An Open Letter to Shaq

An Open Letter to Shaq

Dear Mr. O’Neal,

I’m not sure if I should call you Shaq, or if you’d prefer I use one of your myriad names you’ve gone by over your NBA career. The Big Aristotle is my favorite, but since this is a business letter, I’ll refer to you simply as Mr. O’Neal. I’m writing you today because I like you. I think you’re one of the best big men to ever play the game, and truthfully, even though I never saw the old timers play, I think you could eat Wilt for breakfast, Russell for lunch, and Kareem for dinner. I applaud you for dominating the league and avoiding the nagging foot and back injuries that usually plague league centers. Aside from those rap albums that you released, I think you’re a pretty savvy business man and all around good guy. It’s with that praise that I now offer you a dose harsh reality, don’t even think about buying up bad mortgages in Orlando.

I read last week that you’re wanting to help save Orlando from the mortgage crisis, and I understand that you’ve received thousands of emails from people looking for you to help them out of their mortgages. The plan I read says that you’re contemplating purchasing these teetering mortgages, modifying the loans for the homeowners, and allowing them to stay in their homes. It’s a noble plan to be sure, but unfortunately, it’s going to cost you potentially millions and millions of dollars, and you’re not going to like the result.

See Shaq, I mean Mr. O’Neal, loan modification has already proven ineffective at keeping loans out of default. The banks are trying it, primarily at the urging of Big Brother Obama, and it’s not working for them either. These people in Orlando, for the most part, are not going to be able to stay above water in their loans, no matter if you do forgive some principal and lower their interest rates. You see, the stigma of foreclosure is gone, so aside from the financial aspects of the instrument, there’s just not the social reasons to avoid the procedure that were once the rule in our culture. If you were foreclosed on years ago, it was a hard luck situation, and neighbors shielded their children’s eyes from the horror of the foreclosure process. Today, it’s a sympathetic situation, where people “lose” their homes to foreclosure and end up moving on. It’s just the same, and when you take away the stigma from the procedure, there’s not much to keep people out of default.

I’m writing you this letter because I care about you. I don’t want to see you pull a Mike Tyson and end up bankrupt in 10 years, even though your intentions were honest and just. If you’d like to help people facing foreclosure, perhaps just offer to pay 12 months of their payments for them to throw them a lifeline. That way, your fixed costs are determinable, and you won’t end up owning a run down house in one of Orlando’s bad neighborhoods. If you proceeded with your plan in that manner, you’d be able to help hundreds of people, and you wouldn’t have to be a glorified landlord, which is really all note holders are these days.

Thanks for your time today, and please do let me know if I can even sell you your very own piece of Lake Geneva real estate. I could sell you a big private estate on the lake, and I’d keep your identity and location a secret. After all, you can trust me, I’m a Realtor.

Most Sincerely,


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