At first blush Anthony Seanez might seem like many of the new rich in the South.

Mr. Seanez bought a home in Stone Mountain — a tony suburb 20 miles east of Atlanta — in late 1999 with a $180,000 loan from Household Finance, then upgraded just a few months later by moving to a larger home with a $315,000 loan from Residential Mortgage Services. There was just one problem. Mr. Seanez was 10 years old. What’s worse, the first home was scooped up by Dondray Robinson, who was 14 at the time.

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