The meltdown.

As we continue to deal with a very complex Real Estate markets chopped full of short sales, foreclosures and under water properties one thing has stood out to me. Many people both in and obviousley out of our business really don’t understand the exact causes of the meltdown. I had a friend just the other day say “Brandon I still don’t really get how this all happened”. With that being said I’m going to try to explain the complexity of this situation in the most understandable way.

Back in the 70’s when you purchased a house it was pretty simple. You borrowed money from a bank and you paid back that bank. Just like if you loaned your best friend money. Your friend would be responsible to pay you back. So you would really be careful which friends you lent money to. Underwriters at this time wanted substantial down payments and did full documentation loans meaning they verified your assets and income. These entities were tightly regulated.

The 80’s began a new day in investment banking and financial sectors. The administration at that time began the economic policy of deregulation which has now been apart of our society in America for 30 plus years. New securities now allowed those same lenders who in the 70’s were liable and lost money if you didn’t pay your mortgage to now sell your loan to investments banks. Imagine this, you loan a friend (borrower) $100 dollars. You now sell your friends loan to another friend (Investment banker) for $150 dollars. You just made a 50 dollar profit just for selling your friend’s 100 dollar loan to another friend. Pretty cool huh. What’s even cooler is you made 50 bucks and if the first friend (borrower) doesn’t pay your second friend (Investment banker) your not at all responsible. You get to keep all of your money! Sweet right!

Here’s where it starts to get tricky. Follow me closely. Using that same example above the second friend (Investment Banker) who purchased your original 100 dollar loan for 150 now does the same thing that you did. He takes that 150 dollar loan and combines it with other similar loans. This is known as pooling. Pooling means lumping a large sum of loans together to make one big package. Ladies and gentlemen congratulations you have just learned how Investment Banks make Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO’s) which is what they called the final package of all these loans pulled together. It’s very complex how they do this but now you at least have the basic understanding of the system.

I sure do know what your thinking now…What does the Investment Banks do with these CDO’s? I bet you will never guess!! Need another minute to think? If you said they sell them to overseas investors winner winner chicken dinner for you! Did you all pick up on my sarcasm because I was laying it on pretty thick lol! Back to business people let’s try to stay focused here. So once the Investment Banks sell these CDO’s to overseas investors guess what. They’re no longer responsible if they fail either. The poor sap overseas is the final entity left holding this toxic paper. Let’s bring this whole thing together.

So we have four entities here. Your original friend who you lent 100 dollar to is a home buyer. You lent him 100 bucks knowing that you could sell his loan to an Investment Bank, make a profit and not be responsible if he failed to make his or her mortgage payments. So now you really become relaxed and you lend all your friends money (home loans) knowing you will just keep selling them to Investment bankers. Investment Bankers will keep buying those loans from you because they know they can make money pooling the loans and selling them to other investors.

So now you lend all your friends money because hey… Why not you’re making a killing!!! You could care less if your friends have jobs to pay you back or have good credit because…you’re making a killing! So you need more and more friends to buy homes so you make it easier for them by requiring no down payments no income verification and even in some cases letting them pick their payments. And you don’t care why… you guessed it you’re making a killing!

Ladies in Gentlemen welcome to the Sub prime Mortgage era! If all this sounds crazy it’s simple, IT WAS! This is what started us down the path of no return and the financial collapse that now has agents trying to move properties ( REO’S and short sales) were some banks have no idea where the original loan is. So it’s important I think for us all to grasp exactly what were now dealing with. A wise old woman once told me we never know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been. Thanks Grandma.

Good post.

Excellent post and I’ll add another chapter…

In 2001 the tech boom imploded. School teachers were DAY TRADING, College kids made $2,000,000 in a matter of months trading the latest hot tech stock. In order to prop up the economy after the fallout Greenspan dumped interest rate to historically low levels.

Because people got killed in the stock market where money can EVAPORATE over night, they now wanted REAL THINGS.


As they poured money into property, the TRAIN left the Station. Once that happened, The greater fool theory took over and it just FED on itself.

