I’m writing to you today from the kitchen of a haunted house.
To the naked eye, the interior is nothing more than a chic, open space with marble countertops and clean eggshell white furniture. It looks like a home whipped straight from the pages of Architectural Digest.
But don’t let the modern fixtures and exotic lampshades fool you.
This house is old — more than 100 years, I’m told.
And according to the 67-year-old owner, a Miss Abigail Blue, a dark specter from her past looms over the house.
“I feel like I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in months,” she says as she pours me a fresh cup of coffee. “I’m racked with worry. And the worst part is… it’s all my own fault.”
But the ghoul that haunts this home is not your average poltergeist. You won’t find it rattling its shackles in the basement or stomping about the attic at 3 am.
No sir. This… is a financial haunting.
You see, this house, though lavish in appearance, is dogged by a monstrous debt racked up over years of remodeling.
“I was operating under the misguided idea that every renovation was increasing the value of the house,” says Miss Abigail. “But somewhere along the way, my debts overtook the value of the house.”
According to Miss Abigail, the vast majority of her income goes to paying off her debts and maintaining the house.
“My income used to be a lot higher. But now I’m on a fixed income and I’m struggling to keep up. The worst part is the house is what they call ‘underwater’. Which means if I sold it, it would only end up costing me money.”
Miss Abigail is currently trying to refinance her home to ease up the pressure but isn’t holding out much hope for help from the bank.
“The man said he’ll try his best but the numbers don’t look good.”
Only time will tell if Miss Abigail’s home succumbs to the specter of her debts. But I fear a lucrative side hustle or secondary income may be the only way to exercise these particular demons.
For now, let us look to other tales of financial woe.
In the spirit of the holiday, today and tomorrow, we will be featuring and investigating some of the most terrifying financial horror stories from our readers.
Please note: These stories are not presented purely for your entertainment. They serve as a reminder of the many dangers of our broken and predatory financial systems.
Until tomorrow, I leave you with the chilling tales of a first home nightmare and a one percenter who lost everything.
All the best,
Editor, Money & Crisis
P.S. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. The best way to get out of debt fast is simply to make more money.
How do you make more money, you ask? Check out this powerful income-building strategy to pull $3,000 out of the stock market every month. It’s so simple, almost anyone could do it. Click here for a step-by-step guide to making money with this strategy.
Plaster or Plastic?
By Mike L.
When my wife and I were shopping for our first home, we had no idea what we were doing. “How to buy a house” isn’t something they teach you in school, ya know?
So when a couple we know recommended this seminar on buying a home, we jumped at the opportunity.
The first day of the seminar was fine. It was all about doing your due diligence when inspecting a property and the pros and cons of real estate investing.
On the second day, it became clear we were dealing with a bunch of scam artists.
First of all, they just so happened to have some leads on some “fantastic properties” in the area. We learned later that they were involved financially in some way with these houses.
But the really dangerous part was their strategy for financing your property.
They handed out a long list of credit card companies and told us to apply for as many credit cards as we could. Then to use to those cards to buy our home.
Well, we weren’t super financially savvy, but that was a red flag for us. We walked away but there were some poor couples who actually thought this was a legitimate strategy somehow.
The Hardest Way to Learn a Lesson
By Peter M.
Before the 2008 crash, I was working on Wall Street and living the dream.
I was pulling down a six-figure salary. I had the house. I had the car. I had the family. And I had a fat stack of investments tied up in the company I worked for.
Back in 2007, having most of your net worth invested in this company’s stock was supposed to be safe. Its track record was so impeccable it didn’t actually seem like a risk… until it was, I guess.
Without my income and my investments, we lost everything when I lost my job. With the school costs for the kids, we couldn’t afford to make the payments on the house.
Heck, we were struggling to even feed and clothe ourselves. Within six months, we were back living with my mother.
Things are a lot better now. We’re older and wiser. I have a modest salary but we’re more financially secure thanwe ever were when we were raking in the cash.