Catherine Bach was last seen in 2000. Famous for her role as Daisy Duke in the Dukes of Hazzard, her whereabouts have been unknown for more than a decade. Then there’s Jan-Michael Vincent. He gained stardom from the popular 80’s TV series Airwolf. No one has seen this guy since the show was cancelled in 1996. And the list goes on and on.
- Gil Gerard from Buck Rogers and the 25th Century – missing since 1993.
- Bronson Pinchot (Balki) from the TV sitcom Perfect Strangers – disappeared in 1998.
- Shelley Long (Diane from Cheers) – off the radar in 1996.
- Joe Piscopo, stand-up comic and Saturday Night Live regular, AWOL in 1995.
This is sad. These up and coming celebrities were stolen from us in the prime of their careers. Vanished. As a public service the Center for Vanished Celebrities is seeking help from us – the fans. If you have seen any of these stars, perhaps on a late-night infomercial hocking weight loss products or on a local used car commercial, please contact the Center immediately. Because the Center for Vanished Celebrities exists, as their website says, “to locate and rehabilitate those poor unfortunates.”
I’ve been thinking about creating a similar service called the Center for Vanished Bulk REO Sellers. Its purpose would be to track down all of the principals, brokers, marketing representatives, specialists and managers that promised me bulk REO portfolios at .30 – .70 cents on the dollar and then promptly disappeared.
In 2008, I was asked by the manager of a private equity fund in California to perform due diligence on a Fannie Mae bulk pool of 78 single-family homes located in Arizona, California, and Nevada. I analyzed 38 of the properties that were located here in the Phoenix area. Much to my surprise they were all listed on the multiple listing service for less than Fannie Mae’s asking price. When this was brought to the broker’s attention we never heard from him again. I can only conclude that he was abducted by aliens or placed in the bulk REO seller witness protection program.
Last June, in a blog post titled REO Tapes: The Loch Ness Monster of Real Estate, I documented several other examples of these mysterious disappearances. Here’s how one of my readers responded:
“I am a real estate professional in the Tampa Bay area and I had an interesting conversation with a Senior VP of Bank of America and the bank’s position is they would rather wait for the market values to come up than sell off at .60 -.70 on the dollar. They have already written off so much they would prefer to wait it out.”
That’s what I thought too. So I was skeptical when a Realtor approached me back in October about a client he had that purchased 450 homes directly from Fannie Mae. This Realtor told me I could buy them for .70 cents on the dollar. Since that meeting I’ve called or emailed this agent at least 10 times. I just left him another message last week and my call has not been returned. No doubt he went on a vacation to the Bermuda Triangle.
Not that the banks aren’t selling these bulk REO packages off at a discount. They are. Just not at a good enough discount for us fix and flip investors to make any money. And when the bulk REO seller realizes I have access to the multiple listing service and know my values they conveniently stop responding to emails or taking my calls. It reminds me of what the prison warden from the Shawshank Redemption said when Andy escaped, “Man up and vanished like a fart in the wind!”