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Don’t know what to do with that investment property you bought? How about turn it into a brothel…

Created: On October 18, 2007 @ 4:41 pm In

By Jim Perez,
DebtHelp, Inc. Staff Writer


This is the first in an occasional posting on what extremes seemingly normal human beings will take to make ends meet in the land Dubya created.

Although I like the name SuperFreakOnomics, I believe Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, the boys who wrote Freakonomics, are writing a sequel, which they plan on calling, appropriately enough, SuperFreakOnomics.

Those guys have more money than I do, and can afford better lawyers than I.

Considering their writing also appears in the New York Times, they have access to great media lawyers, which the Times has used on a number of occasions. Anyone remember Jayson Blair? Rick Bragg? Judith Miller?

So in the hopes of not getting sued, I will call this blog something else.

I think Super-Freakin’-Ah-Mics sets a nice tone.

Anyway, the economy is getting kind of crazy. People are talking about a recession that will be the hardest to hit the country since the Great Depression of 1929.

I didn’t have the pleasure of living through the Great Depression, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t sound as if it were so great to me.

Today, confidence in the dollar is shrinking. The housing market is tilting. And consumer confidence is eroding quicker than Bush’s popularity.

As such, “extremis malis extrema remedia,” which translated means “extreme maladies for extreme ills,” or as it’s more commonly put: Desperate times call for desperate measures.

In New Rochelle, N. Y. …

Yes, you Trivial Pursuit fans, you read right: New Rochelle, the home of Laura and Rob Petrie. After reading this, you’ll know why they never slept in the same bed:

Anyone remember Pulp Fiction?

Undercover officers raided a three-bedroom home after seeing a Craig’s List posting offering dominatrix services. The posting even offered a grand opening special. The officers arrested four alleged prostitutes and the homeowners.

New Rochelle ain’t Kansas, Toto.

Police say the house had been turned into a brothel. A red ribbon near the sidewalk welcomed customers to the grand opening.
The owners, 34-year-old Robert Werner and his 32-year-old wife Heather Mazzenga, both of whom are mortgage brokers, were charged with promoting prostitution, a felony, police said. The four alleged prostitutes, who range in age from 21 to 30, were charged with unlawfully practicing massage, a misdemeanor.

According to news reports, neighbors said the house had originally been listed for $750,000, but didn’t sell even after the price had been dropped to $600,000. The owners had rented the property to a string of tenants, and the house grew more and more rundown until new occupants arrived a few weeks ago.

The new tenants, who kept out of sight, mowed the lawn and put up heavy shades on all the windows, neighbors said.
A neighbor of the New Rochelle brothel was quoted as saying: “I know they’re (owners) mortgage brokers. And I know it’s been a tough business, so I assume they might have had financial difficulty.”

Police said they believe that troubles in the housing market led to the couple’s financial woes.
Werner and Mazzenga had filed for bankruptcy a few days prior to the bust, and barely kept their home in nearby Pleasantville from foreclosure.

Now don’t get me wrong. Super-Freakin’-Ah-Mics is of the mind that someone, or even a number of someones, should do time for the housing and credit markets collapse crime.

But my thought is that the imprisoned should be the lobbyists who sent members of Congress on cruises or other junkets, and plied them with liquor, hookers and millions in campaign contributions, to pave the way to easing regulations and tax laws so that the subprime debacle could live.

Or perhaps it should have been members of Congress making bail arrangements.

Or even better yet, both the lobbyists and members of the best Congress money can buy should share cells.

I imagine we’ll be seeing more and more flashing red light specials in the coming 18 months as millions of borrowers, who were seduced by lenders offering cheap and easy money, find themselves stuck as their ARMs readjust and they can’t afford their ballooning mortgage payments, and are unable to unload their properties in a down housing market.

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