Jose Canseco Makes "Mathematical Decision" To Let Mansion Go Into Foreclosure

Was ex-American League MVP and admitted steroid abuser Jose Canseco too busy counting the money from his Major League Baseball tell-all books to remember to pay his mortgage? Nope. When the California market tanked, Canseco made “a mathematical decision” to walk away from his mortgage, says the Wall Street Journal.

“He made a mathematical decision and just let it go,” said Gregory Emerson, Mr. Canseco’s lawyer.

Mr. Canseco bought the 7,300-square-foot home in Encino, Calif., for nearly $2.8 million in 2005, according to public records. He transferred partial ownership to a trust last year, according to Mr. Emerson. That trust defaulted on mortgage payments in October, and foreclosure was recorded in February, public records show.

The house already had at least one lien placed on it, from the Internal Revenue Service, and a judgment stemming from a 2005 court ruling in which Mr. Canseco and his brother Ozzie were found liable for a 2001 brawl in a Miami Beach nightclub. Together, the liens and judgment totaled some $1.3 million, according to Mr. Emerson and Tina Cameron, Mr. Canseco’s real-estate agent.

“Given that there were liens on the house and the market had gone down, he made the decision to let it go,” Mr. Emerson said. He said that the decline in property values alone meant that Mr. Canseco’s equity in the house had fallen by about $1 million.

Mr. Canseco is currently promoting his second tell-all about steroid-use in Major League Baseball, and continues to assist federal agents who are investigating Roger Clemens for perjury, etc. Canseco told Inside Edition:

“I do have a judgment on my home and it to me is very strange because it didn’t make financial sense for me to keep paying a mortgage on a home that was basically owned by someone else.”

“I decided to just let it go, but in most cases and most families, they have nowhere else to go,” he said

Home Run: Canseco Lets House Go Into Foreclosure [WSJ]
Jose Canseco: Walking Away from His Mortgage ‘Not Difficult Emotionally’ [WSJ]
(AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)


Edit Your Comment

  1. highmodulus says:

    Fortunately, the meltdown hre appears to be that of Mr. Canseco’s judgment, and not that of the greater mortgage market for once. Ill-advised bar brawls, and not resetting interest rates appear to be the root cause in this case. Interesting story nevertheless.

  2. mgresser says:

    Well, it’ll be good for the local newspaper. Another foreclosure notice sold!

  3. metrophage says:

    “I do have a judgment on my home and it to me is very strange because it didn’t make financial sense for me to keep paying a mortgage on a home that was basically owned by someone else.”

    umm…. until you pay off your mortgage it is owned by someone else.

    Apparently steroids do more than just make your muscles bigger…

  4. Bladefist says:

    The lien would have made me do it too. I would have done my best to pay for it, but when people/government start putting liens on your house, thats bs. Let it go.

  5. That-Dude says:

    @metrophage: Hmmm, I think your snarky remark misses Canseco’s logical point. The liens are more than the value of the house, so if he were able to settle the mortgage, the lien holders would technically reap the rewards.

  6. Bladefist says:

    @That-Dude: Yes, but for me, its also principal. I know in my neighborhood, if you dont pay the yearly association fee, which is $60, they will put a lien on your house. It’s like, really? There has to be better ways to collect. The only people who should have the ability to effect you and your home, would be your mortgage company.

  7. That-Dude says:

    @Bladefist: Well I think there are some other situations that may warrant liens, but 60 bucks is a little extreme.

  8. loganmo says:


    That is not correct. You always own the house. But until you pay off your mortgage, your lender has a first lien against it.

  9. GearheadGeek says:

    @Bladefist: Evil HOAs. It’s surprising that someone who has frequently expressed very libertarian views on here would live with a deeded HOA. I made that mistake once, and hope never to have to deal with one again. It would have to be a perfect house that looked like I designed it myself to get me past my aversion to mandatory HOAs.

  10. Concerned_Citizen says:

    @loganmo: That is incorrect. Due to taxes, you never own your house.

  11. metrophage says:

    @That-Dude: No, I get his point. But I also get that he signed a contract and then decided that it wasn’t worth it to him to do that.

