Melina Boswell broke one of the first rules of real estate investing: There is no such thing as a real estate emergency. Actually, she stretched the rule to prove that real estate deals are not found, they are created. Melina came across a filthy and uninhabitable home saddled with a divorce, substance abuse, a non-judicial foreclosure, an imminent auction, multiple people on title, 1st and 2nd mortgages, a collection agency, liens from the Franchise Tax Board and an attorney, a homeowner with children who needed a roof and, of course, negative equity. She should have walked away. Instead, she put her head down and went to work executing a strategy called Forced Equity by crafting four legs to a sturdy stool: her network, her experience, her bravado to negotiate and her will to help a distressed homeowner.