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"We Won't Always Have Paris": Rich Feel Housing Crunch,Too

Eiffel Tower, Paris
Photo by Will Palmer
Eiffel Tower, Paris

Ok, so, forget my blogpost yesterdaywhere I said I was going to report live from gold country today. I did go to gold country, and that story will air shortly. In the meantime, I've been diverted to Sacramento to report on how decisions at the federal level impact the homeowner.

Well, the only real impact so far has been lower interest rates, which unleashed a flood a re-fis. One of the "prospectors" I ran into in gold country is Michael Haigh, taking a day off from his job as a mortgage lender with Citigroup in San Francisco.

In fact, he's one of Citi's best performers, saying he had his best month EVER last month--mostly re-fis.

Haigh says people struggling to make their mortgage payments aren't just couples earning $40,000 (including some who stated they actually made $80,000). His clients generally make a whole lot more.

"How do you tell a couple that's making $300,000 a year, who bought a $1.8 million home with no money down--now worth $1.4 million--who are also paying $4,000 a month in car payments, that they're in trouble," he says. "The wife turns to her husband and says, 'But what about our trip to Paris?'" Haigh responds, "Ok, I'm going to tell what your husband wants you to hear: you don't get it." There will be no trip to Paris. For years.

It's happening.

IDOL CHATTER
Good call, readers, on who would go home from "Idol" last night. It was Ramiele. But I only got one out of three right in the bottom three...

By the way, I love Dolly Parton. But how hard is it for this show to book top-selling younger stars to mentor the contestants? We've seen Gwen Stefani and J-Lo in the past. But what about Beyonce? John Mayer? Christina Aguilera? Or...KELLY CLARKSON?

It was good to see Bo Bice again. And it was great to see that Bucky Covington got his teeth fixed, like Elliott Yamin did. I guess the "Idol" contract includes dental.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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