Housing News

Rags to Riches to Rags

Who lost their homes

We love reading success stories that show American’s resiliency in the midst of a crisis. And the Palm Beach Post has a particular way of telling one. This time, it’s your typical rags-to-riches-to rags story. When the lending boom occurred, these people took advantage of the situation. The newspaper writes, “… Adina Richardson picked up a $1.15 million, two-story home on Collonade Drive in Versailles, complete with arched doorway and architectural flourishes above the garage door.

Truck driver Rufus Richardson, then 70, purchased his own two-story, $1.05 million pool home in Versailles, also on Collonade.

It was a long way from the North Miami house each listed on mortgage records as their address: Almost three Little River Drive houses could have been squeezed into Rufus Richardson’s 4,155-square-foot Versailles property. And to that, he added a $430,000 condo in Mayfair at Wellington.

Myrtice Richardson, then 71, outdid them both, snapping up a home in Osprey Isles in September; another in November and then a $1 million Versailles home on the same street where Rufus and Adina had purchased their own palatial properties. And she, too, bought a Wellington condo.

The bill for the trio’s home-buying spree: $5.1 million… Each of the Versailles properties landed in foreclosure. Adina Richardson’s home was seized and sold for less than half what she paid. Rufus died earlier this year; his Collonade Drive home is in foreclosure. Bankers couldn’t find Myrtice Richardson for an appearance in her own foreclosure suit. But she is no longer living in the Little River house: She’s renting it out, said the current tenant”

The recession has allowed borrowers with derailed finances to come out of anonymity and be the media’s examples of bad borrowing habits. Forget about their reputation, their chances of seeking a new job, their damaged credit scores.

Are we supposed to learn from these people? We’ve heard and read a lot about how we’ve arrived in this crisis, so there’s no point of holding a pity party for them. .

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