Your Neighborhood Realtor: 'I'm Really, Really Sorry'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2009 2:48 PM CDT
In this April 8, 2009 photo, Mary Ann Schultheis stands in front of her Parkland, Fla. home speaking about the problems that she is having with her house.   (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
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(Newser) – Erica Ferencik can’t stand the guilt anymore. “I am the reason the world is in an economic tailspin,” she writes in Salon. “I'm your neighborhood real estate agent, and I'm really, really sorry.” When Ferencik got into real estate 9 years ago, she found herself swept up in a frenzied market, working 7 days a week advising desperate buyers on how to land a house. “Basically: tie a cloth over your eyes and just throw money.”

“Predatory loans? We thought they were just ‘creative,’” Ferencik says, confessing that she actually rooted for low-income clients to get the houses they so desperately wanted. People from all walks of life became agents. Veterans shot looks as if to say, “Have you ever heard of a real estate cycle? Strap on those seat belts, kids, this roller coaster is going down.” Now Ferencik sits around an empty office, watching a phone that’s not ringing. "My last paycheck was in October."