Life seemed great for retiring Birders who moved to the Aviary Antebellum Estates in 2001 thru 2004. Located next to a huge water fowl migrating area the estate was ideal for seeing dozens of species daily.
The home owners association spent millions in creating a bird house habitat adjacent to the properties right in the flight zone of migrating birds. To finance the Expansive bird house complex nature loving home owners all share in the CitiBank Birders Adjustable Rate Mortgage (BARM) Loan program.
Why not? -- real estate values would continue to go up and up and the home owner would benefit by increased equity value and a superior birder quality life.
Today in 2010 the birdhouses are fully occupied and real estate values have plummeted. The Aviary Estates properties are worth less than the original prices just as Citibank is rolling over the BARM to much higher interest rates and larger payments. Flightless home owning Birders can't sell and fly with out losing their binoculars.
The foreclosure problem for Aviary Estates is different than many depressed markets in the US in that Citibank can't foreclose on the birds occupying the massive birdhouse facility. Citibank can boot human residents but not the birds thanks to federal laws protecting wildlife. Citibank, in a financially sound move, has requested that the tax payer be plucked by federal bailout for the expenses of maintaining the bird city complex.