A failed real estate investor who rocketed to Internet stardom by blogging about his foreclosure, unemployment and marital strife has abruptly pulled the plug on his Web site.
Casey Serin, the 24-year-old would-be real estate mogul who was reduced to sharing a diminutive West Sacramento, Calif., townhouse with his sister-in-law, announced on Thursday that iamfacingforeclosure.com is dead and "will never return."
Since the blog's launch in September, Serin's regular posts about his refusal to get a job or pay off up to $420,000 that he owes creditors have garnered him an enthusiastic--if unrelentingly critical--audience known as "haterz."
Along the way, Serin's notoriety led to appearances on Suze Orman's and Robert Kiyosaki's advice shows, and the creation of an encyclopedia, Caseypedia.com, with hundreds of entries mocking his exploits. A Casey Serin Dance Remix appeared, as have photo galleries depicting him as Gilligan from Gilligan's Island and McDonald's Hamburglar character.
Serin did not respond to e-mail messages or voice mail on Thursday and Friday asking why his blog was replaced with a brief farewell message, which didn't say what prompted the deletion.
That didn't stop the so-called haterz from speculating. One oft-proferred explanation centered on a contract that Serin signed on May 17 with his wife, Galina. It specifies that the iamfacingforeclosure.com site must be shuttered "permanently never to be reopened again" if Serin did not generate $1,000 in income a week or if he discussed his marital problems publicly--an arrangement that one site said was violated.
In an earlier conversation with CNET News.com, Galina Serin said she was becoming frustrated with her husband's credit-based spending and had met with her pastor recently for relationship counseling. Of eight homes that her husband hoped to resell at a profit, he lost all of them, most to foreclosure.
Earlier, Serin had talked favorably about being homeless and living in a car and said his wife was holding him back. After signing the contract, he generally refrained from discussing family members, though his brother Steve did berate him publicly for his antics and not supporting his wife.
Anti-Serin sites expressed dismay at the apparent end of iamfacingforeclosure.com, comparing Serin-watching to a form of drug addiction. Some unhappy haterz even held a lengthy conference call on Thursday evening, with one caller suggesting that it should turn into a weekly ritual.