Why I'm Here
Each of us faces challenges in life. Our response to those challenges influences the type of people we become, the opportunities that open for us, and the way that other people perceive our character. Regardless of what is going on in our life, we can always strive to live with purpose, with a commitment to contribute.
My name is David Littman. As I write this document, on May 15, 2021, I’m facing a series of challenges. In my view, they’re like mountains that I must climb. If I can get across the mountains, I can get back to the life I want to live. I don’t know exactly how long it will take me to get to the other side, nor do I know what types of obstacles I’ll have to overcome. All that I know is that I will move forward with my dignity intact, always striving to live a life of meaning and contribution, striving to help fellow sojourners on the path.
Several years ago, authorities alleged that a few business decisions I made violated the law. I didn’t understand the allegations against me. For more than a decade, I built a career in real estate.
Understanding the dream of homeownership, I developed a sustainable business model that would allow me to help many stakeholders. It all began during the recession.
- Prior to the great recession, many banks and mortgage lenders extended loans on residential real estate without checking the creditworthiness of the borrowers.
- Many borrowers acquired houses that they could not afford.
- As more people defaulted on their real estate loans, the value of real estate began to plummet.
- Banks endured the unwanted expense of carrying non-performing loans on their financial statements.
- In response, the banks had a dilemma: Either they could foreclose on the property, or they could conduct a “short sale,” meaning they would sell the property to an investor in a quick sale.
Sensing an opportunity, I began to negotiate with banks to purchase properties that they did not want to carry on their books. If the transaction made sense to the bank, the lender would accept my offer to acquire the property.
I paid for the property, remodeled the property, and then either sold the property or created a transaction for people to purchase the property. Since many of the buyers lacked access to credit, I created a transaction known as “Rent to Own.” In other words, if the customer could afford to rent the property, I would apply a portion of the rental income toward the renter’s eventual ownership of the property. The customer would begin to build equity, achieving the dream of homeownership.
To keep the model growing, I build relationships with “hard money lenders.” These lenders would provide capital for me to acquire properties. In return, they received a mutually agreed-upon interest rate.
Through this model, I participated in the purchase, sale, or rental agreement of more than 2,000 properties. Such transactions provided great outcomes for the following stakeholders:
- Banks that needed to liquidate non-performing loans.
- People that wanted an unconventional path to become homeowners.
- Investors wanted to build a sustainable income stream through secured loans.
- Communities that would benefit from revenue streams that flowed from real estate taxes.
- Social services that received funding from tax revenues.
When authorities alleged that some of the properties that I purchased failed to comply with the law, I didn’t understand.
Going through the legal process felt as if I were going through a quagmire that could swallow me whole. After praying for guidance, I accepted that this challenge was not for me to understand—but rather, it was for me to accept. I found strength through the Biblical Book of Jonah.