    How would he feel if some team decided that his contract had them upside down and decided to just walk away. I’ll bet he wouldn’t be happy about that, now, would he?

    What I was commenting on, however, is that he seemed surprised that there was a judgement on his house and his comment that it didn’t make sense to make payments on a house that was owned by someone else – which is exactly what a mortgage is: you make payments on a house owned by a bank (or other lender or a mortgage servicing company) until such time as you have payed for the house. Then it’s yours.

    That’s all :)

  12. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    @Bladefist: Well, at my university they with-hold your DEGREE if you even have a single unpaid parking ticket (from the University Parking Authority, of course).

    It says on the bottom of each parking ticket… something along the lines of….”Unpaid tickets will result in degrees, paychecks (Staff and Faculty), stipends, etc being suspended and held indefinitely. Please dispute any parking ticket in writing within two weeks of date received.”

  13. metrophage says:

    @loganmo: That’s right. I confuse “owning the mortgage” with “owning the house” because, in the end, it’s almost the same thing. My bad… :/

  14. metrophage says:

    @metrophage: When do we get to edit posts? After loganmo’s comment to me, I want to revise my post. Bleh.

    Anyway, with the exception of “owning” the house, I still stand by my post. :)

    I shouldn’t post on 4 hours’ sleep…

  15. backbroken says:

    Am I the only one waiting for the first “Government use of emminent domain leaves homeowners with no house and $$$$ left on their mortgage after government forces them to sell” story?

  16. jeff303 says:

    Oh no! Where he’ll host his next steroid party? []

  17. mac-phisto says:

    this is a tax scheme – government gets their money first when the house is sold, so this is clearly a method for canseco to get someone else to pay his taxes.

    of course, when the lender reports the cancelled debt as income, the cycle starts again, but he’ll only owe ~1/3 of what he did before.

    & depending on how his trust is set up, he could be facing tax fruad charges.

  18. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: Well, if you were a hormone-drunk, alcohol-infused idiot picking bar fights that cause riots, and were found guilty – regardless of the phalanx of high-priced legal talent representing you – and still refused to man up, step to the plate and admit responsibility, sure.
    But you’re not that guy.
    I feel bad for the poor bar owner, who’s screwed because some celebrity jackass can’t hold his liquor and thinks that’s the world’s problem, not his.
    Comparing association fees to that doesn’t seem cricket.

    And even there, if you agree to something and sign it, doesn’t your sense of personal responsibility mandate that you meet your obligation? Or, is integrity for suckers? I get it – you’re Republican, it comes natural – but it’s odd seeing you being so bald-faced about it.

  19. t-r0y says:

    What a dirt bag! Canseco should live up to his agreements and obligations.

  20. Once a scumbag, always a scumbag. Nice going roid-moron.

  21. Me - now with more humidity says:

    That-dude: My old HOA foreclosed on two homeowners for the annual $110 HOA fee.

  22. Bladefist says:

    @ConsumerAdvocacy1010: my college does the same crap.

    @GearheadGeek: oh I tried to avoid HOA like the plague. But in the end the best house for the money had a 60$ HOA. So what do you do?@Trai_Dep: So I’m a republican, so I have no integrity? The more comments I read from you, the more I think you need serious help. I mean hey- I’ll knock on liberals all day and night, but to make huge generalized statements, ie liberals hath no integrity, would just make me look even more like a pompous ass, kinda like, hmm, you.

  23. mac-phisto says:

    @Bladefist: sweeping generalizations like here? –> []

    [W]e’re talking about New York here, so I mean, no surprise here. Liberals want their taxes anyway they can get them.

    no sweeping generalization there, now is there? when do we get to start calling you a pompous ass?

  24. Bladefist says:

    @mac-phisto: I dunno… comparing integrity with a party, or taxing policies with a party…gee, what makes sense here

  25. Juggernaut says:

    I think judgements/liens other than property taxes and mortgages follow the person rather than the property. Walking away from the property will not “free” Canseco from the judgement resulting from the brawl, income tax liens, parking tickets. etc.

  26. Bladefist says:

    @Juggernaut: I think you’re right. I’m not sure in the case of a foreclosure though. But in order to sell your house, you have to pay off all the liens.

