Guy Recreates Steve Carell Bit To Save House From Foreclosure, Fails

All he wanted was to delay things just a little bit more so that his dad would have some more time to try to work out a deal between the lender to get that holiest of holies, a loan modification. So, in a desperate attempt to save his dad’s house, a guy shows up at the foreclosure auction and tries out two classic comedy bits.

In the first, he got into a shouting match with the auctioneer who said, “This house is for sale,” and the son said, “no it’s not.” They went back and forth for a little bit before the auctioneer moves on.

Since that didn’t work, when the auctioneer starts the bidding, the son starts yelling out random numbers like Steve Carell did in Bruce Almighty. Despite his best loud random number spewing, other people are able to get valid bids and the house gets sold.

So that’s what it’s like on the frontlines of the mortgage meltdown foreclosure fracas. Sometimes, neither a flurry of conference calls, nor enlisting the help of a HUD-counselor, nor employing vaudeville-inspired comedy routines, can save you when the reaper comes.

One Man’s Account of Acting Like Steve Carrell to Try to Save His Father’s Foreclosed Home from the Auction Block [OC Weekly] (Thanks to Shawna!)

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  1. dragonfire81 says:

    I do not understand why banks are so hardcore about refusing to work with borrowers. Don’t foreclosures hurt them more than a load modification would?

    • YokoOhNo says:

      The banks make more money when they foreclose. their loan was guaranteed and the government is paying them thousands to simply consider modifying the loan. they keep the thousands and get the guarantee too. they have no incentive to modify most loans.

      • chargernj says:

        really? They make more money when they foreclose? Who is guaranteeing these loans? And where did you get the idea that the government is paying them to even consider modification.

        Seriously, I had never heard of either of those two things you said there

      • chargernj says:

        really? They make more money when they foreclose? Who is guaranteeing these loans? And where did you get the idea that the government is paying them to even consider modification.

        Seriously, I had never heard of either of those two things you said there

        • human_shield says:

          Yes, the gov’t had/has a program that pays banks incentives to begin loan modification procedures.

        • ARP says:

          Fannie insures mortgages. Lot’s of foreclosures=lot’s of claims to fannie mae= very deep in debt. So, for a bank, they can foreclose, sell it, and make a claim for what they don’t recover. They make more money than modifying. Of course that means the government is paying for their greed.

    • Marlin says:

      If the bank tries to work out a deal, its still their problem.

      Dump it, even for pennies, and its someone elses problem. (taxs, damage, paperwork “issues”, etc…”

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Why, exactly, do they care? They can just write off their losses. And any loss not covered by tax write-offs is covered by insurance.

      Someone is liable to reply to this with some “Just World” nonsense about how it doesn’t make any sense for private enterprise to screw customers, but w/e.

      • Sneeje says:

        Losses like this are not covered by insurance. There is no such thing as asset-loss-of-value insurance. Banks may hedge their investments through other methods perhaps.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          Ever hear of credit default swaps? Caused a little fiscal hiccup a couple years back?

          • kujospam says:

            I don’t think he has. Should probably tell him thats why AIG is going to be able to pay back the taxpayer money, and why Golden Ballsaches is rolling in it.

          • Sneeje says:

            A credit default swap is not “insurance”, it is a “credit default swap”. If you are using “insurance” in a *very* loosely defined manner saying banks attempted to protect their losses in a method similar to insurance (but even that is a stretch), then perhaps it would make sense.

    • obits3 says:

      I think it has to do with “fiduciary duty” issues. If the bank forecloses, it is hard for investors to say “you are violating fiduciary duty.” If the bank modifies the loan, they risk investors saying “You had a fiduciary duty to us, you gave our money to the borrowers, etc…”

      Banks don’t want to get sued, so they choose the CYA path.

    • coffeeculture says:

      moral hazard….if i know i can miss payments and renegotiate later on, i might just do it. instead, now i’ll know the bank will FC and take my house.

      • Kate says:

        That was already true, and hardly something that the bank doesn’t do itself if it deems it a good business move.

    • BBBB says:

      “I do not understand why banks are so hardcore about refusing to work with borrowers. Don’t foreclosures hurt them more than a load modification would?”

      You might see that for a specific house, but in the big picture it might be different. To properly modify a loan there is a lot of cost to insure that the bank is not being scammed – this is real cost, not just using in house resources because the local market, the house itself, and the borrower have to be investigated.

      Another factor is that the bank may have determined that the borrower probably will default anyway with the modified loan, so why incur more expenses and losses delaying the inevitable.

      Of course there are exceptions that a close examination will show that modification is really the better option for the bank, but the cost of identifying that small percentage is not worth it for the bank.

    • Wawa says:

      Because of the way home mortgages are bundled and re-sold to investors, the servicer (entity to whom you send your payment) is not usually the entity that actually owns your mortgage.

      The servicer forwards your mortgage payments to the mortgage owner and manages the escrow account (if applicable). Servicer only retains a few dollars a month from your mortgage payment to cover administrative costs. It’s not worth servicer’s time and money to facilitate a modification between the home owner and the mortgage owner.

