Mitt Romney’s Missouri City Mortgage

MITT ROMNEY’S MISSOURI CITY MORTGAGE Among those who answered the clarion call to invest in Houston-area real estate back in the early eighties, just a few years before its big crash: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Long before he earned billions at the helm of Bain Capital, Romney bought 5 rent-to-own houses in suburban areas of Houston — “without putting up any of his own money,” according to Mike McIntire’s report. Romney got stuck renting out the houses until the late 1990s, when he unloaded 4 of them, “mostly at a loss.” The tenants of the fifth house wanted to buy their 1,836-sq.-ft. 3-bedroom home (at 1350 Gentle Bend Dr. in Missouri City’s Hunters Glen neighborhood) but couldn’t qualify for a mortgage. So Romney became their bank. Tim and Betty Stamps have been making out $600 checks to Romney every month for 15 years. They refinanced the property with him this June. [NY Times]

24 Comment

  • I’ll take the man who can become someone’s bank vs. the man who can show them how to fill out the welfare forms.

  • Lol, that’s an awesome story.
    I like to seller finance (on both ends of a deal) as it allows to close fast without all the fuss. However when I seller finance (as the seller) its normally setup with a ~5 year balloon. I tell people I don’t mind being the bank but I don’t want to be the bank for 30 years.

  • Good for Romney and good for the home owner. Obama would have instituted some sort of an overbloated social program to try to achieve the same result by spending millions of other peoples money.

  • @Craig: You might want to ask Cody rather than just assume that you can take him…

  • Did you miss the part where MR didn’t have to put up any of his own money? An option not available to all.

  • He may have earned billions for other people but I don’t think he’s earned billions himself. He’s not rich but not that rich.

  • What a novel concept; angry white guys taking over forums and injecting every topic with Obama is a welfare king communist puppet master posts. Hurray! Swamplotters are now saved!

  • >Good for Romney and good for the home >owner. Obama would have instituted some >sort of an overbloated social program to >try to achieve the same result

    The differince being that Romney did this for one person but a social program might be able to do it for millions. We can’t rely on people like Romney to provide mortgages. Also didn’t he do this for some kind of tax evasion purposes?

  • Um, it’s not like Mittens invented owner-financing. Lesson: Mitt was unable to unload a crappy investment, so crappy of an investment that a bank would not finance the repurchase. Congrats, Mitt! You stink at real estate!

  • @JM – sorry to nit, but tax evasion is a crime, tax avoidance is completely legal. Tax evasion is when a person doesn’t pay the taxes they are legally required to. Tax avoidance is when a person/company uses deductions and/or structures transactions in ways that comply with the tax code, while minimizing taxes paid. If someone wants to get mad about the tax avoidance techneques a wealthy person uses, get mad at congress, not the individual who is following the law (hate the game, not the player). I don’t think anyone with any credibility has accused Romney of tax evasion.

  • Aren’t we on the 3rd version of mortgage bailout scheme already and it still only helped less than 5% of people it was supposed to while spending millions upon millions? Just pointing out big social program inefficies and lack of results.

  • How sweet. One good deed does not make up for all the others. And so far, well, this is the only good deed I am aware of that Mitt Romney can claim. And of course it certainly has come in handy. “Oh, don’t believe all that stuff about me being a vulture capitalist. I’m really a nice guy. Just ask these people in Missouri City…” Forget it. I’m voting for Roseanne Barr. If she can run a nut farm in Hawaii she’s perfect to run the nut farm on Capitol Hill…

  • Margrat: Lending comes in waves of difficulty level — from easy to hard and back. A few years ago, everyone and their dog could get a no money down loan on a property. Now it’s very hard. But if you qualify, there are still plenty of almost-nothing down loans. It’s not something just for the ‘wealthy’. Heck, my wife can get a home loan and I can’t even though I make more than her (banks like her better because of her income type)
    What I like about the story is Romney took a gamble on these properties then had to or at least ended up selling them at a loss.
    Shows not every investment is a win. You risk your own $ and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But he didn’t just give the properties back (even though he put nothing down, and could have said “here ya go”), he took the loss as he should. Then the last one he financed. If there was a tax savings to that, it was due to the loss. So these ‘write-offs’ that people talk about as if they are some scam of the rich are really just losses against income that most people would just assume not have in the first place. Like bragging that you get to say home from work for a week — because you got hit by a car.
    I like the story.

  • Walt is right.. Tax avoidance not tax evasion. I got my terminology wrong. My bad.

  • Well over half of his “charitable donations” went to the Mormon Church. But we’re not sure if that was to the church or to its “non-profit” organizations for which he received a tax deduction. Which some object to since it violates the spirit of “separation of church and state.” As for the rest, well, I don’t recall which organizations he donated to. In fact I don’t recall anyone knowing. But I bet it wasn’t to organizations that helped people stay in their homes while they got back on their feet. Some like Romney. Some like vulture capitalism. And some like vulture capitalists. Some just like vultures.

  • Jgriff, I didn’t read your article, but giving a mandatory tithe to your “church” is not a good deed. Anyway, $7 MM is nothing to this man. Congrats, again, Mittens. Blech.

  • $600 a month is probably monumental to that couple.

    $600 a month is probably less than MR spends on haircuts.

  • Who in the world with any skills like Romney or Obama or anyone would want to be President when they could make a hell of lot more Money not? American economy is screwed right now no matter who’s the blame. And whoever is in office will get credit for progress or blame for continued down fall, it won’t be there fault but it will be their problem.

  • I haven’t been to a church in probably 20 years but my parents go often. My father is an electrician. His church used charitable donations to send him to Georgia(the country) and China to install water wells for orphanages. He said the kids in Georgia didn’t even have socks. On his second trip he brought dozens of pairs of socks. I hate church becuase I was forced to go there so much as a child but I’m not surprised at all about the ignorance of people on Swamplot (Mel and MM). I fully expected your responses that belittle other people’s charities.

  • I don’t mind church groups that hand out socks, jgriff, but the problem is they also hand out Bibles..

  • Sorry, but we already have the “meaningless political and religious namecalling” franchise for the entire world. You swamplotters are hereby ordered to cease and desist.

    Your friend,


  • JGriff, if paying mandatory tithes to a “church” is a “good deed” I am starting a “church” and am awaiting your good deeds. I’ll post the account information so you can direct deposit your good deeds directly.

  • Haha @ Matt Mystery “I’m voting for Roseanne Barr. If she can run a nut farm in Hawaii she’s perfect to run the nut farm on Capitol Hill…”
    Romney made this investment because there was little-to-no risk. He’s a businessman. He is not looking to help any individual person or any sector of society.