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Behm Law Group, Ltd. Has Identified the 4 Most Common Types of Bankruptcy Abuse and How to Protect Yourself

Recently, the outdoor retail chain Gander Mountain has filed for bankruptcy, with the intent to sell. It’s hard to imagine such a corporate giant going under, but their situation is not uncommon. From large corporations and wealthy celebrities, to private citizens of more modest means, anyone can find themselves in this difficult position.

Fortunately for Gander Mountain, they have a large legal team to navigate the intricacies of bankruptcy. However, private citizens rarely have this luxury, making them prime targets for aggressive collectors, unlawful foreclosures, and predatory lenders.

In response to these issues, Stephen Behm of Behm Law Group, Ltd. in Mankato, MN, has published advice for how individuals filing for bankruptcy can spot abuse and fight back.

1.    Abusive Collectors

Before filing for bankruptcy, calls from persistent collectors and creditors are typical. However, what some people don’t know is that once a bankruptcy has been filed, the injunctive provisions of automatic stay of 11 U.S.C. §362 go into effect. This means that creditors and debt collectors may no longer contact the debtor, allowing the debtor some breathing room. However, oftentimes the debtor will experience continued harassment from creditors, even after the automatic stay is in effect. This behavior only adds to the already significant stress a debtor is experiencing and is completely unlawful.

Fighting back: If creditors continue calling after the automatic stay goes into effect, the debtor must inform them that they have filed for bankruptcy relief then give them their attorney’s name, telephone number, and their bankruptcy case number. Also inform them that their behavior is unlawful and take notes of the details of the calls (the creditors’ names, the names of the creditors’ agents, the creditors’ addresses, the dates and times of day of the calls). Then, contact a bankruptcy lawyer and discuss the activity. If the ongoing collection activities persist, the debtor and their bankruptcy lawyer can sue the offending creditors under 11 U.S.C. §362 of the Bankruptcy Code to enforce the injunctive provisions of the automatic stay and, possibly, get punitive monetary sanctions awarded against such creditors.

2.    Foreclosure Defense

It isn’t uncommon for mortgage lenders to perform unauthorized foreclosures on a home. If a homeowner is three months or more delinquent on their mortgage, there are certain steps that a mortgage lender must follow in order to perform a proper foreclosure. For example, the mortgage lender must hire a monitor to periodically drive by the house to make sure that the house is still in good shape, rather than in a state of decay or abandonment, and they must have a realtor drive by periodically to inspect and assess the value of the house. The mortgage lender must, in Minnesota, generally place a notice of mortgage foreclosure sale once per week for six weeks in the primary newspaper for the county in which the property is located. Often, these procedures aren’t followed through, yet the homeowner is still charged fees as if they were.

Fighting back: If a debtor suspects they’ve been the victim of foreclosure fraud, they should contact an attorney experienced with their state’s foreclosure laws right away. Often, there are numerous defenses that can stop a foreclosure or prevent one altogether. In certain circumstances where a court has determined that a mortgage lender has conducted itself in a reprehensible and abusive manner, the subject mortgage debt can be either reduced or eliminated as a penalty.

3.    False Claims

After a debtor files for bankruptcy, creditors sometimes must file proofs of claim with the bankruptcy court, detailing how much a person owes them. In some cases, bankruptcy trustees actually distribute money to creditors. In order for the creditors to get paid anything by the trustee, they must file proofs of claim. In some cases, predatory creditors will lie about how much is owed and complete false proofs of claim in an attempt to get paid more money from either the debtor or the bankruptcy trustee.

Fighting back: The first step to fighting false claims comes before the claim has been filed. Debtors must keep detailed records of spending and debt. This will help to identify any creditor who has inflated the debt. Also, carefully review all proofs of claim that creditors file with the bankruptcy court to check for discrepancies between what is stated on the claims and what is written in self-kept records. Whether the debtor has or hasn’t kept records, working with a lawyer who can navigate the claims process and work to review both the creditors’ proofs of claim and the debtor’s records is best.

4.    Predatory Lenders

It is easy to fall prey to predatory lenders. Predatory lenders will charge delinquent homeowners extra fees without grounds. For example, if a homeowner pays their mortgage near the due date, predatory lenders will sometimes wait to process the payment after the actual due date has come and gone. Sometimes, they will then charge a late fee even though they actually received the payment prior to the due date.    

Fighting back: “Again, it’s important to keep records of all payments and when they were made to identify lenders who are not processing payments appropriately,” says Stephen Behm of Behm Law Group, Ltd. in Mankato, MN. After making mortgage payments, it’s important to regularly check the checking account history to make sure that the mortgage creditor is processing the payments in a timely manner.

