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July 28, 2008

"Extreme Makeover" Houses Faces Foreclosure

I'm posting this because just last night I flipped over to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for the first time in like three years. As Ty announced that a family would get a brand-new house, I was about to say to the person I was watching with "And then they'll take out a huge loan on the house and lose it in a year." But I bit my tongue, because I didn't want to be a douche. And it is a cute show. So why be a dick.

But a previous family did in fact take out a $450,000 loan on their new home -- built by the free labor and donated materials of 1800 -- and are now in danger of losing it because they're not repaying.

ABC said in a statement that it advises each family to consult a financial planner after they get their new home. "Ultimately, financial matters are personal, and we work to respect the privacy of the families," the network said.

Some of the volunteers who helped build the home were less than thrilled about the family's financial decisions.

"It's aggravating. It just makes you mad. You do that much work, and they just squander it," Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt, who helped vault a massive beam into place in the Harper's living room, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On August 5, the house goes up for auction.

They had a free house. No mortgage. Owned it free and clear. All they had to do was pay taxes on it, which, while not insubstantial, is certainly far, far less than most people have to pay for their home.

Instead, they just took out a loan and then defaulted.

Eesh: Not only were they given a new house (with brand new furniture and appliances to boot), but it was a huge house, and they got $200,000 in addition, to pay (presumably) the taxes on the windfall and help put their kids through college.

More details here. They took out the loan, it's said, for a construction business that failed. I suppose that's... sort of understandable, but they needed to capitalize a construction business to the tune of nearly a half-million dollars?

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posted by Ace at 03:35 PM

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