In a streaming-video event broadcast last night, hip-hop star Chamillionaire tried to explain the circumstances surrounding the foreclosure of his Woodlands mansion. He claims his decision to give the 7,583-sq.-ft. property in Carlton Woods back to the bank was part of an attempt to lower out-of-control expenses in light of 2 recent life-changing events: the birth of his son and learning from his mother that she has cancer:
She’s doing fine . . . and I was like . . . whatever you need, I want you to ask me. And my mom won’t ask me because she sees me with all these expenses, and . . . she doesn’t want to say anything. She wants me to live my life and have fun and buy all these cars and all this stuff and doesn’t want to burden me . . . I wasn’t cool with that. . . .
I know I spend all this money a month. You don’t know what the feeling is, spending $300 thousand . . . quick, just seeing it come out of your account. I don’t care how much money you got — you gonna be like, dang, that’s $300 thousand!
I’m paying all kinds of stuff: multiple businesses, stuff for other people, etc. etc. So I told her, you know what, don’t worry about it. Whatever bills may come, you let me know. I’m gonna keep my bills the same. I’m just gonna cut some slack.
Next: It’s budget-cutting time in Carlton Woods!
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I started looking at my bills, and I started thinking about some of the people that work for me that I’m close to, and I was like, naah I can’t cut this person’s money . . . I had some people that were making money and wasn’t really doing anything so I had to cut some of that stuff. But for the most part I had to make some tough decisions with some people that were close to me. . . . I had to cut my bills down so I could add bills, and keep . . . about the same per month. . . . [or] without going too much up.
I remember getting stuff from my business manager. . . . They send you a list of approvals, bills to approve, and you’ll go down it’ll be all the light bills, it’ll be like everything. All the car insurances, car notes, etc. etc. . . . I’d always scroll down to the bottom and it’d be like $175 thousand, $150 thousand . . . in a month! So I’d be like — man, that’s crazy!
The north Houston native also explains that he’s withdrawn his involvement in Fly Rydes, the custom candy-car dealership on Aldine Mail Rd. near Aldine-Westfield he had gotten involved in back in 2004. His business partner, Ernest Lowery, has taken over the company.
Chamillionaire’s finances are managed by Provident Financial Management, a division of accounting firm RSM McGladrey. He says the mansion at 10 Hildene Way was one of his biggest expenses, and that he owed more than the house was worth. But he and his business managers were unable to get the bank to renegotiate the terms of his mortgage.
“The reason why we keep these houses like this,” Chamillionaire tells his fans, “is honestly to show off for people.” But he says handing over the keys to the bank was a smart decision for him in his new circumstances: “I made an arrangement with the bank, me and my business managers . . . and I know people are going to try to twist this and turn this into something else. Me and the bank are cool.”
The bank put the home back on the market on May 27 at a list price of $1.8 million — $325,000 less than what the rap star had paid for it 4 years earlier. Someone put a contract on it the same day.
Chamillionaire, whose real name is Hakeem Seriki, got himself a new mansion too, one he says is “actually worth the money” — at one-fourth of what he spent on the house in Carlton Woods. And on May 14th, his son was born. He points out that his son’s name, Xavier, means “new house”:
You now it’s about a 9 month process while your child is being born in the womb of a woman. And during that time I was just thinking . . . should I do this? Should I make these changes in my life? And then I just started thinking . . . this house isn’t worth more than my mother, my family, my child. So I’m gonna get a new house. A new house. And that’s exactly what I did.
- Previously on Swamplot: A Look Inside The Woodlands Mansion Chamillionaire Gave Back to the Bank