us the truth. We can handle the truth. We have a right to know exactly where all this spending has gotten us. We need a little direction. We want to know what it is we’re heading for – because most of us really don’t have a couple of million stashed in an off shore holding facility bank account – just in case you guys decide to crap on us just … a little bit more.  We have the right to plan ahead – sensibly, knowledgeably … effectively.

Just how far are the guys sat behind the desks at Whitehall and the Big Banking Institutions going to push us in order to redress their mistakes – their overspending – their big bloody global cock-up? I wish I had the answer. But I’m not the men In Banks, I’m not on the Whitehall payroll.

If I was – I wouldn’t be blasting the clowns running the banking systems and the like of Nicolas Cage for being so damn silly. I’d be telling you guys what it is you want/need to know … what the hell really happened behind closed doors that caused the likes of us to have our homes repossessed and our financial credibility left in ruins?