Vices we love: Really for suckers

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Really for suckers

Well hello there. Today we shall talk about your greatest asset. The tin shack you call a home.

Some time ago, I was involved with New York City Cashflow, an organization which was (and is) geared largely to uniting people of all races, genders and transgenders and dedicated to the goal of bullshitting each other with fabricated tales of real estate riches. The internet tells no lies so go and see New York City cashflow . Anyhow, through the group I heard of a Russian-Israeli lad named Lior who wished according to lore to sell his 8 unit apartment building in the decrepit upstate burg of Binghamton for a relative song. Lior sent several faxes to me which showed rent and utility receipts for the prior six months. Armed with said info, I alerted a Mormon fella on Long Island as to the deal of the century. The following weekend, he claimed to have made the 8 hour drive into the frozen wasteland of post-industrial America only to find an abandoned crackhouse. And the beauty of it all is that to this day I do not know who was bullshitting me. (Tho I suspect it was Lior because his phone service mysteriously dissappeared the very next week.)

As part of my capitalist capers, I joined the email list for Cashflow and they have been keeping me entertained for two solid years now with Iraq-caliber fabrications and numerous attempts to claim that screwing you from behind is really just a massage. The latest scam (that is, "strategy") involves an endearingly incompetent government agency called the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD gives low-interest loans to those wishing to buy properties in "urban" (Americanese for "Black and Hispanic") neighborhoods. The catch is that in order to qualify, you must commit to living in the building. As Mormon lads from Long Island ("Strong Island" in white-boy ebonics slang spouted by Junior Eminems from Deer Park to Farmingdale) are generally not keen on going urban, except in fashion sense, many pasty folk (and Asians, being model minorities) have been scheming on the message board for a way to get cheap loans by declaring that they will live in the combat zone without actually doing so. Sample messages:

There is: "The innocent."
"What are the ramifications of saying you will be the occupant when you really won't be?"

There is: "The realist."
"Two words: mortgage fraud."

There is: "The lawyer."
"Not really. People can change their minds about moving in."

There is: "The experienced investor."
"I have 3 owner-occupied loans. Occasion relative stay. Your name on the utility changes for everybody, nobody lives in one place 15-30 year mortgage period. The bank KNOWS."

There is: "Socrates."
"First of all, how can HUD have the resources to check on every dwelling? And even if they do, one can live in it but they can move out while it is being renovated."

And what of Diogenes? He is living in a trashcan somewhere on the south side, eating molded bread and talking to himself, glad to have finally found an honest man to converse with.


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