Couple Lives In $1.3 Million, 4,900 Square Foot Home For Five Years Without Making A Single Mortgage Payment

Tyler Durden's picture

Wonder how Americans can afford to buy millions of iGadgets, a second LCD TV for the shoe closet, and eat at restaurants more than almost any time in the past despite sliding personal income? Simple - increasingly fewer pay the biggest staple bill in a US household: their mortgage. The following story of Keith And Janet Ritter, who have lived in their Fort Washington, MD $1.29MM, 4,900 square foot McMansion for 5 years (which they purchase with no money down) without ever making a single mortgage payment, and who are not even close to being evicted, may explain much about the way US society currently operates, and why other perfectly responsible and hard-working taxpayers (who do have to pay for their mortgage) continue to fund tens of billions in Fannie and Freddie losses who are first on the hook to absorb the implicit losses by allowing families such as the Ritters to live in perpetuity without paying, and the banks to keep said mortgage on the books at par without any impairments.

The Washington Post has more on this absolute horror story of a case study of just how busted the USSA has become:

The eviction from their million-dollar home could come at any moment. Keith and Janet Ritter have been bracing for it — and battling against it — almost from the moment they moved into the five-bedroom, 4,900-square-foot manse along the Potomac River in Fort Washington.


In five years, they have never made a mortgage payment, a fact that amazes even the most seasoned veterans of the foreclosure crisis.


The Ritters have kept the sheriff at bay by repeatedly filing for bankruptcy and by exploiting changes in Maryland’s laws designed to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure.


Those efforts to protect homeowners have transformed Maryland’s foreclosure process from one of the country’s shortest to one of the longest. It now takes on average 634 days to complete a foreclosure in Maryland, compared with 132 days in Virginia.


“The market won’t fix itself,” said Anne Norton, Maryland’s deputy commissioner for financial regulations. “By the time it does, how many homeowners will be churned up and spit out by the machine?”


Critics, including economists and lenders, blame the state’s go-slow approach for a growing backlog of foreclosures and a weak-to-nonexistent recovery in home prices. To them, the system puts too much emphasis on helping individual homeowners and not enough on quickly clearing the market of foreclosures so prices can rebound and hard-hit communities can recover. And they say it also creates opportunities for abuse by those determined to drag the process out for as long as possible.


“How is it people can stay in a house for five years without ever making a mortgage payment?” said Thomas A. Lawler, a former senior vice president at Fannie Mae who now runs his own consulting firm in Loudoun County. “That’s a screwed-up process. It’s an example of how the process is broken.”


The Ritters, who bought their house for $1.29 million with almost no money down, are hardly representative of the vast majority of Maryland’s distressed homeowners.


During the boom, they set out to become mini real estate moguls, buying properties and flipping them for a profit. In the process, Keith Ritter, 54, went from being on probation for bankruptcy fraud and making minimum wage to being a successful real estate investor and landlord with a six-figure income. Then, when the housing market tanked five years ago, the couple found themselves facing multiple foreclosures.


The Ritters have tried to negotiate different payment arrangements with their lender to save their posh home near National Harbor, they said, but to no avail.


“It was never our intention to get here and never make a mortgage payment,” Keith Ritter said. “We don’t believe in living for free.”


But he and Janet, a 51-year-old real estate agent, make no apology for using every tactic available to them to stay in their house, including challenging the foreclosure sale in court, requesting mediation and claiming they had a tenant living with them. Their adversaries, they argued, are giant financial institutions with armies of lawyers that are out to make as much money as possible at the expense of homeowners.


“When a bank does all it can to save itself, that’s good business,” Keith said. “When a homeowner does the same thing, he’s called a deadbeat.”

And that, ladies and gents, is why this country is fucked.

Meet the Ritters:

"Keith and Janet Ritter inside their home in Fort Washington, Md. In five years, they have never made a mortgage payment, a fact that amazes even the most seasoned veterans of the foreclosure crisis."

"Janet Ritter in the dining area of their Fort Washington home. The
Ritters make no apology for using every tactic available to them to stay
in their house, including challenging the foreclosure sale in court and
requesting mediation

"Keith Ritter has a business, Beat It Movers, that involves eviction services, property preservation and cleaning of foreclosed homes. Here, he checks out some ceiling damage in one such home in Fort Washington. Ritter gets the irony of working for some of the same banks that have foreclosed on him. But he has to make money somehow. “All I know is real estate,” he said."

Casa de Ritter:

"The Ritter's Fort Washington home. They have kept their home for so long by repeatedly filing for bankruptcy and by exploiting changes in Maryland’s laws designed to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure."

"Interior of Keith and Janet Ritter's Fort Washington home. Efforts to protect homeowners have transformed Maryland’s foreclosure process from one of the country’s shortest to one of the longest. It now takes on average 634 days to complete a foreclosure in Maryland, compared with 132 days in Virginia"


And when all else fails, beg god for debt forgiveness: "Bible verses are marked that pertain to debt and forgiveness on a table in the Ritters’ home in Fort Washington."

Then again, who needs god when you have hope and change... for some.

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Almost Solvent's picture

This is extreme but not out of the ordinary.


I work in the bankruptcy field and know dozens, if not hundreds of unpaid mortgages just in Monroe, Ontario & Wayne counties NY.


This shit will flame out in the most unreal ways someday (hopefully sooner rather than later)

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

So that guy was right, with Obama POTUS, no one has to worry about their mortgage anymore.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Only logical. Why should we have to pay for anything. Let the government do it for us.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

This just goes to show what is possible with perpetual debt issuance accompanied by easy monetary policy. By constantly demonizing entities like the Federal Reserve Bank and the IRS, libertarians are denying America a new golden age of fiscal and monetary stimulus. This couple are showing us first hand that the concept of "living beyond our means" is simply a lie. One day, people are going to look back at libertarian propaganda, and they are going to be embarrassed and ashamed that these ideas of "balanced budgets" and "personal responsibility" ever surfaced.

Comay Mierda's picture

produce that note!

only question i have is arent they going to receive a rather large 1099 for tax purposes when the bank forecloses?  I heard the banks have been doing that even though foreclosure isnt taxable as "income"

trav7777's picture

Ima just bite my tongue on this one...these "people" have been bilking the system since they were teenagers.

They never made ONE SINGLE PAYMENT.  WTF does that tell you?  It wasn't their "intention"?

These are not homeowners nor people we should give even ONE SHIT about.

centerline's picture

These are thieves.  Nothing more.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

I've seen many a case just like this in my work.  The Ritter's have also probably avoided $40-50K in property taxes and hazard insurance coverage....

economics1996's picture

MDB is on to something.  We should license ATM machines to the right people and spit out cash on demand.  Negroes would be #1 on the list followed by lesbians, illegal Mexicans, Yids do not need one, and they have their own now.  Spit out that cash and solve the world’s poverty problems.

We could export the cash machines to Bangladesh and solve world poverty while we are at it.

Colonial Intent's picture

"Negroes would be #1 on the list followed by lesbians, illegal Mexicans, Yids do not need one, and they have their own now."


I am soliciting donations for my skin and sex change surgery, i also need a jewish mexican female to help me sneak across the rio grande asap.

The lesbianism kinda goes without saying.................


Donations of 20$ recieve a photo, donations of more than 10$ ensure no photo is ever sent to you.

macholatte's picture

I am a lesbian trapped in a man's body.

Dave Thomas's picture

LOL I use that one at parties from time to time. Still get drinks thrown into my face.

redpill's picture

It's all lulz that they are "sticking it" to the bankers, until you realize that they both are getting bailed out with taxpayer money so....the rest of us are paying for it.  Fuck 'em.

CompassionateFascist's picture

The parents of both these Congoids undoubtedly "worked the system" with equal efficiency. They learned well. A prime example of what Hunter Wallace @ calls...the Black Undertow.

zaphod's picture

These nitwits are setting themselves up for a very sad retirement.

They've gotten used to free stuff, and expect a comfortable free retirement paid by the government.

It's going to be hard to move out of that house and into whatever hovel SS will pay for in 10 years when the government is flat broke.....

AldousHuxley's picture

In the long term, these folks are spoiled by the higher standard of living in a large McMansion for free that when it comes time to pay or get kicked out, they will be more depressed than the ones living in the ghetto.


Blacks just transitioned from physical slavery to debt slavery and then they joined the typical American slavery as consumption slaves.


But then they are just following Obama's example as Obam hasn't paid mortgage for the whitehouse for 4 years now.

The Big Ching-aso's picture



This will all end well.  Like a shot of Drano in the carotid artery.

TruthInSunshine's picture



Free at last.

Free at last.

Free at last*



*Assuming their lender hasn't received a broken title (title as a result of breaking the chain of title, via MERS or other fraudulent transfer), and/or hasn't robosigned, robo-notatized & robo-stamped affidavits and other documents that professed things not true, under penalty of perjury, and/or hasn't literally 're-created' legal documents relevant to the chain of title via a 'title re-creation shop,' which is the very textbook definition of fraud, misrepresentation, violation of fundamental real property law and criminal activity that rises to the level of multiple felonies.

taxpayer102's picture


         Negroes at Auction
         BY J. & L.T. LEVIN

WILL be sold, on MONDAY, the 3d January next, at
the Court House, at 10 o'clock.
22 LIKELY NEGROES, the larger number of of
which are young and desirable. Among them are Field
Hands, Hostlers and Carriage Drivers, House Servants,
&c., and of the following ages: Robinson 40, Elsey 34,
Yanaky 13, Sylia 11, Anikee 8, Robinson 6, Candy 3,
Infant 9, Thomas 35, Die 38, Amey 18, Eldridge 13,
Charles 6, Sarah 60, Baket 50, Mary 18, Betty 16, Guy
12, Tilla 9, Lydia 24, Rachel 4, Scippio 2.
 The above Negroes are sold for the purpose of making
some other investment of the proceeds, the sale will
therefore be positive.
 Terms - a credit of one, two and three years, for notes
payable at either of the Banks, with two or more approved
endorsers, with interest from date. Purchasers to pay
for papers.


FEDbuster's picture

Too bad they didn't bail on real estate to start a solar company when Obummer took office.  Being black, oppressed and bankrupt would have given them a head start for federal funding of their company.  I hope the FED owns the paper on their home (along with the Red Roof Inns).  Let the Bernak deal with the McMansion squatters.

Michael's picture

Dr Ron Paul Can Get the Price of Gas Down to 10 Cents! : Theoretically.

Element's picture

Article mentions they have a 'tenant' is one of the excuses they used to renegociate ... what's the bet it's the maid?  

Does that free-loading scum look like she's doing the house work?

azusgm's picture

More likely a cardboard cut-out.

FEDbuster's picture

Blow up white girl for threesome night?

TruthInSunshine's picture

I personally know someone (not a friend, for what it's worth) who has lived in a 7000 square foot+ home that was built in 2003 since that time, and he has not paid a morgage payment on it in over approximately 5 years, and just like in the example above, the mortgagee hasn't even initiated foreclosure proceedings yet (he hasn't filed bankruptcy, filed any legal challenge, or done anything - he, his wife and children just live there, uncontested, and do all the neighborhood things, cut the grass, trim the hedges, kids playing on the trampoline and playset in the backyard).

I think there are a whole lot of homes in the U.S. of A. that the banks don't want back, and many of them are high end ones.

Wait, let me alter my statement:  Given that I have a very good friend who is exclusively handling foreclosure matters for 5 large or regional banks/lenders, I know for a fact that there is a literal algorithm used whereby, depending on whether it's a recourse or non-recourse state, priority on the timing of foreclosure depends on many variable, including chances of obtaining a deficiency judgment that's collectable, whether the occupant has been maintaining the property and paying the taxes and utilities (they actually keep tabs on this), what the local housing market has been doing in terms of price trends, the relative heftiness of real property taxes on the property, how much the property is underwater based on the note, and what the realistic prospects are for what the property could be sold for today and how long it would take to do so.

If the prognosis for selling the house at a price that comes close to allowing the note holder to recoup anything remotely allowing for a recoupment of more than a certain ratio of the balance of the note, if the occupant would be uncollectable on a deficiency judgment, and if the property is being 'kept up' in terms of maintenance and property tax payments, most of those files go directly to the bottom of the pile.

And those piles are growing larger, by the way, no matter what teaser CONfident-inspiring headlines are splashed across the front pages of MSM papers.

One more thing, if you think high end areas are not suffering from this trend, you couldn't be more wrong.

As just one example, the lake front area of the Chicago area (like Glencoe, Illinois - a very exclusive area) is seeing many live without making any payments in 2 and 3 million dollar homes (well, that's the mortgage amount, at any rate), or just have people mail the keys to the bank (as the property taxes are about 45,000 per year on many of these homes, and they're worth half or less than they were back in 2006).

This is a July , 2010 article on this precise issue, and it has not improved, and has arguably gotten worse since then, despite the trillions in gifting to banks by Geithner & The Bernank:

Walking Away From Million-Dollar Mortgages -

boogerbently's picture

These "nitwits" are why OUR retirement is less probable.

I've ALWAYS felt the reason for the "recession/housing" problem wasn't banks, but the clowns agreeing to mortgages they couldn't or wouldn't pay.

What needs to happen is STREAMLINING the foreclosure process, not making it tougher for banks.

The "recovery" won't happen until all these homes are owned by the banks and resold, OR being paid for by the owners. It's that liberal mindset...."you can't throw people out in the street" that's ENABLING these MORALLY bankrupt people to cause US to pay for their irresponsibility.


The banks don't want these homes back because then they would have to claim them as liabilities, and we'd see what TERRIBLE shape the banks are really in!



tmosley's picture

Eh?  No, it's the nitwits that stole our money to make them whole in direct contravention of natural law.

Let them burn as they should, and the economy will be fine again within a couple of years.  Continue this path, and we have at least a decade of darkness in front of us, assuming we don't experience a total collapse.

Bloodstock's picture

Yep, fuck 'em! But for now, who really cares?

Willzyx's picture

I am somewhat dismayed that I will never have the opportunity to participate in a lesbian orgy.  sigh

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

A significant percentage of folks caught in the situation the Ritters find themselves in were, like the Ritters, speculators - often 'Realtors' and mortgage loan brokers who went all in and couldn't unload the portfolios they'd assembled before it became financially impossible for them to do so.  And why not go all in if the banks will lend you the money - if the market turns you live there and/or collect rents as long as you can and then hand over the keys?  And why not lend the money when you can immediately offload the risk by selling the loan into MBS?  And why not purchase the MBS cuz it is AAA rated?  Oops.

Captain Kink's picture


Moral Hazard, Bitchez!

Never be a scumbag.  [Rule #3]

AldousHuxley's picture

GOVERNMENT don't care as long as they pay property taxes....

$20,000/year in taxes isn't pocket change.


and it is porbably $500/month for heating bills for 5000sqft house.



Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Correct they came into the game with nothing and therefore had nothing to lose.

and why not just consider the MBS as US Treasury paper that just happened to yield substantially more but magically and largely implictly contained the same guarantees?

while you're at it, consider the buyers of that paper the creators of that market,

supposed adult aged, professional money managers investing in shit they knew less than nothing about for that extra return lined up three wide around the globe twice.







centerline's picture

It makes them no better than the banks.  It is that simple.  Remember the old saying that "if it is too good to be true, then it probably is"?  When did it become socially acceptable to live like a rock star without any assets to back it up?

Ok, don't answer that last question.


AldousHuxley's picture


banksters who got bonuses for flipping MBS

politicians who got lobbyst jobs/money for passing favorable laws

government workers (most notably fire and police) who set pension, benefits, salary formulae based on the bubble property prices

people who quit real jobs and became home flippers or real estate agents

lower class and faux upper class Americans not paying mortgages after years of partying, vacations, luxury cars, etc.

baby boomers who are still able to sell crappy ugly old homes at over-inflated prices for retirement funds




middle class Americans in private corporate cutt-throat jobs paying mortages in expensive urban areas and surrounding suburbs.

young Americans paying high rents and never getting the opportunity to purchase an entry level home at a non-bubble price on top of huge BS student loans


optimator's picture

Negros should NOT be #1 on  the list, the category of folks that gave Obama the highest percentage  of their votes, on second thought how do I delete this post.

trav7777's picture

they are already provided with free money and still remain at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

The difference between the rich and the poor is NOT MONEY.  It is the innate ability to hang onto it!

Dey jus needz mo oppuhtunateez nshit.

BTW, I wonder if these frickin freeloaders get that THEY are the servant in that parable...I'm sure Mr. Ritter doesn't just forgive what's owed him, hell no.  People of this demographic are MERCILESS when it comes to reaping what they don't sow.

Kinda like how post-emancipation ex-slaves were given Liberia and immediately established themselves as plantation owners in the IDENTICAL style as their former masters, enslaving the natives who had remained there.  They even aped the dress of southern gentlemen.  Slavery persisted in Liberia for the most part until the mid 1900s.

BlackMagician's picture

Ok...Ok...I get it...Being born black means you are DuMb and stupid and genetically inferior...The Romans probably said the same about the BARBARIANS at the GATE...As one of the INFERIOR...I hope that you don't reflect the view of most decent ZeroHedger's...Dat's OK masta we all ain't dum...GeT a LiFe...and I forgive are probably ignorant and know NO minorities...When I see individual whites do EvIL I won't say...damn all those whites...rant OFF.

tmosley's picture

I'm pretty sure Trav's death worship and collectivism aren't representative of the majority of ZHer's, but I am starting to wonder.

CompassionateFascist's picture

I'm pretty sure TM's white-cosmic, self-destructive liberalism isn't at all typical of ZHrs. Otherwise they'd be spending their time at the Puffington Host. Where you belong.  

jeff montanye's picture

actually this is a comment on trav's assertion that the difference between the rich and the poor isn't money but the ability to hang on to it.  apparently it is neither or a little of both (or why anderson cooper has a day job):

FrankDrakman's picture

Better get the lemonade and cookies ready; the Thought Police are coming soon.

BlackMagician's picture

DO you REALLY need someone to tell you that you are an ignorant arse?..

AldousHuxley's picture

Obama sold out blacks just like African Kings sold out his own race to European slave traders.


Give it up for the white race for pulling this off all the while still not having to say a full 100% black person was the US president.


Now Obama ready to send blacks and latinos to fight wars for white folks in Iran. Even in Iran, elites are European Italian looking.