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"Foreclosure Motel" Facing Foreclosure

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A piece in Sunday's New York Times Magazine took a look at Value Place, an extended-stay motel chain that has apparently become quite popular among those who have lost their homes to foreclosure.

"No background check is required; no credit card needed. It’s the housing equivalent of a throwaway cellphone," the article's author, Beth Raymer explained.

“And that,” said Elliot Abrams, who lives in Room 318 at the Fort Myers, Florida Value Place, “is why it’s the bomb.”

Raymer continued:

There are more than 170 Value Places near cities and military bases around the country. At this one, painted dishwater-brown and in the shadow of a Wilbur Smith Law Firm DUI Defense billboard, roughly 80 percent of the 129 units are occupied by permanent residents, those who have fallen on hard times and have no foreseeable checkout date. Single parents, war veterans, hookers and men whose ex-wives supposedly took everything they worked their whole lives for. In the warm air of early March, their mixed drinks sweat through plastic cups. Over long sips, each member of the eclectic crew agrees: he couldn’t have crashed in a better spot.

“It don’t matter where you live, man,” Lex Dunn, Room 319, says. “Very rarely in life will you ever meet someone who has it all together.”

Dunn tucks his long hair behind his ears. He rolls his wheelchair over cigarette butts and lime rinds sucked dry, passing rows of cars just as shiny as they were at their luxury dealerships. A midnight blue Mercedes-Benz GL here, a sun-glow Hummer there. A perk to going bankrupt in the Sunshine State: file Chapter 13, and you can usually keep your car.

Whether or not the owners of the Springfield, Missouri Value Place will be forced to give up their vehicles is an open question. According to KSPR 33, the ABC affiliate in the area, "Lenders for the 4-million-dollar hotel are taking steps toward a foreclosure proceeding, and a trustee’s sale is scheduled."

As Lex Dunn so sagely said, very rarely in life will you ever meet someone who has it all together.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.