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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1627
Location: Seattle, WA
DoingHomework wrote:
babysteps wrote:
Are there any near-by employers? If so, see if any of their employees are looking for housing. Same goes for houses of worship & their attendees. Colleges & their students...you get the idea.


Be careful with that. It's called "redlining" and is illegal!


Redlining is based on address. Since they OP would be providing the address, that doesn't seem to apply here.

Furthermore I am pretty sure there's no law preventing you from advertising to potential tenants at a workplace or church.

When it comes down to picking amongst multiple applicants, sure you can't discriminate based on the normal stuff (including race and religious beliefs) but you sure as heck can take creditworthiness and income into account.


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:00 pm 
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stannius wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
babysteps wrote:
Are there any near-by employers? If so, see if any of their employees are looking for housing. Same goes for houses of worship & their attendees. Colleges & their students...you get the idea.


Be careful with that. It's called "redlining" and is illegal!


Redlining is based on address. Since they OP would be providing the address, that doesn't seem to apply here.

Furthermore I am pretty sure there's no law preventing you from advertising to potential tenants at a workplace or church.

When it comes down to picking amongst multiple applicants, sure you can't discriminate based on the normal stuff (including race and religious beliefs) but you sure as heck can take creditworthiness and income into account.


Advertising or otherwise seeking tenants from a specific source to avoid problem tenants is also redlining. Advertising only in the local graduate student newsletter is redlining though it likely would not get you in trouble. Advertising only in a specific church would be redlining. It's done all the time of course.

But a friend of mine actually had a complaint filed against him years ago because he had several rentals and only advertised on the bulletin board and in the newsletter of a local medical school. Nothing came of it in the end but it was a hassle for him to deal with the fair housing people. He never found out who or why there was a complaint either and he had no unhappy tenants that he knew of. It is possible they were trolling ads in places like where he advertised and it is also possible that some property manager was trying to make life difficult for him. But it certainly happened and he started advertising in other places as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:51 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
Fortunately, I've never been in this situation. But, can someone please explain to me how you tell the bank you can't pay for a place, walk away, don't file bankruptcy AND keep the bank from coming after you ex post? Strategic default always meant filing for bankruptcy to me as well.

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"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1201
Bichon Frise wrote:
Fortunately, I've never been in this situation. But, can someone please explain to me how you tell the bank you can't pay for a place, walk away, don't file bankruptcy AND keep the bank from coming after you ex post? Strategic default always meant filing for bankruptcy to me as well.

Just because you default doesn't mean you have to file Bk. Its the same as defaulting on a credit card or car loan. Of course the bank will come after you.


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:50 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Illinois
Bichon Frise wrote:
Fortunately, I've never been in this situation. But, can someone please explain to me how you tell the bank you can't pay for a place, walk away, don't file bankruptcy AND keep the bank from coming after you ex post? Strategic default always meant filing for bankruptcy to me as well.

In some states the law prevents banks from taking deficiency judgements on residential property.

I assume (but have never looked into so it is a WAG) that the vast majority of strategic defaults are in those states.


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:03 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:24 pm
Posts: 87
DoingHomework wrote:
Advertising or otherwise seeking tenants from a specific source to avoid problem tenants is also redlining. Advertising only in the local graduate student newsletter is redlining though it likely would not get you in trouble. Advertising only in a specific church would be redlining. It's done all the time of course.


Quite right. To clarify - I didn't mean to suggest that the OP should *only* seek specific sources of renters. Step 1, if you are looking to rent out the townhome, would be to place a general interest rental posting - Craig's List, local paper, etc. Then reach out to any specific likely local pools of renters.

OP, sounds like the emotional stress is (almost) as bad as the economic stress for you in this situation. Even though from a $-only analysis selling the townhome now may not be your #1 choice, from a what-will-be-best-for-you-overall analysis selling the townhome may make sense for you. Best wishes for making a decision that you are at peace with! (My earlier rent-to-own suggestion would be something in the middle between $ and stress - less near-term $ hurt than selling outright, less near-term stress than traditional rental, but locks in today's low price & is more management/payment stress than outright sale.)

