It’s hard to find a tale much sadder than this recent news from Los Angeles about a man who killed his wife, himself and their five beautiful children. Real estate woes loom prominently in the story.
According to the Daily Breeze, Ervin Lupoe and his wife bought their suburban Los Angeles home for $290,000 in 2003, borrowing the entire amount. They refinanced it twice during the boom, taking out a total of $630,000. Then, apparently to help pay for child care, Ervin lied about his income and forged documents, a move that cost both he and his wife what would likely have been stable jobs working at a local hospital.
Ervin, a former Marine, blamed the hospital for his actions in a suicide note faxed to a local TV station.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.