Posts in category "Condominium Ownership"

The Enigmatic Carlton Knight

Ever so often, someone e-mails me a question or volunteers information about my real estate developer Carlton Knight. For those of you who don’t know the history, he is the driving force behind me starting my blog.  He is the reason “I Hate My Developer” exists. In the pre-Chicago Now version of this blog, I... Read more »

Foreclosure Stories: The End

My mortgage nightmare was coming to an end. After being deeply underwater as property values in Woodlawn continued to decline, I had made an offer to purchase my condo for $20,000 and found a friend to finance the deal. Despite the fact that things were falling into place, I was still up against a big... Read more »

Foreclosure Stories: The $20,000 Loan

I had a potential deal on the table to purchase my condo for $20,000. The only problem was that I didn’t have that kind of money.  Actually let me rephrase that, I didn’t have any money. I’m still “in-between jobs” and what assets I had were depleted long ago. In case you didn’t know, banks... Read more »
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Foreclosure Stories: My Home Is Worth $20,000

The south and west sides are ground zero for mortgage fraud in Chicago.  Wave after wave of foreclosures and vacant or half finished buildings have decimated property values. If you have the available money, you could take about $100,000 and literally buy a city block in certain neighborhoods. That’s how much the property values have... Read more »

Foreclosure Stories: My Mortgage Gets Sold

Just because I wasn’t paying my mortgage didn’t mean that I didn’t have contact with my mortgage servicer. They called dutifully—in some cases up to four or five times a day—to get me to pay my past due balance. I was truthful with them. Since they couldn’t make a reduction in my payments, there was... Read more »

Foreclosure Stories: Getting Lucky

Do not think that the answer to any mortgage problem you may have is to simply to stop paying. You entered into a legal contract. It is enforceable and you could very well find your ass out on the street if you choose to do what I did. It’s a dangerous game that I don’t... Read more »
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Foreclosure Stories: I Stopped Paying My Mortgage

January 2012 was the last time I paid my mortgage in full. Like many unemployed or underemployed Americans, I had some tough decisions to make regarding my finances.  If I paid the mortgage, how was I going to eat?  How was I going to keep the utilities on?  How was the phone bill going to... Read more »

City's Neighborhood Improvement Program Provides Grants For Home Repairs

Chicago’s must lamented TIF districts are as confusing as they are controversial. Much has been written about their existence, their usefulness and their primary goal of spurring development in blighted areas. Yet some Chicagoans might be surprised to discover that a component of some of the TIF districts is the little known Neighborhood Improvement Program.... Read more »

Mayor Elect Emanuel---Condo Owners Need Help Too.

Mayor Elect Emanuel, In case no one on your transition team told you, condo owners of all stripes in our city are in a world of hurt.  Questionable developers + slipshod workmanship + cutting corners + undereducated consumers = a housing nightmare. The first manifestation is already here; buildings built (or rehabbed) so poorly that... Read more »
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Notes From Maria Pappas

When Maria Pappas sends you a registered letter from the Cook County Treasurer’s office, it is often in your best interest to open it right away. ‘Cause she ain’t sending you a thank you note. When the notice of my delinquent taxes arrived, my financial situation was worsening every day. There were no immediate job... Read more »