Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Couple Lives In $1.3 Million, 4,900 Sq. Ft. Home For 5 Yrs Without Making Single Mortgage Payment
Zero Hedge ^ | 03/05/2012 | Tyler Durden

Posted on 03/05/2012 5:11:32 PM PST by SeekAndFind

Wonder how Americans can afford to buy millions of iGadgets, a second LCD TV for the shoe closet, and eat at restaurants more than almost any time in the past despite sliding personal income? Simple - increasingly fewer pay the biggest staple bill in a US household: their mortgage. The following story of Keith And Janet Ritter, who have lived in their Fort Washington, MD $1.29MM, 4,900 square foot McMansion for 5 years (which they purchase with no money down) without ever making a single mortgage payment, and who are not even close to being evicted, may explain much about the way US society currently operates, and why other perfectly responsible and hard-working taxpayers (who do have to pay for their mortgage) continue to fund tens of billions in Fannie and Freddie losses who are first on the hook to absorb the implicit losses by allowing families such as the Ritters to live in perpetuity without paying, and the banks to keep said mortgage on the books at par without any impairments.

The Washington Post has more on this absolute horror story of a case study of just how busted the USSA has become:

The eviction from their million-dollar home could come at any moment. Keith and Janet Ritter have been bracing for it — and battling against it — almost from the moment they moved into the five-bedroom, 4,900-square-foot manse along the Potomac River in Fort Washington.

 

In five years, they have never made a mortgage payment, a fact that amazes even the most seasoned veterans of the foreclosure crisis.

 

The Ritters have kept the sheriff at bay by repeatedly filing for bankruptcy and by exploiting changes in Maryland’s laws designed to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure.

 

Those efforts to protect homeowners have transformed Maryland’s foreclosure process from one of the country’s shortest to one of the longest. It now takes on average 634 days to complete a foreclosure in Maryland, compared with 132 days in Virginia.

 

“The market won’t fix itself,” said Anne Norton, Maryland’s deputy commissioner for financial regulations. “By the time it does, how many homeowners will be churned up and spit out by the machine?”

 

Critics, including economists and lenders, blame the state’s go-slow approach for a growing backlog of foreclosures and a weak-to-nonexistent recovery in home prices. To them, the system puts too much emphasis on helping individual homeowners and not enough on quickly clearing the market of foreclosures so prices can rebound and hard-hit communities can recover. And they say it also creates opportunities for abuse by those determined to drag the process out for as long as possible.

 

“How is it people can stay in a house for five years without ever making a mortgage payment?” said Thomas A. Lawler, a former senior vice president at Fannie Mae who now runs his own consulting firm in Loudoun County. “That’s a screwed-up process. It’s an example of how the process is broken.”

 

The Ritters, who bought their house for $1.29 million with almost no money down, are hardly representative of the vast majority of Maryland’s distressed homeowners.

 

During the boom, they set out to become mini real estate moguls, buying properties and flipping them for a profit. In the process, Keith Ritter, 54, went from being on probation for bankruptcy fraud and making minimum wage to being a successful real estate investor and landlord with a six-figure income. Then, when the housing market tanked five years ago, the couple found themselves facing multiple foreclosures.

 

The Ritters have tried to negotiate different payment arrangements with their lender to save their posh home near National Harbor, they said, but to no avail.

 

“It was never our intention to get here and never make a mortgage payment,” Keith Ritter said. “We don’t believe in living for free.”

 

But he and Janet, a 51-year-old real estate agent, make no apology for using every tactic available to them to stay in their house, including challenging the foreclosure sale in court, requesting mediation and claiming they had a tenant living with them. Their adversaries, they argued, are giant financial institutions with armies of lawyers that are out to make as much money as possible at the expense of homeowners.

 

“When a bank does all it can to save itself, that’s good business,” Keith said. “When a homeowner does the same thing, he’s called a deadbeat.”

And that, ladies and gents, is why this country is fucked.

Meet the Ritters:

"Keith and Janet Ritter inside their home in Fort Washington, Md. In five years, they have never made a mortgage payment, a fact that amazes even the most seasoned veterans of the foreclosure crisis."

"Janet Ritter in the dining area of their Fort Washington home. The
Ritters make no apology for using every tactic available to them to stay
in their house, including challenging the foreclosure sale in court and
requesting mediation
."

"Keith Ritter has a business, Beat It Movers, that involves eviction services, property preservation and cleaning of foreclosed homes. Here, he checks out some ceiling damage in one such home in Fort Washington. Ritter gets the irony of working for some of the same banks that have foreclosed on him. But he has to make money somehow. “All I know is real estate,” he said."

