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I just got a press release announcing Erik Weichelt as the new president for the San Diego Association of Realtors, succeeding Lori Staehling.

Now president of Weichert Realtors Elite, the new SDAR president used to work with his mother, Donna Sanfilippo, and his brother, Robert Weichelt, at San Diego REO Realtors. The company sells homes for banks, evicts tenants or homeowners and in some cases offers them “cash for keys,” or a financial incentive to urge the inhabitants to leave as soon as possible.

I profiled the company nearly two years ago and rode along with Robert Weichelt for an afternoon of appointments and letter-delivering, for a take on foreclosures as the family business.

I didn’t get to talk much with Erik Weichelt for the story, but did ask him his thoughts about the loan “innovations” — risky loans given to people with dubious credit on the hope the market would keep ascending. He said the changes in lending during the boom weren’t all bad.

“They allow people to get in,” Erik Weichelt says. “So many more people were able to afford homes using what I consider to be ‘progressive’ loans.”

Both brothers say they’re in real estate for the long haul, and they’ll keep working hard. After all, it’d be pretty embarrassing to have their own homes show up in orange or blue on the foreclosure listing whiteboard.

“I’m just working hard not to get a letter,” Erik says.

Update: This post originally incorrectly said Erik Weichelt still works with San Diego REO Realtors. He left that company in 2007 and is now president of Weichert Realtors Elite, a real estate firm that handles a variety of transactions, not just foreclosures. I apologize for the error.

Robert Weichelt has moved on, as well — he now works for Re/Max.

KELLY BENNETT

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