Here’s the best part and the most ironic…

When 2 bedroom houses were selling for $200,000 people couldn’t buy them fast enough…They WORRIED about LOSING the property to another buyer…

TODAY…That same house is $50,000 and NO ONE wants them because NOW their WORRIED!!!

THAT my friends is a BIG, FAT BUY SIGNAL! :beer

Good thing you are here to be worried for all of them…worried all the way to the bank :biggrin

I just hope it keeps up long enough for me to acquire enough money to make a few deals. If I can keep saving like a lunatic it shouldn’t be too much longer.


Make sure you fire up your marketing plan NOW. Even if you don;t have enough money to pay CASH for a property now…Here’s why…


Now before I get started let me give you a reality check…You need MONEY to do anything, the question is HOW MUCH MONEY???

You’ll need to spend money on advertising so people kn ow you WANT to buy houses that need work.

You’ll need MONEY for a LAWYER to handle the closing for you…Now before I get 100 replies about how a TITLE COMPANY can do closings for you let me explain WHY a Lawyer is far better.

First…A lawyer puts your BUYERS MINDS at EASE…Your job is to make SURE you find one that is VERYY GOOD at doing this. The people that call you don’t know you, they are selling you their most valuable asset and they WILL BE AFRAID.

I tell them all the same thing…

“My attorney will handle the closing and all the paper work needed. His name is “John Doe” here’s his business card.” I also explain that MY ATTORNEY will be holding the deposit and once he receives the deposit and the P&S he will call the seller to schedule a closing. My lawyer has STRICT INSTRUCTIONS to call that seller THE DAY I drop off that deposit check to him…THAT DAY…Not tomorrow morning…SAME DAY. The reason for this is simple…You want to build TRUST with your seller because in all likelyhood there will be some issues with the title chain that can delay the closing. Most of my properties are purchased from people who owe NOTHING on them…I see discharges on old mortgages that have never been recorded, deceased relatives who estates haven’t been properly closed, and a ton of other bullsh*t…THIS is why having an attorney is VALUABLE…It’s baby steps…It’s about WALKING that seller through the process and geting CLEAR TITLE to the property. A good lawyer can expedite that process and HOLD THE DEAL TOGETHER. I’ve had sellers that wanted to bail out of the deal because they had to contact their EX WIFE or HUSBAND and get a signature on a document and they call me and say…“FORGET IT” I’m not calling him, the deal is OFF…The NEXT PHONE call they get is from MY ATTORNEY explaining to them the RAMIFICATION of renegging on a signed P&S and the LAWSUIT that will follow. We call that the BAD COP…Then he turns GOOD COP and reminds them of all the MONEY they’ll be getting and MAYBE there’s SOMEONE in the family that can contact the EX 'FOR THE SELLER!!!" The bottom line is the deal gets DONE because people know the LAWYER who will not hesitate to sue them for breach of contract.

But…Most important for NEW GUYS…

Having an ATTORNEY handling the transaction GREATLY REDUCES the chances of you getting cut out of the deal by ANOTHER INVESTOR.

My P&S agreements all say the same thing…SOLD TO______________________(my name or LLC goes on the dotted line followed by these simple words OR ASSIGNEE

Those TWO WORDS allow you to SELL your P&S to ANOTHER INVESTOR and GET PAID without ever CLOSING on the property!!!

Your ATTORNEY will handle all the paper work and deal with YOUR BUYER…YOUR BUYER now knows you’re “LAWYERED UP” and it is VERY UNLIKELY they will try to cut you out of the deal…If that happens YOUR LAWYER DOESN’T GET PAID!!! Lawyers LIKE getting PAID…They HATE not getting paid and LOVE to write threatening letters to people who piss them off!! It’s a BEAUTIFUL RELATIONSHIP.

The entire legal transaction will cost you about $1000…CHUMP CHANGE and FULLY DEDUCTABLE!!!

Find the DEAL…I can walk you through the rest.

Once your bank is built up you can just close on the properties yourself and then put them on the MARKET and let the WOLVES FIGHT IT OUT. You won;t make as much assigning a property because your buyer pool won’t be as large and some of the less experienced buyers won’t understand the transaction…But you only need a couple of them to build yourself a nice FAT BANK ROLL!




and the MONEY will FIND YOU!!!

