Via Radley Balko, it seems that Dustin Diamond, of “Saved by the Bell” fame, is about to lose his house. And he wants your help. Do not dignify this idiot with your money, no matter how clever you think his fundraising t-shirts are. (Note: They’re not clever.)
“I’m Dustin Diamond and you probably remember me from the hit TV show Saved By The Bell. After the show ended I decided to leave Sunny Cailfornia for the midwest. My shitty credit meant that getting a loan for a house would be tough. I began looking and finally purchsed one on a land contract. I was thrilled! Now I call Wisconsin my home.
During the past years the land around me has developed for the better and my property value went way up. Now that the house is worth a lot more they want it back. Knowing my credit is bad, getting a straight mortgage would take some time. I received a letter stating that I had 30 days to pay $250,000.00 or get out. I was not thrilled…
That’s right, yours truly gets served with a notice to foreclose…At this point I have less than 40 days to save my house and I’m calling out to anyone who will listen.”
Setting aside the issue of why a pseudo-celebrity has “shitty credit” to begin with, If anything, the rising property values ought to make it easier for him to sell, and make a tidy profit. A land contract vendee can always sell his interest. (I’m not sure if this is still possible if foreclosure proceedings have been started) Additionally, the land contract is a means by which sub-prime borrowers can establish credit. If he still can’t get a loan, it’s probably because he’s behind on his payments. When property appreciates like this, the land contract vendor gets boned – unless he anticipated the appreciation and built in a sufficiently high interest rate. But land contract rates are usually capped by usury laws, and typically have a lower maximum than mortgages, for example, in 1982 my parents bought a house on land-contract, paying 11%. Mortgages at the time would’ve cost them 16%.
Poor fucking Dustin Diamond. Should’ve hired a better accountant while he was making Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and whatever other spinoffs they spawned. He also travels the country speaking for audiences. He visited my Alma Mater back in 2003 – I didn’t see him, but my friend Shawnk did, and he got to meet him; said he was a “total dick.” I’m not sure what his appearance fee is, but for christ’s sake, if Dustin Diamond can’t make his house payment, I don’t think anyone should feel sorry for him.
I’m not saying Dustin Diamond didn’t get screwed by this lawyer, but if the property value has gone up, his Land Contract Purchaser’s Interest ought to be worth significantly more than the remaining balance due. If this is the case, then he should easily be able to find someone to purchase his interest. So get a clue, Screech: Sell it. Take your proceeds and use them to put a down-payment on a more modest house. The equity will help you weather future emergencies, and give you a little security, and it should be able to secure you slightly better financing.
The only thing worse b-list celebrities with lots of cash, is broke, b-list celebrities who, having squandered their own incomes, feel they now deserve your money, too.