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What makes these Atlantans so damn happy? 

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“The new foreclosure market is giving people like me — working artists — a chance to become first-time homebuyers,” she says.

Scott Henry

Prince Daweed

Happy about his inner song

click to enlarge PRINCE OF LUCKIE STREET: Sometimes, the best moves you make are the ones you dont make. - JOEFF DAVIS
  • Joeff Davis
  • PRINCE OF LUCKIE STREET: Sometimes, the best moves you make are the ones you dont make.

Almost every morning on my way to the office, working through the haze of the depressing morning news, my first cup of strong coffee, and the urge for a cigarette, I see him on the corner of Luckie Street and North Avenue. At first, he appears just a silhouetted figure moving, jumping swinging, dancing. As I get closer, I see his smile, big and fantastic, as he makes his way through his wide range of dance moves. His arms pump in impossible motions. His head is cocked toward the sky, face marked with sheer ecstasy. I always think, “I want to feel that. I want to know that. I want to dance like that.” So I stopped and asked him who he is and why he’s so … happy.

What’s your name?
Prince Daweed. That’s Hebrew for David. I go by Prince, like Prince Charles. That’s not his first name, you know?

What music do you listen to when you dance?
I love music, good music. R&B, hip-hop. I love the Bee Gees. I love Daryl Hall and John Oates. And I love James Brown. I absolutely love Stevie Wonder. He's very uplifting. I love Donna Summers, and I love Earth, Wind and Fire.

Why do you seem so happy?
I just have a great appreciation for life. Before, I was depressed and self-conscious. I was out in Los Angeles for seven years. I was trying to get noticed, trying to get signed by somebody. Sometimes, the best moves you make are the ones you don’t make. Say you make a move; say you have a destination to go to in your mind. Follow your first mind, ’cause you never go wrong.

Why do you dance here?
It’s a nice, wide area, and hardly anyone walks here.

What do you see when you dance?

I see me on a beach somewhere with black sand, palm trees, aqua water, 89 degrees, shirt off, shorts on — and just, like, I am in paradise. That’s what music does for me.

How do you suggest others find happiness?
Love yourself! It has to come from within. It can’t come externally. Some people love their cars and their money — toxic people, people who do not build themselves up. Know yourself! I was searching through various religions and now I have found a way of life, how to walk and how to live.

Joeff Davis

 

The family in the pink house

Happy to avoid foreclosure

click to enlarge HOMEOWNER RELIEF: After a lengthy foreclosure case, this couple was able to keep their home. - JOEFF DAVIS
  • Joeff Davis
  • HOMEOWNER RELIEF: After a lengthy foreclosure case, this couple was able to keep their home.

Back in December, we reported on a Lithonia family whose home was being foreclosed on after they fell behind in their mortgage payments — and after the bank allegedly tacked on thousands of dollars in abusive servicing charges.

The situation looked pretty grim for the homeowner, who asked not to be named because she works for a well-known financial institution and doesn’t want her situation to reflect poorly on her employer. Even if she could somehow catch up on the late payments and exorbitant fees, her 11.6 percent interest rate would likely have made it difficult to stay on top of her mortgage for long.

The woman’s attorney, Howard Rothbloom, has been fighting for five years to help her keep the house she shares with her husband, a truck driver, their children, and several extended family members. Now, the case finally has a resolution — and a happy one at that. The lender dropped all the servicing charges on the woman's loan. It rolled her missed payments back into her principle. And it dropped her interest rate to an insanely low 4.26 percent.

Now that the homeowner’s payments have decreased from $1,022 to $724, she’ll be able to pay on time, Rothbloom says.

Call it a sign of the times.

“In this market, they don’t want these houses back, because oftentimes the houses are worth less than what are owed on them,” Rothbloom says. "It didn’t used to be that way. It used to be that foreclosed houses were a profit center for lenders.”

The homeowner says that, without Rothbloom, the house she worked so hard to keep would likely have ended up on the auction block.

“He could have just dropped the case,” she says of Rothbloom. “He could have said, ‘I’m tired. This isn’t going anywhere. I can’t do this no more.’ But he didn’t. He stuck it out. He kept encouraging me, even when I was tired. He saw an injustice — and he said, ‘We’re going to fight this.’”

Mara Shalhoup

Constance Lewis

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