Daily Archives: November 10, 2008

Subprime time

Amanda Rosseter, WSB

Amanda Rosseter, WSB

Finally, a local TV station has produced a truly compelling story with an interesting snapshot of the subprime mortgage mess.  Amanda Rosseter put a piece on WSB which focused on a recent home sale that got tossed out in court.  The reason:  The home seller’s mortgage was being paid, at least on paper, by a six-year-old girl.

The story was multi-faceted but well-told.  Rosseter interviewed the woman who moved into, then was forced to move back out of the Roswell home.  She identified the bad guy as the real estate agent.  He allegedly cooked up the scheme that put the toddler’s name on the official papers four years ago, when the seller first purchased the home.illegal-ssn-111008

Turns out the toddler’s parents are illegal / undocumented immigrants.  But since the girl was born in the US, she was the only family member with the social security number required for the mortgage paperwork. Rosseter reports the father paid the mortgage faithfully.  She also says he’s now getting deported.

WSB sent Rosseter to Puerto Rico to hunt down the real estate agent.  She came back with a standup and some b-roll, but no confrontation with the slippery realtor.  Good thing Cox has cash coming out its ears, huh.

Rosseter did a good job of keeping the “illegal alien” part of the story in proper perspective.  But WSB couldn’t help itself, trumpeting that hot-button element in its lead-in and teases.  It was the only misstep in an otherwise solid story that wasn’t easy to tell.   Grade:  A-