I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Monday, November 23, 2009

A personal bailout party, L.A. style or Returning to basics

I first read this article from MarketPlace.org on Boston Gal's Open Wallet's blog. My initial reaction was that the women in the story, Christine Schoenwald was having an old style rent party. The woman in the article was irresponsible in continuously refinancing her home and not having adequate saving. This 'benefit' was thrown to try and help her stave off foreclosure while she awaits a loan modification. (just my opinion and anyone else who listens to the podcast.)

Never heard of a rent party?

Rent parties were common among African-Americans especially during the 1920's and 1930's in mainly urban areas but parties were held everywhere. These parties as you can garner from their title were parties held to generate the rent.  

Party goers were charged admission to attend. Depending on the region of the country, these parties ranged from simple get together's with food to wild all night parties. 

The more 'amenities' at a party the more that could be charged per head. Amenities included music - live music being the most popular attraction. Although many parties made do with records.

If you were having a rent party it was crucial to remove the furniture for dancing. If you were having live music, this was a necessity. 

Other amenities included a 'spread' large quantities of food. 
Attractive members of the opposite sex.
Especially during times of Prohibition - alcohol.

The most important purpose of a rent party was to raise cash to cover the shortage in order to pay the rent due on the 1st of the month. The second was to make sure everyone had a good time.

Want to know more about rent parties? Go here to read an entry from the Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance. 

Want to throw a Rent Party? Here is an article from E-How.

What do you think of the rent party concept? Would you hold a rent party? 

Leave a comment and let me know how you would close the rent/mortgage gap.


  1. Brilliant concept. I had never heard of a rent party--I could see 'em coming back given the current economic climate.