If a lawyer has been appointed, they will file a “Qualified Written Request” (QWR) with the mortgage creditor demanding a complete loan history, formally called a “life of loan transaction history”. The life of loan history will list all payments made, all fees incurred, all amounts paid out of escrow, what the escrow funds were used for, and show how all of the payments from the start of the mortgage were applied.

Mortgage lenders use transaction codes in the life of loan histories to identify how the payments were transacted and where they were applied (e.g. escrow, suspense, interest, principle, inspection fees, updated valuation costs, etc.). The attorney will demand the transaction code software and an explanation of the codes in “plain English”. Under Section 6 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the mortgage creditor must acknowledge receipt of the QWR within 20 business days and must, in good faith, try to resolve the matter within 60 business days. If the mortgage creditor does not do this, they can be sued and punitively sanctioned under RESPA.

When filing for bankruptcy, the best thing to do is hire a bankruptcy lawyer to help navigate the complicated process.

“A lawyer will be able to identify and fight against instances of abuse, protecting you and your family,” says Behm.

With large businesses such as Gander Mountain going bankrupt, it’s important to make bankruptcy information accessible to private citizens with limited resources, warning them about abuse and how to fight back before it’s too late.

About Behm Law Group, Ltd.: Behm Law Group, Ltd., based out of Mankato, MN, is the only law firm in south central and southwestern Minnesota that is exclusively dedicated to helping residents navigate chapter 7, 12, and 13 bankruptcies. Since receiving his Juris Doctor from the University of North Dakota in 1995, owner and founder, Stephen Behm, has specialized in bankruptcy law. Behm is a member of the Bankruptcy Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. In his free time, Behm gives back to the community as a mentor with the YMCA Big Brother/Big Sister Program.

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Muse Makes Run to Replace Baker as County Exec

Nearly drowned out by chants of “Muse, Muse, Muse,” Maryland State Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-26) told a standing room crowd on June 26 at the Harborside Hotel in Oxon Hill, Md. that he planned to run in the race for Prince George’s County executive.

Maryland State Sen. Anthony Muse announced his run for Prince George’s County Executive on June 26. (Courtesy Photo)

“I have come to you tonight to announce that I am a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the office of Prince George’s County Executive. “I want you to know that after 16 years in public office I am ready to serve.”

The announcement sets up a likely showdown with Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks who has yet to make her plans public, but is also expected to join the race. Alsobrooks told a local television reporter she would be making an announcement soon. Some have also speculated that former U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards could join the race in the coming weeks, but sources close to her say it is unlikely she will run. Current Prince George’s County Executive Rushern T. Baker III recently announced that he was running for the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor.

Muse, who made his announcement following a whirlwind bus tour across the county that started in Laurel with stops in Bowie, Largo, Suitland, and Crossland High School in Temple Hills, promised at each stop to restore “hope” and “faith” in county government. “We can do better. We will do better,” he said. “I give you my word.”

The charismatic pastor and founder of the Ark of Safety Christian Church in Upper Marlboro, Md. carved out a successful record as a legislator. First elected to the state senate in 2007, he served in the House of Delegates from 1995 to 1999. He also ran for county executive in 2002 where he was defeated by Jack Johnson.

Muse promised to go after banks whose predatory lending has left more than 6,000 county residents in danger of losing their homes. He said as county executive he will stop the rubberstamping of foreclosure procedures that are often accelerated through the courts without due process.

Muse recently secured $1.5 million to build a new athletic field at Crossland High School, but he is most concerned about achievement levels and funding for county schools. “We shouldn’t be giving administrators $500,000 bonuses when there are teachers who don’t have chalk for blackboards. We also shouldn’t be graduating students that it takes two years of remedial help and four years to finish a two-year school. If voters are smart enough to pick a state senator, then those same voters should be able to determine who they want to represent them on the school board. It’s time to give the power back to people.”

Muse also promised to fight for those who have no voice such as returning citizens and homeless veterans and to work to eliminate blight and poverty in neighborhoods in and around Suitland where he pointed to abandoned buildings near the Census Bureau.

He said far too many government workers remain behind the walls of the Census Bureau “and never come out. They drive here from Virginia, but they don’t stay here. We want to give them a reason to spend their money here. It’s time for them to come from behind the wall,” Muse said. “Mr. Trump, take down this wall.”

Telling a story showing he understands the plight of ordinary people after living in 11 different foster homes and being in three different school systems, Muse said his is the original Horatio Alger story in politics. Muse holds degrees from Morgan State University, Wesley Theological Seminary and Howard University where he received a doctorate in Theology. He is married to NBC News 4 anchor Pat Lawson Muse.

