Obviously, the mortgage and housing slump isn't something confined just to the United States -- the global effects of losses that started here have contributed to a global housing slowdown, as mortgage lenders have tightened their belts even outside of our borders. Australia, the UK, and Spain; all are seeing some semblance of housing problems, for varying reasons. But leave it to a Spaniard to come up with the most intruiguing idea for getting out from under a mortgage he can't afford: a raffle. Via Reuters:
Miguel Marina said he hopes to be able to pay off his mortgage, worth 80 percent of the value of his property, by selling 64,000 tickets at 5 euros each, promising his home as the single prize to the winner of a draw. His website, elpisodeloscincoeuros.com, which means "thefiveeuroflat.com" in Spanish, provides a contract detailing conditions for handing over the property in the dormitory town of Ciempozuelos. "I'm going to raffle off my flat," Marina wrote, describing how he suffered sleepless nights trying to work out how to pay off his debts on the property he bought in 2005 before losing his job selling houses as Spain's real estate market went into a tailspin. "I've tried to sell it, but no buyers call," he said.
Let's think about this from the U.S. perspective; is that worthwhile? If someone was raffling off $10 tickets for a shot at a $300K property, would you take a chance and buy some tickets? Could be a very interesting play. But we won't try it. If someone in the U.S. tries this, be sure to let us know and we'll give it a TON of coverage...