    Why does everyone hate this guy so much? I’m not a fan of steroids, but, you know, the American people have created this. The competition to win, the massive amounts of money that flow into professional sports. Is it that surprising? He did it for your entertainment.

  27. Traveshamockery says:

    I up this morning thinking “I need a new reason to hate that scumbag Jose Canseco.”

    Thank you Consumerist, you fulfilled my day. What a scumbag.

  28. Traveshamockery says:

    I woke up, I mean.

  29. modenastradale says:

    @Bladefist: $60 a year? Dude, that’s nothing. Some close relatives are currently paying $800 a month to their HOA.

  30. Bladefist says:

    @modenastradale: They must live next door to bill gates. 800 a MONTH? I’d be curious to know what they get from that money.

    I get snow removal, minus they never remove the snow. Assurance neighbors will mow their yard, yet some just don’t. And unfair regulations about what I can and cant do to my yard. I have to submit requests to build anything. I have a wood fence. If the fence breaks, I have to submit request to fix it. It’s some nazi bs. But I love the house. I’ll deal.

  31. SpecialEd says:

    It’s not just a mathematical decision. He obviously has no integrity. HE needs to pay his taxes and his mortgage and stop being a bum.

  32. Juggernaut says:

    @Bladefist: The property taxes take precedence even in a foreclosure. Whoever takes the house, even if it’s the original note holder(mortgagee/bank/lender), would assume the overdue property taxes.

    Canseco’s douche factor is one of the highest ever recorded (if there were one and they were recorded). It’s a lot like TO, great talent ruined(?) by perception more than anything else.

  33. Trai_Dep says:

    The thing with Republicans is that rules are always meant to be enforced. To the point of absurdity (Zero Tolerance, Presidential blow-jobs an impeachable offense, “The American Taliban”, Three Strikes pizza thieves…).
    Unless it’s them. Then all of a sudden, they whine about moving the goalposts, how it’s unfair, how it shouldn’t apply to them. Consistently.
    With Rush, O’Reilly, Shrub, Haggard, et al., you’d think they get laughed into irrelevance yet they aren’t. And they’re not since their base suffers from the same sense of over-entitlement: Conseco or Bladefist.
    Bladefist is the paragon of Personal Responsibilityâ„¢, until it’s his personal responsibility. He doesn’t like paying dues he not only agreed to, but signed a contract to pay, and – predictably – out comes the excuses, the redefining of “is”, the whimpering about how unfair it is when McMansion deadbeats find themselves liened when caught cheating their neighbors.
    If you don’t like being a Stepford Wife, don’t move to Stepford. If you do, stop whining, strap the apron on and smile vacantly. End of story.

  34. modenastradale says:

    @Bladefist: It’s a nice community, but not super-upscale or anything.

    Basically the $800 gets community resources — landscaping, pools, a couple of private parks, fitness facilities, etc. I also think some of the funds go into a community insurance pool of some sort — the community is subject to a unique natural disaster risk, and a pool was the only way to get insurance for it IIRC.

  35. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: Conservatives and Liberals are alike in that they both demand programs. The difference is that Liberals pay as they go rather than borrowing from yet-unborn children to enrich Wall Street.
    Again: they want the benefits but funding them is some other suckers’ problem. Rules apply, but not to them.

  36. Thorny says:

    For people with significant cash on hand, I could see how a decision like this could likely make sense. Think about it — why would someone who has enough money to pay cash for their next house care if their credit is ruined by a foreclosure? Having cash to pay for something doesn’t require a good credit history.

    If you were buying my house with a cash offer, I wouldn’t care how many foreclosures or bankruptcies you had in your past!

  37. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: The redefining of “is” came from Clinton.

    And I pay all my bills, but you’re saying I cant complain about it? Why not. Why cant I do my civic duty and yet, not agree with it?

    What is this soap box you are on man? And Clinton was not impeached due to the blow job, it was lying under oath. I don’t know why you have to bring politics in it. Other then defending myself above, this is not a political debate.

    And Republicans do not demand programs. We demand less programs. Maybe some republicans, but by definition, less.