Casa de Ritter:

"The Ritter's Fort Washington home. They have kept their home for so long by repeatedly filing for bankruptcy and by exploiting changes in Maryland’s laws designed to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure."

"Interior of Keith and Janet Ritter's Fort Washington home. Efforts to protect homeowners have transformed Maryland’s foreclosure process from one of the country’s shortest to one of the longest. It now takes on average 634 days to complete a foreclosure in Maryland, compared with 132 days in Virginia"

 

And when all else fails, beg god for debt forgiveness: "Bible verses are marked that pertain to debt and forgiveness on a table in the Ritters’ home in Fort Washington."

Then again, who needs God when you have hope and change... for some.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Society
KEYWORDS: deadbeats; foreclosures; housing; housingcrisis; maryland; marylandlaw; mortgages

1 posted on 03/05/2012 5:11:40 PM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

ya...my neighbor just did that in $1M home for the last 2 years....but I think he finally had to exit in the last 2 weeks.


2 posted on 03/05/2012 5:16:43 PM PST by G Larry (We are NOT obliged to carry the snake in our pocket and then dismiss the bites as natural behavior.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Just kill me.


3 posted on 03/05/2012 5:17:45 PM PST by DungeonMaster (If a man will not work, then neither shall he eat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Just kill me.


4 posted on 03/05/2012 5:19:42 PM PST by DungeonMaster (If a man will not work, then neither shall he eat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: G Larry

RE: but I think he finally had to exit in the last 2 weeks.

Are you saying he lived for 2 years in a million dollar home RENT FREE?

Where’s he moving to this time?


5 posted on 03/05/2012 5:21:19 PM PST by SeekAndFind (question)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Yes, that’s how long it takes to foreclose and evict.

don’t know what’s next for he and his kids...


6 posted on 03/05/2012 5:27:30 PM PST by G Larry (We are NOT obliged to carry the snake in our pocket and then dismiss the bites as natural behavior.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I read that one earlier, crazy, crazy and crazy.


7 posted on 03/05/2012 5:31:43 PM PST by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

““When a homeowner does the same thing, he’s called a deadbeat.””

These people are worse than that, they belong in prison!!!!


8 posted on 03/05/2012 5:35:56 PM PST by dalereed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I’ve got Bible verses for them:

Exodus 20:15
Thou shalt not steal.

Psalm 37:21
The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;


9 posted on 03/05/2012 5:46:33 PM PST by Waryone (Mitt Romney, dangerous homosexualist and lying socialist)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I’m sure my wonderful Governor will take action against such abuses. No, forget that, he’s dealing with important issues like signing gay marriage legislation and trying to jack up as many fees as possible.


10 posted on 03/05/2012 5:50:48 PM PST by NotSoFreeStater (If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
“When a bank does all it can to save itself, that’s good business,” Keith said. “When a homeowner does the same thing, he’s called a deadbeat.”

No, the bank is a deadbeat too. If more banks had been evicted and replaced with scrapbooking shops, maybe we wouldn't still be in the recession.

11 posted on 03/05/2012 5:58:52 PM PST by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Holder’s people.


12 posted on 03/05/2012 6:16:02 PM PST by july4thfreedomfoundation (I'm NOT smitten' with Mittens)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Gorgeous place.

I always wonder, though: who cleans and does the yard work? Somehow, I don’t see this lady cleaning 5k sq feet and those huge windows, yet the place looks spotless. So, they have money for services, money for utilities, tax payments, clothing, cars, furniture....but they do that by not paying their enormous mortgage?

I know we could never gt away with that, even if we would think about it. Which we would not.


13 posted on 03/05/2012 6:20:09 PM PST by reformedliberal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: july4thfreedomfoundation

Obama Voters.

Prince George’s County is full of them.

These are the people who keep Steny Hoyer, O Malley, and Obama in office.

You woder why Maryland is Democrat> Look at the accompanying pictures and read the story.


14 posted on 03/05/2012 6:26:10 PM PST by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: july4thfreedomfoundation

Obama Voters.

Prince George’s County is full of them.

These are the people who keep Steny Hoyer, O Malley, and Obama in office.

You wonder why Maryland is Democrat> Look at the accompanying pictures and read the story.


15 posted on 03/05/2012 6:26:20 PM PST by Venturer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I think I am going to cry myself to sleep.