More on fair housing - In most US areas, unless you are renting out space in a home that you both own and occupy, you can discriminate *only* on economic terms (strictly economic - as long as the source of income is lawful, you can't rule out or discount for example section 8 or alimony - but you can choose between same-credit equal-income tenants based on how reliable you think their source of income would be).

Giving the address is always legally okay (Craig's List lets you post cross streets without the specific address if you wish), but *many* other descriptors may/can be taken as discriminatory.

For example, "close to schools" is a red flag, as you can't discriminate on family make-up and this implies that you are seeking a family with children. Other problem terms - "good neighborhood" can imply racial profiling (strange but true - in part left over from the block-busting activities of the 1970s), "family street" is child-targeted, "close to St. Pat's" is religion-specific, "quiet street" may imply age preference. You can typically use the actual name of the neighborhood (hm, unless someone has just 'rebranded' a neighborhood name, in which case you might want to leave it out or use both the old & new names).


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:17 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
Tightwad wrote:
Bichon Frise wrote:
Fortunately, I've never been in this situation. But, can someone please explain to me how you tell the bank you can't pay for a place, walk away, don't file bankruptcy AND keep the bank from coming after you ex post? Strategic default always meant filing for bankruptcy to me as well.

Just because you default doesn't mean you have to file Bk. Its the same as defaulting on a credit card or car loan. Of course the bank will come after you.


Thanks. Understood that people are free to not pay their obligations. But, I think many people have this idea in their head that "strategic default" means they walk away, take a hit on their credit for a couple of years and then get right back on the horse. Again, I've never experienced it, but I have heard stories of friends of friends who thought this is how the game was played and was drug into court by the bank b/c they didn't file for bankruptcy. Just hearsay and my own thoughts, so YMMV.

bpgui wrote:
Bichon Frise wrote:
Fortunately, I've never been in this situation. But, can someone please explain to me how you tell the bank you can't pay for a place, walk away, don't file bankruptcy AND keep the bank from coming after you ex post? Strategic default always meant filing for bankruptcy to me as well.

In some states the law prevents banks from taking deficiency judgements on residential property.

I assume (but have never looked into so it is a WAG) that the vast majority of strategic defaults are in those states.


Thanks!

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:33 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1201
Bichon Frise wrote:
Thanks. Understood that people are free to not pay their obligations. But, I think many people have this idea in their head that "strategic default" means they walk away, take a hit on their credit for a couple of years and then get right back on the horse. Again, I've never experienced it, but I have heard stories of friends of friends who thought this is how the game was played and was drug into court by the bank b/c they didn't file for bankruptcy. Just hearsay and my own thoughts, so YMMV.

In that situation, I suspect that this friend of a friend had way more debt than just the one loan default. They were "walking bankrupt" who just hadn't filed yet. Sounds like the bank forced their hand to file.

FWIW, banks will always act in their own best interest over anyone else's. Bankruptcy may be a bad decision for some people but if they can force you into it in order to clear up their balance sheet, they will. In a way you can't blame them. They loaned the money in good faith & got screwed.


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:42 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:58 pm
Posts: 12
Once again, I'm a contrarian, it seems.

I would short-sell the townhouse. Right now, it has half of its original value. From what the OP said, this is likely to trend downward due to the factors outlined - poor management, no police interest, bad tenants, etc.

So, I see negative future prospects and would advise you to cut your losses before you pay $138K for a tearer-downer (that's a fixer-upper that cannot be fixed up).

No one sells a stock when it is up, but everyone tends to hold stocks as they tank, fearing they'll take a loss. I see this as the same situation.

Wino


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 Post subject: Re: Housing problems, no idea what to do.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:51 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:04 am
Posts: 102
Location: Finland
For me, safety (or feeling safe) trumps money every single time in a situation like this.
If I don't feel safe where I live - forget it. I would use every single resource available to get out of Dodge, including draining my savings. Getting out would be priority number one, everything else is secondary.

So if I were you, I'd sell the house for whatever I could get for it, move someplace where I feel safe and start over.

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