Author Aimee Phan knew closing on her San Francisco condo was a decision she’d come to regret, but she followed her immigrant mother’s advice anyway. Wasn’t homeownership the American Dream? Not quite: “[T]he next few years brought us the economic crisis and dreaded visits to the Zillow website to confirm the loss of our down payment. Countrywide Financial went bust, and Bank of America promptly acquired their portfolio of underwater mortgages, including ours. We called our original loan officer at the credit union to see if there was any way we could refinance. He confessed it was too late, and that he too was suffering with an upside-down mortgage on his one-bedroom condo in Long Beach, California.”
Things only went south from there as Phan’s lender declined her request for a short-sale, forcing the condo into foreclosure. Phan’s mother still owns her own house, but Phan will teach her own daughter to rent.