Housing Bust Hit Agents Hard
Business + Economy

Housing Bust Hit Agents Hard

Before the real estate bust, Rob Paxton and Susan Schneider might have met at a networking event or through their home-buyer clients. Instead, they first crossed paths at a day shelter for the homeless in Falls Church. Schneider, once a mortgage broker with plenty of disposable income, arrived one cold winter morning with her possessions in tow, looking for a hot meal.

In the kitchen, Paxton stirred a bubbling pot on the stove. He once pulled in more than $200,000 a year in Northern Virginia, but he had taken the part-time job as the shelter's director when his commissions dwindled to almost nothing.

Paxton, 55, noticed Schneider right away. Wearing a knit cap and a slightly dazed expression, hers was one of the few female faces in a sea of mostly Latino men awaiting the noon meal. He said hello, and soon they'd swapped stories. "We have a lot of common ground," Paxton says. "Same business: trying to get people into homes."

Now it is Schneider who needs a home. And over the past six weeks, Paxton has tried to help her - shepherding her to different shelters to find an open bed, giving her food and calmly taking her calls when her perilous situation frays her emotions past the breaking point.

Read more at The Washington Post.