    • YokoOhNo says:

      they make more/lose less by foreclosing.

      the explanation for any question that concerns the motives of a publicly traded corporation is “PROFIT”. They are doing it because it makes them more money than the laternative. The only reason for them to do something that causes them less profits would be ethical or moral qualms but, fortunately for shareholders and the spirit of “fiduciary responsibility”, morals and ethics are inconsequential to publicly traded corporations.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Yes. They would make more money with a loan modification. But then they carry the risk longer.

      Essentially banks are being ran based on stock price. Which means if shit goes bad you want to write it all off ASAP and move on. Take a one time hit.

      So for managing the stock price it is better to foreclose fast and sell off with a greater loss than it is to deal with the home owner with a modification that lets them keep the home and make another 20 years of payments.

      Banks work for wallstreet, not main street. And the law does not protect homeowners from this bullshit.

  2. LeonardoLeonardo says:

    That headline needs a “And Fails” at the end, apparently.

  3. TooManyHobbies says:

    Misleading headline. Should say “to TRY to save house…”

  4. nbs2 says:

    I don’t remember Steve Carell in Bruce Almighty. What was his character’s deal? The wiki plot summary doesn’t give me any insight.

    • dolemite says:

      He was on the sequel, Evan Almighty (which I haven’t seen).

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Bruce was the “in the field” reporter vying for the lead anchor spot in the studio. So was Carrell. Carrell got it, much to Bruce’s surprise and chagrin.

      Once Bruce became Almighty, he sabotaged Carrell’s on-air performance in order to get the position.

      • jesirose says:

        But were there random numbers? I don’t remember random numbers. I remember random sounds, and nonsense words, and embarrassing comments. *shrug*

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          They were not random numbers, but I think it was meant to reference the tourette-syndrome-style outbursts.

    • Whtthfgg says:

      He was his Nemesis co-worker news anchor. The guy Jim Carrey made go spastic while reading his news story…as seen in the picture here

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:
  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Would be nice of the spelling of Steve Carrell matched the linked article’s correct spelling. I love him too much to let it slide.

    • fatediesel says:

      You clearly don’t love him too much because Consumerist is right and the link (and you) are wrong, it’s Carell with 1 r.

  6. sir_eccles says:

    You mean like Cary Grant in North by Northwest surely?

  7. jesirose says:

    Okay, I hate to pick on the staff, but it’s amazing to me that someone say they are a “writer”, and not even be able to pick a tense and stick with it for an article.

  8. nbaptist says:

    Steve Carrell did Evan Almighty, Jim Carrey did Bruce Almighty!

  9. Azzizzi says:

    Toward the end of the article, the guy says he got a “three-day notice,” which I assume means he’s supposed to be out of the house in three days. He says he thinks the notice is a fake because he’s gotten offers to help stay in the house for months (for a fee). It sounds like the guy doesn’t have a good grip on reality.

    • Mom says:

      It sounded to me like Dad was being bombarded with people trying to scam him by collecting money to help him stay in the house. The 3 day notice was probably the only thing that was legitimate.

  10. mmmwright says:

    Hey, Cary Grant did that first (North by Northwest)

  11. jayde_drag0n says:

    Of course he didn’t win.. the only way to win is to actually STOP the auctioneer…. tear gas, punch in the mouth.. personally I think the tear gas would be the most effective

  12. Wawa says:

    That makes zero sense. If a homeowner is upside down on their mortgage, the least profitable option is foreclosure. Aside from the negative equity, lender also has legal/court costs and property management/upkeep costs. As soon as the foreclosure is final, the lender becomes the owner and will subsequently be responsible for property taxes. And for eventual sale of the property, bank will have to retain an auctioneer or Realtor.

    If the bank were to restructure the mortgage, there’s at least some chance the loan can be profitable down the road.

    Reality is that the mortgage modification system is broken. The number of distressed borrowers is off the scale compared with historical norms. The lenders are unable to keep up and are completely overwhelmed.

    Same scenario is equally true for buyers wishing to buy a foreclosed property (REO in the real estate vernacular). Lenders own so many foreclosed properties, a prospective buyer can wait weeks or months to consummate their purchase. Or get so frustrated by the transaction’s slowness, cancel it and go elsewhere.

  13. Wawa says:

    That makes zero sense. If a homeowner is upside down on their mortgage, the least profitable option is foreclosure. Aside from the negative equity, lender also has legal/court costs and property management/upkeep costs. As soon as the foreclosure is final, the lender becomes the owner and will subsequently be responsible for property taxes. And for eventual sale of the property, bank will have to retain an auctioneer or Realtor.

    If the bank were to restructure the mortgage, there’s at least some chance the loan can be profitable down the road.

    Reality is that the mortgage modification system is broken. The number of distressed borrowers is off the scale compared with historical norms. The lenders are unable to keep up and are completely overwhelmed.

    Same scenario is equally true for buyers wishing to buy a foreclosed property (REO in the real estate vernacular). Lenders own so many foreclosed properties, a prospective buyer can wait weeks or months to consummate their purchase. Or get so frustrated by the transaction’s slowness, cancel it and go elsewhere.

  14. Mclick says:

    I don’t see any similiarity to Steve Carell in Bruce Almight with this. I just see a guy trying to interupt an auction….wait…what am I thinking. This is just like Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore where his grandma’s house is up for sale…yeah that’s it.