    You are so full of hate and contempt. Stepford? Am I really that rich? Last time I checked I lived in a modest middle class house with a house payment within the normal percentage of monthly income.

    Don’t hate people who have it better then you, someone will always have it better.

    Also, in your arguments, dont use ‘the children’ as a way to win. Everything, economy, global warming, taxes, deficit, everything we do, “oh our grand children, oh no.” It’s fear mongering. They’ve been saving the unborn children for years and years.

  38. Dakine says:

    I’m in an HOA too. With 2 separate set of dues for it. 1st one is about $260 every six months. 2nd one is around $500 per month.

    And yes, it is some serious nazi shit. If I can ever manage to get out of it, I’ll never get into another one. They currently have a lien on my house for an unpaid fine stating that “I allow my cat to escape regularly.”

    I don’t have a cat. I’m not paying the fine. They’ve received dozens of letters from me explaining this, and they refuse to budge on it.

    They can add all the interest, late fees, penalties, and liens they feel they need to, but I’m still not paying some bogus nazi fine.

  39. modenastradale says:

    @Dakine: You might consider taking the HOA to court, or at least threatening to do that. I wouldn’t just sit back in protest and let the lien remain on your property — if a certain amount of time passes, you may waive your right to contest the validity of the lien.

  40. Bladefist says:

    @Dakine: Yea. I didnt mention earlier, but I also have a neighborhood tennis court and pool.

    And when they built it, it was an optional deal. Well the guy who owned my house before me, wanted in. So they put the contract on my deed. So anyone who ever owns my home again, has to pay $32 dollars a month for access to that.

    It’s really stupid. I mean I pay for these services year round, yet can only use them 3-4 months a year.

    I cant swim, nor have any interest in learning or playing in the baby pool. My tennis skills are laughable. The pool is not in walking distance. So I’m stuck paying for that as well.

    I mean come on, on my deed? Who does that.

  41. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: So you’ve reconsidered your rash opinion that if deadbeats don’t pay what they owe, reasonable measures to ensure they don’t walk away from their debts (liens) are kosher? Or in Canseco’s case, tax and lawsuit liens?
    Yeah, sure Clinton as all about stopping pols from lying. Because, y’know, there’s WMD percolating in Iraq as we speak. Whoops: sorry. That didn’t involve oral sex, so it doesn’t matter.

  42. modenastradale says:

    “Whoops: sorry. That didn’t involve oral sex, so it doesn’t matter.”

    Y’know, it continues to amuse and sadden me that Americans will make such a fuss over BJs and toe-tapping, yet so few can be bothered to care about, say, telecom amnesty.

  43. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: No, but I don’t like liens. When you purchase a home, its your home. It’s the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. And I don’t think anyone should be able to put a lien on your home. Other then the mortgage company.

    There are many other ways to make people pay, and screw up their life if they dont. But I just equate it to, me walking into your house, grabbing your microwave, and saying, “you get this back when you pay me what you owe me”

    Lawsuits, etc is fine with me.

    As for politics, I’m done with you. You’re a nut case. It’s not your views that are bad, it’s your nut case presentation.

  44. Probably also lost some money playing in Women’s Poker Tournaments.

  45. modenastradale says:

    @Bladefist: I have to say, I am a little confused here myself. Since most people have little or no assets outside of their home, how else would third parties enforce their claims against those people?

    You said lawsuits are fine with you. But, you know, it’s not as if the court writes you a check after you get a judgment. You have to enforce the judgment yourself, which means, yes, determining what property the defendant owns and putting a lien on it.

  46. Bladefist says:

    @modenastradale: I’m not going to claim a ton of logic on this, its more of a gut feeling. So there are definitely some holes in my logic. I just feel like a house, is truely yours. And others shouldnt have the right to touch it. I whole-heartedly see your point, and I too have no answers, but it just feels wrong to me.

  47. modenastradale says:

    @Bladefist: Ah. Well, I don’t have any problems with your position. Makes sense to me — losing one’s home is quite a hardship.

    That said, I’d point out that your belief seems inconsistent with your stated conservative principles, since you’re effectively proposing a government-mandated “safety net” for homeowners, at the expense of creditors who have claims against them.

