…is that Mike Tyson can still get a mortgage worth $1.7 million. From Newsday’s Wallace Matthews.

Tyson creaks when he gets out of bed, worries about his children, frets over how classmates will taunt them about their infamous father, and wrestles with precisely how to break the news to them about his past before someone beats him to it.

He owns fast motorcycles he has grown leery of riding. He recently – get this! – turned down the offer of a free Aston-Martin AR-1, James Bond’s ride, because what he needs more than anything now is a house.

He lost his palatial homes in Las Vegas, Ohio, Connecticut and New Jersey to ex-wives or bankruptcy. Right now he’s sleeping on the couch in the home of the mother of his two youngest children. Last year, home was a rented one-bedroom house in a Phoenix suburb.

Tyson tries to keep up appearances, arriving at the gym in a gleaming white Hummer H2. “It’s all I got left, man,” he said.

Like a lot of people his age, Tyson is downsizing. But “downsizing” is a relative term.

Despite filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2003, claiming $55 million in debts and $5,583 in cash, Tyson last week was able to scrape up $420,000 for a down payment on a $2.1-million house in Paradise Valley’s exclusive Mummy Mountain district. Despite the bankruptcy and continuing debt, he secured a mortgage with a monthly payment of nearly $11,000.

“His ‘broke’ is a little different from your ‘broke’ or mine,” said Steven Espinoza, Tyson’s bankruptcy attorney.

Epinoza, a master of understatement in this instance, must be one hell of a lawyer. Clearly, solvency is overrated.