Great post, fdjake.

Once again, I am sitting (figuratively) at your knee, listening. Please keep talking.


Just re-read your post. A “P&S” is…Purchase and Assignment contract?
Couldn’t find it in the glossary.


P&S = Purchase and Sale

It’s in the Real Estate Abbreviations, not the glossary…



Sorry about that…As already noted…P&S = Purchase and Sales, as in One party is the Purchaser and the other, the SELLER (sales)

The “or ASSIGNEE” portion of the agreement is put in after YOUR NAME on the P&S and it effectively allows you to “SELL” or “ASSIGN” your sales agreement to another investor.

Thanks for the tips again.

I have an offer in @ $30,000 for a 2-bedroom house, an REO. The bank will lend 100% via my line of credit.

I should be able to fix it up for $10,000 and then sell it for $70,000. Or have it appraised and re-finance it. Not a real killer deal, but still something I haven’t done before. Before I was always selling off a rental.

So I am just waiting to hear. And trying to keep the furnished rentals full.


furnisheddowner, check out the refinance rules if you pay cash, and I think using your line of credit would be considered paying cash.

you have to wait either 6 or 12 months to get a mortgage on a house you paid cash for, at least for a traditional conforming mortgage,thats my understanding


Thanks for the heads-up on the re-finance idea.



You will have to wait 12 months to get that refi done. The waiting period is 12 months if there is no lien on the property (which there won’t be because technically you are paying cash for the property). If you can put down 80-90% and finance the other 10-20% it will shorten your waiting period to 6 months. Also, because of the way you are doing it it will be concidered a cash-out which will make it more expensive. Make sure you have your exit strategy in place before you pull the trigger.

Another great post fdjake!

Since your attorney contacts the seller the same day to arrange closing details, what happens if you assign the contract to another investor? Does that investor have to agree to abide by whatever closing details your attorney setup? Won’t they want their own attorney to handle the closing for them? If so, how does your attorney get compensated if he/she is not handling the closing?

Great post. The thing that gets me is that the financial experts in politics, higher ups in the banks and stock market clearly saw the writing on the wall but when bonus hunting and made 100s of millions. The mass population suffered while these people had zero accountability when actually they should have been the ones to act. Instead they acted upon greed and even took home bonuses when the govt bailout many came along. Now they are insanely rich and cashing in again by buying low when the market is down. Shameless, absolutely shameless. Where is the accountability? Where is the pride and ethics? And the mass population of people in the world are suffering. Watch the movie Inside Job narrated by Matt Damon. There is a lot of truth to it. If it where a sports team the coaches and front office would be accountable and they would all be fired. Apparently if it is the stock market, banks and politics then they get off Scott free and have more money then they know what to do with. Crocked, corrupt, greedy, pathetic. It all could have been avoided if they did the right thing and actually used their financial expertise.

Thanks for the tips on re-financing a new purchase done with a credit line. I’m guessing I have to go to my same bank for the re-finance, as I will want that credit line borrowing ability back.

I already have too many loans, in fact can’t even re-finance my main residence. The only alternative is getting a portfolio (bank keeps the loan in-house) loan from the bank. They will cross collaterize it with our other loaned-on properties. If one goes down, then they’ll all go down. But none of them will ever go into arrears as we guard our loan repayments and credit-worthiness.


I sold a property to a guy (multi-millionaire from NY) who was paying cash but planned to REFI immediately. He took title in his name, but had the closing attorney put a deed of trust on file for the full amount of the purchase. The deed of trust (we use those here in NC) beneficiary one of his LLC’s. All it cost him was the extra recording fee of I think 25 bucks. That way when he went to REFI, it didn’t look like a cash out. Which is much easier. Seemed like a neat trick I might use someday.

Very, very interesting, John_in_NC.

Has anyone else here tried that little trick?


my understanding is as long as there is a lien on the property you can refinance, it could be to a friend or relative, but that would allow you to refi