Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Crime Does Pay

A touch of historical perspective: For citizens of the territory not familiar with mortgage servicing scofflaws, one of the prominent positions on the Squaliformes Hall of Shame belongs to one Thomas Basmajian, founder/perpetrator and former head of what came to be known as the poster-child for mortgage servicing abuse, Fairbanks Capital (nka Select Portfolio Servicing which was recently acquired by CSFB).

The slap on the wrist given Fairbanks included a little zinger for Basmajian, to the tune of $400,000.00. It also barred him from working in the financial services business without the approval of the court.

Word was that the big house in swanky Park City was long gone at the time of the settlement. But before you go worrying about the poor Basmajians, consider that according to CA property records, their golf-course residence in ultra-swanky Pebble Beach was purchased just three months before the settlement was announced. And just so you'll know, even a little low-end bungalow thereabouts is over $1M.

But good old Tom apparently decided to stay in business in Salt Lake City. Word is he is involved in a business he knows a lot about – distressed residential real estate. You know, foreclosed homes. But instead of creating foreclosures, he's working the other end of the schemes and letting the other servicers generate the products, using what they learned from the settlement.

Things must be going pretty well. Foreclosure stats are up for SLC.

And just consider the $1.3M home in SLC’s also-swanky Cottonwood area he purchased late last year (Blogger's alleged image upload "service" isn't actually working as advertised, so to see dear ol' Tom's house you'll have to click on the URL below):


(Aint property records on the Internet fun?)

So while tens of thousands of just-plain folks got scammed, even lost their homes or were forced into bankruptcy, good old Tom Basmajian still seems to be doing quite well.

Yep. Just think how rough it’s been not having the private jet to get back and forth.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean