At least rapper Chamillionaire
isn't changing his name to Cha-"thousand"-aire. The Houston native is getting out of a mortgage for a $2 million home there by not making payments
on the mansion and letting it go into foreclosure. The trend of walking away from a mortgage in the down market is hitting even millionaire musicians.
His song "Houston Got a Problem"
takes on new meaning.
His decision to go into foreclosure on the 7,583-square-foot mansion that he bought in 2006 was a business decision and not because of "financial negligence or anything like that," he told TMZ
, despite carrying multiple mortgages for himself and others.
"This house was my most expensive mortgage," he told TMZ. But "when the market went down ... the house ended up being worth nothing ... I decided to just let it go and give it back to the bank. It wasn't a situation where they came and took it from me. I just didn't feel like it was a good business investment to keep paying that much mortgage for a house that I'm never at."
Foreclosed homes are a common sight across America, and some foreclosed homeowners live in their homes for free
for a year before being evicted.
Chamillionaire, whose real name is Hakeem Seriki, said he's in good financial shape and still has his cars. However, the website Sickhop
reports that the rapper owes the IRS $184,000 in 2007 taxes.
Seriki seems to have some business sense, at least in his ability to make money. He co-owns Houston-based auto dealer Fly Rydes, a tour bus company and his record label, Chamillitary Entertainment. In 2009, he and Quincy Jones III launched the Global Innovation Tournament at Stanford University's Memorial Auditorium, as part of the school's "Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders" seminar series.
Investing in a $2 million mansion might have looked like a wise investment four years ago, and Seriki can always find plenty of similar homes
in Houston if he's looking for another one.
For example, the lakefront home at 2310 Bayou Mist Court,
with 8,134 square feet, five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. It's selling for $1,985,000 and has a formal living room with fireplace; a formal dining room; a library; a large, open kitchen/breakfast/family room (with another fireplace); a bonus room (or theater room) downstairs; a large game room and computer alcove upstairs; and a covered pavilion (also with a fireplace).
See more homes in Houston, Texas, and elsewhere at AOL Real Estate.