In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Boat Repo Man

by Calculated Risk on 5/19/2008 11:19:00 PM

“I used to take the weak ones. Now I’m taking the whole herd.”
Boat Repo Man Jeff Henderson
From David Streitfeld at the NY Times: Economic Tide Is Rising for Repo Man
Some people lose their house or their boat to abrupt setbacks: illness, job loss, divorce. [49-year-old Robert] Dahmen, who works as a technology manager for a car manufacturer, belongs to a second, probably larger group: he simply spent beyond his means. He is one of the millions of reasons the consumer-powered American economy did so well for most of this decade, and one of the reasons its prospects look so bleak now.
He originally bought a smaller, more affordable boat, but a salesman talked him into an upgrade. “Oh yeah, I said, that would be cool.”
The merriment came at a price, though. Toy Box cost $175,000.

... Meanwhile, he lost his condominium when his mortgage readjusted and those payments went up. His 401(k) is down to $9,000.

“I oversaturated myself with long-term debt,” he said. “It was a risk, a calculated risk. I obviously lost.” He is declaring bankruptcy.
From now on, Mr. Dahmen said, the consumer economy would have to get by without him. “I have no intention of ever buying anything, ever,” he said. “I don’t think I could if I wanted to.”
There is much more in the article about the boat repo business.