16 posted on 03/05/2012 6:26:51 PM PST by PennsylvaniaMom (Just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Couple Lives In $1.3 Million, 4,900 Sq. Ft. Home For 5 Yrs Without Making Single Mortgage Payment

I notice that we are all expected to use our finely tuned powers of observation and deduction to realize that the reason it's taken over 5 years is --- suspicion of racism!

17 posted on 03/05/2012 6:28:40 PM PST by Publius6961 (“It’s easy to make phony promises you can’t keep.” - Obama, Feb23, 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The photos presented details that I expected to see.


18 posted on 03/05/2012 6:30:07 PM PST by isthisnickcool (Sharia? No thanks!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KarlInOhio

Sounds to me the Banks knew he was a financial mess prior to approving the loan. Maybe greed got the best of the bank and they did not care since the mortgage would be sold as Triple A paper to a unsuspected party. The article should be point out the banks evil deed instead of solely the borrower.


19 posted on 03/05/2012 6:35:29 PM PST by Orange1998
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The bipartisan political class of federally funded local interests is holding back the foreclosure tsunami, because they want to keep property taxes high as long as possible and at all costs. Nearly all politicos who are not directly government employed are dependent on government for incomes and revenues.

No vote, and starve the B.


20 posted on 03/05/2012 6:37:38 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: isthisnickcool

Yup.


21 posted on 03/05/2012 6:40:28 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind; All

Thanks for posting. Interesting thread here and at ZH (750 comments/links...I’ve read about 100 of them in the last hour). BTTT!


22 posted on 03/05/2012 6:42:38 PM PST by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Orange1998

“Keith Ritter has a business, Beat It Movers, that involves eviction services, property preservation and cleaning of foreclosed homes.”

I’m not sure what the schtick here is, but my money is on a quid pro quo between the banksters and this guy somewhere somehow...


23 posted on 03/05/2012 6:57:38 PM PST by mo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Venturer

24 posted on 03/05/2012 6:59:27 PM PST by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: isthisnickcool

Yup.


25 posted on 03/06/2012 4:02:46 AM PST by Jack Hammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I did not understand how the Ritters were getting away with this outrage until I saw their pictures. Now I get it — they are black. Perfectly understandable. Throwing them out would be racist. (Why did I ever spent 30 years of my life paying off a mortgage? Because I’m the wrong color.)

This country is Fluked.


26 posted on 03/06/2012 12:33:27 PM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: G Larry

people like this couple and your neighbor are NOT NEW to the scamming game. They’ve done it all their lives and will continue to do so. They have no conscience or ethics.

They vote democrat.


27 posted on 04/10/2012 12:44:50 PM PDT by a real Sheila ("Vado a bordo, cazzo!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: a real Sheila

It is the natural response to the incentives provided.

The guy was broke, the forclosure process has it’s rules and timelines, so nothing was forcing him to leave until new owners showed up.

The “scam” was set up and enforced in D.C.
These guys didn’t set out to “do” anything.
They were just along for the ride.


28 posted on 04/10/2012 12:56:50 PM PDT by G Larry (We are NOT obliged to carry the snake in our pocket and then dismiss the bites as natural behavior.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: All

this article is just being sensational.

This scam was happening LOooooooong before the 2005 bankruptcy reforms.

This has NOTHING to do with present day reality of robo signing, MERS fraud, Notary fraud, lost/destroyed notes, and other scams put out by the banks to sell default swaps.

Even if every injustice was satisfied and debt write downs to the value of the collateral was done, these people would still be scamming regardless of the system in place.


29 posted on 04/10/2012 1:20:23 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: TexasRepublic

There were plenty of white yuppie young couples doing this same sort of scam with expensive beachfront homes in Florida in the early 2000s. They would pay about three payments and then live there two more years paying nothing until the value was beat down and then have a buddy come buy it again at a fire sale price.


30 posted on 04/10/2012 1:40:18 PM PDT by KC Burke (Newton's New First Law, Repeal and Restore!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: KC Burke

exactly.

this article is garbage to conceal the fact that these people were scammers, are scammers, and will continue to be scammers no matter what the law.


31 posted on 04/10/2012 1:43:05 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: isthisnickcool

Reparations by alternative means.


32 posted on 04/10/2012 1:50:08 PM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: longtermmemmory

Its obvious that they augment their tactic with race based excuses to prolong the process but the vast majority of scammers that do this intentionally are white. This sort of scam is not the province of the minority community by and large — minority scammers as a sub-set are just quick learners.


33 posted on 04/10/2012 3:23:47 PM PDT by KC Burke (Newton's New First Law, Repeal and Restore!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson