Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Move Over Mr. Landlord and Mr. Flipper...Make Room for Mr. Foreclosure Bootcamp!

And no, I am not making this stuff up. Fiction is my business but here Truth is far far stranger. Mark Maupin, the creator of Mr. Lease/Option has come up with a new DVD, of course how his target audience is going to pay for it is another matter.

"Mark Maupin offers Foreclosure Bootcamp on DVD
( EMAILWIRE.COM, June 09, 2006 ) Livonia, MI -- Real estate expert, Mark Maupin, aka Mr. Lease Option, is now offering the highlights from his Foreclosure Bootcamp, presented earlier this year, on video DVD. The set of four DVDs presents a six-hour distillation of the workshop that peels back the myths and mysteries about what really goes on when a property slips into the foreclosure process. It also includes a bonus DVD containing the entire Powerpoint presentation.

Mr. Maupin has studied and profited from the foreclosure process for many years. The recent workshop was well received and he is very excited to be able to offer the DVD version to those who were unable to attend. He recently told an audience, Our new DVD set is designed for those who missed the learning experience about how to tap the foreclosure market for real estate investment.

Mr. Maupin also knows about foreclosure from personal experience and he isnt shy about sharing his own experiences. Nor were some of the workshop participants who share their own frustrating and sometime heart-wrenching stories. He went on to say, The DVDs also contain valuable information for those who might find themselves in a foreclosure situation it is an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the foreclosure experience and perhaps a way to remedy your own situation.

Specifically, the DVD set covers:

· Terminology
· Public Records
· Order of Priority
· Lien Position
· How Bankruptcy affects foreclosure
· Foreclosure Process
· Legal News
· Negotiating Foreclosures
· Buying Foreclosures

Mr. Maupins considerable knowledge of real estate covers every aspect from marketing and finance to construction and remodeling. His grasp of the potential of real estate, has enabled him to develop innovative marketing and business concepts for his organization. As one of the founders of the National Real Estate Network (, he continues to further his education and learning whenever possible and encourages other investors to so.

You can obtain more information at Mr. Maupins website:"

Of course when I tried the url , this is what I got.

Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)

I was curious about just who Mark Maupin aka Mr. Lease Option was..well, I found out from this Detroit Free Press article

"RISKY BUSINESS: Wheeler-dealer's pitches leave some empty-handed

He's bankrupt; novices regret lending him cash


He usually has a rumpled look as he scouts Detroit and its suburbs in his car, always searching for his next real estate deal, a cell phone ringing constantly in his hand.

Wallets get fat from donated real estate

Behind Mark Maupin's unassuming demeanor, however, is a man with a high-profile reputation -- not all good -- in the real estate game.

He teaches real estate seminars for investors.

He dispenses advice through "Mark's Corner," a Web column at www .detroitinvest menthomes .com, which touts properties for sale in Michigan.

Maupin has even figured out creative ways to make money in the charity business, working with associates to establish a donation-for-tax-deduction company known as Donate Real Estate.

Over the years, he has persuaded dozens of metro Detroiters to lend him money to finance real estate deals. But now, some accuse Maupin of taking advantage of them.

"He's a master at selling hope," said Jim Olson of Lathrup Village, who lent money to Maupin, thinking it would be used to buy and fix a Pontiac home. In reality, Olson said, the house wound up on a city demolition list and he does not believe Maupin ever owned it.

Today, Maupin is in bankruptcy. And state and federal authorities are investigating Donate Real Estate, a state-licensed fund-raiser that Maupin helped form six years ago to sell properties on behalf of charities.

Maupin declined through representatives to be interviewed. In a letter to the Free Press, Donate Real Estate lawyer Richard White said Maupin had probably invested alone or with partners in thousands of "bottom of heap" properties.

"Given the risky nature of this type of investment, profits were not earned on every investment," White said. "In fact, some were losses. Not everyone he has worked" with "has been happy with the results. Sometimes there was litigation based on these disappointments."

Maupin, whose full name is Ralph Marcus Maupin Jr., filed for bankruptcy protection last September. He listed debts of $2.44 million, most unsecured. He also claimed assets of $496,970 and an interest in 17 companies. He lives in a $330,000 Highland Township home and told creditors he drives a 2000 Chevy Lumina.

In a Jan. 23 deposition in the bankruptcy case, Maupin testified that he couldn't recall much about his financial or real estate dealings -- not even what he earned last year.

"You don't have any idea?" he was asked.

The answer: "No, not off the top of my head."

Maupin, when asked about $365,000 in loans from one creditor, said he couldn't remember what he bought with the money.

He acknowledged that he failed, in another instance, to repay $140,000 in loans because some of the properties he bought were demolished.

Maupin has claimed that he has purchased more than 2,600 single-family homes, along with multifamily, commercial and industrial properties in the United States and internationally. At his peak, Maupin said, he sold 80 houses a month.

Maupin also said his decision to sell 80 properties a month led him into bankruptcy.

In one of his Mark's Corner commentaries, Maupin described how a single event shaped him:

In kindergarten, he was the class fire marshal. One day, the alarm sounded. Maupin said he pulled "a retarded girl named Marsha" off the toilet in an effort to get everyone out of the room. "There was a mess made, and the teacher screamed at me," he wrote on April 16.

From that day on, Maupin said, he decided that he would be careful not to be the official person in charge, but rather, the person who would come in at the last minute and "save the day."

Maupin said of himself in the column: "What I can be counted on for is to make a difference to humanity, to charities, and to real estate investors discovering their gifts. . . ."

Novice real estate investors who've done business with Maupin described him quite differently.

They said they met Maupin at seminars or meetings of the Real Estate Investors Association of Oakland, a networking group that gets together the second Thursday of the month at a Knights of Columbus Hall in Clawson.

Some investors said they were taken in after hearing Maupin speak.

Ramesh Patel, an engineer who lives in White Lake Township, said he met Maupin at an investors association meeting and thought Maupin was knowledgeable about the business.

At first, he lent Maupin money, with interest, and got it back. He said he began to trust Maupin and didn't check to make sure his interests were protected in loans he was making to Maupin to buy and restore eight to 10 houses in Detroit, Pontiac and Auburn Hills.

"Once you put the trust in, you don't go into details," Patel said.

After the first year of their partnership, Patel said, things started to sour. Maupin reassured Patel that the situation would get better, telling him, "I'll get you the money, I'll get you the money," Patel said.

According to his bankruptcy petition, Maupin owes Patel $316,927. Patel said most of the money he is owed is interest.

Jim Olson has wrangled with Maupin for three years over business dealings and sued him in Oakland County in November 2002.

Olson, who also met Maupin at an investors association meeting, said he was persuaded to lend Maupin money after Maupin told him he had "many more deals" than he had money.

Olson's company, Prairie & Pacific Group, lent Maupin $27,700 in November 2000 to fix a tattered house in Pontiac. Maupin was supposed to repay him in six weeks, after he fixed the house and resold it, Olson said.

Instead, Maupin used the money to finance other deals, Olson said, and didn't repay Prairie & Pacific.

Maupin then asked Olson for more money -- and Olson said he paid $12,595 directly to the contractor who was supposed to be renovating the house. Maupin again promised to repay him, with interest, Olson said.

But not all of the work was done, and Olson said he wasn't paid. The city condemned the house and tore it down, Olson said.

In the meantime, one of Maupin's companies mortgaged the property to someone else -- for $5,000, according to court and property records. And, according to Olson's suit, Maupin never even owned the house; it was actually owned by another company connected to Maupin's wife.

On Dec. 18, 2002, Oakland County Circuit Judge Edward Sosnick granted Olson a $54,294.66 judgment against Maupin. Sosnick also dismissed a lawsuit that Maupin had filed against Prairie & Pacific.

"For everyone who gets involved with him, the damage can be unbelievable," Olson said. "It's not only in the money, but the stomach acid, the feeling of hopelessness, the attorneys -- they have to get paid, and you get a bill every 30 days.

"All he wants is a little piece of what you've got," Olson said of Maupin. "Once he gets your money, it's over. The deals all come to a screeching halt."

Contact JENNIFER DIXON at 313-223-4410 or

Meanwhile, back in the reality based community, one would think sanity would prevail, wouldn't one?

What are they saying over at Market Watch? .....not so much Foreclosures are...what? Down!? No wonder guys like Maupin can still squeeze a buck out of the suckers.

Elsewhere in FBer Land.....
You know all those Turkey Hotlines that are open around Thanksgiving to help people cook their bird? Well, think a different kind of turkey, who's getting their goose cooked but good. Forget about dialing for American Idol, they're burning up the phone lines in Ohio for Foreclosure Help

"More than 1,500 Ohioans facing foreclosure called a new statewide hot line in its first six weeks of existence, according to the agency sponsoring the new counseling service.
Nearly one-fourth -- 23 percent -- of the homeowners were calling from area codes in Northeast Ohio, statistics show."

Wonder how frothy things have been up in that corner of the Heartland the last few years?

Deep in the heart of Texas Foreclosures are up too

"(CBS 11 News) NORTH TEXAS The number of residential foreclosures is up in north Texas. Comparing to this time last year foreclosures are up 44 percent and experts do not see a drop in sight."

And this lightbulb that went off in the head of George Roddy of the Foreclosure Listing Service

"Lots of people that are buying these houses certainly can’t afford them,” said George Roddy, Foreclosure Listing Service."

The Pittsburgh Trib Has this Headline
Layoffs, debt boost foreclosures
the article is here

The Pittsburgh Post describes the exotic mortgages that so many have fallen for as though they were exotic beasts
Hybrid adjustable mortgages stalk homeowners
Next time your local neighborhood Realtor tells you that things are going up up up...just say yes, up on the auction block!


At 6/20/2006 11:40:00 AM , Anonymous tom stone said...

we will see a lot more helping professionals like mr maupin come out of the woodwork to squeeze the last drops of blood out of fb'ers.the lucky ones will get 50 year fixed mortgages and hold on in hopes that the market will recover in time to save them.most will exhaust themselves trying to hold on to homes they had no business buying in the first place,while smiling vultures circle,offering to help really is simple,if you can't pay the note,and can't sell for enough to cover it.....get the pain over as quickly as you can and move on with your life.

At 6/20/2006 12:38:00 PM , Blogger moonvalley said...

Sort of like having a tooth out, tie it to the doorknob and slam. (my husbands' grandfather was a dentist)

At 6/22/2006 03:23:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i actually know people who have done quite well buying foreclosed properties....they had a few things in common,such as good math skills,and lots of experience in estimating repairs,and performing them...small teams work well where you have a general contractor,real estate broker and electrical contractor working with someone who knows landscaping.none of them are participating in the market this year.

At 6/24/2006 07:53:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

today's press democrat has their usual real estate report by michael coit,"information provided by rick laws of coldwell banker" which shows a median price of $603,000 for sonoma county in laws is a licensed real estate broker.dataquick shows a $532,000 median price for sonoma county in may.this appears to be a material misstatement of the facts to me.or more simply,a lie.does this make mr laws subject to discipline by the california DRE? can a buyer who relied on this information in making their decision sue mr laws? both the CAR and NAR have ethical standards(if you find that amusing,blame them)is there an enforcement mechanism? is it ever used ?perhaps someone who knows can comment,this kind of conduct hurt all the honest people in the real estate biz,and i am sick and tired of it

At 7/05/2006 06:10:00 PM , Anonymous Mark Maupin said...

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell you about me.

Unlike most people who teach real estate investing, I have done it. I have not always done it right. The tuition I paid to learn was real high.

When I teach people listen. Why? Because I have been where the new investors do not want to go!!

Every body has a critic. For example, A Free Press reporter interviewed one Jim Olson about me. Olson, I believe, was less than truthful with her. How could I make such a claim? Jim Olson sued Ralph Marcus Maupin based on multiple counts of fraud in the Federal Bankruptcy Court, Detroit, Michigan to block the discharge of what he claimed was a debt over $50, 000

THE RESULT:: An 18 page opinion by a Federal Bankruptcy Judge stating that Olson had utterly failed to present a basis for his case of fraud. Olson thought he would call over 20 witnesses. How many showed. Exactly: two and they testified against him…Testimony established that Maupin had outspent Olson‘s investment by about $43, 000.

Another quoted person that received mention in the Free Press article said that his investments were repaid but that he was still owed about $360, 000 in interest. Do the math, this means that at the legal personal rate of 7%, he was repaid over $ 5 million.

Yes. I filed bankruptcy. Did I want to? No. Was it my last resort? Yes. Do some people think that makes me a bad person? Yes. Sometimes you just do not have a choice.

I suggest that if you are going through tough times, first call your banker; Second, your attorney. Third, call me when the first two just don’t get it.

Mark Maupin


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