    Again, I have no problem with your premise, but please recognize that it’s a socialist proposal. :-)

  48. LibertyReign says:


    “Liberal” means “more of”, that’s a generalization??

    hmm.. so liberals want LESS taxes????

    Man.. I’m so confused..

    Where is a socialist when you need one? (In the White House)

  49. LibertyReign says:

    Oh yeah! Conseco!

  50. rellog says:

    @Bladefist: I’m not sure why the bar owner doesn’t file for the courts to simply dip into his bank accounts. I’m sure, however, that because he is rich, he uses some loopholes in the law to protect his assets.
    I personally have no issue with valid liens. I do however think there should be limits on claims and such.

  51. mac-phisto says:

    @LibertyReign: the generalizations from bladefist’s post (as i understand them) are that 1) everyone in ny is a liberal & 2) that liberals want taxes, taxes, taxes! rake that money in! HEEEEYAW!

    & incidentally, my sarcasm radar is malfunctioning, so don’t shoot me if i read your post wrong. long day.

  52. mac-phisto says:

    @rellog: he set up a trust. it’s near impossible to garnish a trust when the judgment is against the individual & you can’t sue the trust for the actions of the individual.

    fun how that works, isn’t it?

    @Bladefist: there’s many legitimate reasons that people have a right to your property. know this: it’s not very easy for a person to get a lien against real property – at least not in my state (it takes at least 3 trips to the courthouse). the exceptions are: tax liens (both property & income) & builder/contractor liens (which work much like a mechanic’s lien with a car).

    should anyone have a right to liquidate your property? no, but they don’t (at least where i live). only a bank (or the town) can foreclose on you for non-payment. the rest of the liens are just a method to ensure future payment. getting the lien removed is as easy as paying your debt (or refinancing, or selling your home, or dying & having your estate liquidated).

    as for your complaint about dues in perpetuity…it’s quite common. don’t like it? get elected to the HOA & change things – democracy at work.

  53. Bladefist says:

    @modenastradale: i cant do it! sorry!

    @mac-phisto: yea. As i tried to say, i’m not real informed on the area of liens. I just dont like te sound of it

    I dont want other people having to bail other people out, no no. But get it other ways. Go after their bank acount or something.

    also, I dont think everyone in NY is liberal. Rudy was your mayor, so there is a couple of conservatives there. But my ‘generalization’ about liberals is based on liberal belief. It’s not that liberals love taxes, its they love more government programs, which, require more taxes to pay for. in my opinion, thats a safe generalization. its only an insult if you feel insulted. If you follow the liberal belief, you shouldnt be insulted.

    I’m not trying to act like trai-dep. If I do, I apologize. I like my statements to be halfway thoughtout and intelligent. Although emotions can run high in a time like this (election time).

  54. mac-phisto says:

    @Bladefist: for the record, i’m not a nyer. i’m a nutmegger. GWB’s real home state – not that i’m proud of that. in fact, i’m glad he moved to texas.

    it’s funny you mention rudy – i was going to mention him in my last post, but then i realized that guy’s about as conservative as i am martian, so i decided to leave it out.

    unfortunately, i think your ideas about “liberal beliefs” are…misinformed. imho, the gop & the dnc both love government programs – it’s just a matter of how they dish out the funds. tax breaks & private contracts are government programs just like social security & medicare. perhaps you feel our money is better spent in private hands b/c the private sector is more efficient. that’s fair. but don’t try to pass it off as something it’s not. money is money whether it’s diverted to state institutions or private organizations. they all like to spend it. hell, who doesn’t like spending someone else’s money?

  55. Trai_Dep says:

    The thing that irks with Conservatives is that they’re largely all talk, and their people eat it up with a spoon w/o checking things out independently. For example, check size of gov’t by employees or by spending under Reagan AND Bush. They both went up. WAY up.
    It’s the hypocrisy that annoys, and that fellow well-meaning Americans that probably love this country as much as I do allow themselves to be fooled.

    Bladefist: cool it with the ad hominem attacks. It cheapens you. I realize it’s uncomfortable to have your assumptions challenged, but don’t take it out on the guy helpfully holding the flashlight for you.

  56. Bladefist says:

    @mac-phisto: I need to take some classes in communication. I still have issues getting my point out. I understand under the current government, both parties, are increasing spending and government programs.

    I’m not talk about what is, i’m talking about what should be. I’m talking about my belief system. A Conservative/Republican should be decreasing spending, decreasing government involvement, and decreasing government programs.

    It’s easy to say they are all corrupt, or incompitient. But I’m willing to bet that its due to the bi-partisanship we have in this country, the blocks a lot of this. And if you want to get anything done, you must compromise.

    If you take Ron Paul for example, which, by the way, I do not support, he would never get the things he wants done. He wants to get rid of the IRS. Well there is a lot of people involved in that, and all you need is a few people in congress opposed to that idea, and that idea is never going to happen.

    Ron Paul has some great ideas, but unfortunately he is like the libertarian Obama. Too much change at once, in an unstable time. Thus making both of them, not good candidates. But thats a whole other debate.

    Again, I don’t always support our republicans, I support the GOP’s stance on issues.

  57. Bladefist says:

    sorry for my grammar/spelling errors. Wow. More coffee is needed.

  58. Trai_Dep says:

    But, if the Republicans’ stance is belied by their actions, consistently, repeatedly and without shame, isn’t that worse than a party that doesn’t offer empty, lying promises? Just a bit?!
    Especially when they don’t leap into loony things like Terry Schiavo, Iraq, Katrina, deficits, hypocritical boy-sexing, dollar-destroying fiscal policies, quadrupling of oil prices, (I could go on for ages)… to feed their base?

  59. mac-phisto says:

    @Trai_Dep: which party is this you speak of that doesn’t offer empty, lying promises? i’ve yet to meet a party or a politician that wasn’t a liar & a thief.

    & assuming you’re speaking of the democrats, remember that many of them have been pushing their own private stock of kool-aid over the past 8 years.

  60. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: Well its the same for both parties. It’s an assumption of mine, that liberal/democrat politicians dont always follow through with their parties idealogical, via lying, or just not caring.

    I mean look at John Kerry. That guy would believe in whatever the poll told him to. I could use that as a weapon against liberals, but I dont. That guy is an idiot and was trying to do anything to get elected.

    And you have people like spitzer, spitzers replacement, and 9 million other democrats who have also been apart of scandels.

    Anyone who falls inline with their party and thinks it’s flawless is an idiot zealot. The definition of republican, conservatism, and maybe liberitarian, closely defines what I believe.

    Now if all the politicans who claim to be that also fail in that regard, no, I don’t feel that it speaks to my party.
    They have careers they must keep, and you know, I don’t trust half of them. They have no idea what it is like to be you or me. They haven’t put gas in their car for 20 years, they dont pay for insurance, they dont drive, they cook their own food. So I don’t expect much from them. And I don’t think actions of one person should speak about a whole party.

    I will however go after party beliefs. And I’ll admit I’ve probably done a lot worse generalizing as well, but, I try to keep that at bay.

  61. Bladefist says:

    @mac-phisto: Exactly. When I argue politics, I argue belief systems. You cannot possibly think any of these high-up government people are reputable people who are out there upholding the beliefs of their associated party, on any side.

    I like Bush, but I think its obvious he has deviated from party principles. Therefore he is not the poster boy for conservatism, but I find him efficient at his job.

  62. troubadoorway says:

    I’m a Virginian facing foreclosure. Nowhere near Conseco’s income level but –though my income has taken a big recent hit– I have ample savings to pay my mortgage for a 3-4 years. Trouble is, I’m upside-down by about $200k on an interest-only loan. Not only do I not own the house, I will NEVER own the house. So technically, I leaning heavily to a ‘walkaway’.

    This ain’t Califronia, Virginia! My question is deficiency judgments. If the bank manages to get only $800k of my $1m loan, they have the right to seek a judgment on me for the $200k short-fall. Also, I understand they have 5 years to do this. So far DJ’s are rare. But the banks are so inundated with foreclosure activity that it’s possible step 2 when they catch their breath will be pursuing the money they lost. That’s a big boulder to have hanging over your head. But my neighborhood looks bleak for a $1 million value to return to my home.

    any insights, expertise on this area of the law?