“I want to be a voice for those who have no voice,” Muse said. “I want people to look at me and say if he can do it, I can too. All my life has been an uphill journey. We can turn this moment into a movement.”

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Owner Roulette: Avoid Construction Lien Headaches

Many contractors routinely have an issue getting paid from an owner, and may evaluate tackling the task of filing a construction lien and all the details involved. One of those details is making sure you know who the “real” owner of the real estate is – especially in this day when developers set up individual LLCs for each parcel. A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case provides further clarification as to what contractors can do to ensure that they properly file a construction lien, naming the correct owner, and ultimately get paid for their work.

In Bayland Buildings, Inc. v. Spirit Master Funding VIII, LLC,1 the Court of Appeals addressed the concept of “constructive notice” to the land owner under Wisconsin’s construction lien law. The principal of “constructive notice” may help the contractor who uses the incorrect owner name in their lien documents, but can prove the actual owner was aware; this concept is important because land owners, to avoid lien claims, will argue the lien named the wrong owner. In that case, Bayland Buildings (“Bayland”) filed a construction lien against Siren Saukville, LLC (“Siren”), the party that Bayland believed to be the owner of the project under the terms of its construction contract. However, Siren had in fact been bought out by Spirit Master Funding VIII, LLC (“Spirit”), and Spirit was then the actual owner of the project at the time Bayland filed its construction lien.

Spirit argued that because Bayland had received notice that it was the actual owner, Bayland had improperly named “Siren” when it filed its construction lien, and the foreclosure lawsuit for the construction lien should be dismissed. In contrast, Bayland argued that it filed its lien against the party it believed to be the owner, and never received “constructive notice” that ownership of the project had changed. After considering both arguments, the Court of Appeals agreed with Bayland, and found that Spirit was subject to the lien Bayland filed against Siren because it was now the owner of the project and did not provide Bayland with “constructive notice” of the change in ownership.

Wisconsin’s Construction Lien Law and “Constructive Notice”?

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has previously held that “[a]ny person who performs, furnishes, or procures any work, labor, service, materials, plans, or specifications, used or consumed for the improvement of land” may file a lien against the real estate if he or she does not receive payment.2

However, in order to comply with the defaulted statutory requirements for construction liens, the contractor must give written notice to the actual owner prior to filing a lien claim. Once a lien has been filed in Court, the contractor is under no continuing duty to check the real estate records to confirm the ownership since “the critical date, insofar as the lien claimant’s duty to check the records in the office of the register of deeds is concerned, is the first date on which he furnishes labor and materials because the right to a lien of a supplier of labor or materials arises on that date.”3

So what happens when ownership changes during construction? Wisconsin courts have concluded that “[c]onstructive notice exists when a person without knowledge of a fact is subjected on grounds of public policy to knowledge of that fact, as well as the liabilities associated with that knowledge.”4

When dealing with construction liens, courts interpret construction lien laws liberally. Courts accept the fact that a contractor does not lose its lien rights when a property is sold without notice of the sale to the contractor.5 A contractor that never received constructive notice of a sale of a property will not lose his lien rights even if after the contractor commences work, the property is sold to a different owner, assuming that the contractor complied with the legal requirements of Wisconsin’s lien laws.6

What Steps Can Contractors Take to Avoid Construction Lien Ownership Headaches Down the Road?

As with most things in life, it’s better to take early proactive steps rather than simply wait for bad things to happen before taking action. There are a few simple tasks that contractors can do before filing a construction lien to avoid technical problems with their lien later on.

  1. Verify the Owner of the Project
    In a perfect world, every contract a contractor enters into would accurately state the full, legal name of the owner. However, in reality, owners sometimes use a d/b/a or trade name in their contracts. Contractors should not assume that just because an owner uses a name on a business card or letterhead that name is the registered, legal name of the owner of the property.7 To ensure that the name of the owner listed on the contract is the actual owner of the project, a contractor can take a few simple steps.
    a. Check the Register of Deeds
    Many counties have online databases that contain much of the information that is physically stored at the county courthouse in the Register of Deeds. Contractors can check the ownership status of a property online, or in person at the County’s Register of Deeds, to verify that the owner listed on the contract is the actual legal owner of the property.
    b. Get a Letter Report
    For more complex projects where multiple changes in ownership has occurred in a short period of time, or to avoid trips to the Register of Deeds Office, it may be worthwhile for a contractor to pay a title company for a letter report that states the property’s ownership title as of a specific date. While a title report letter does not provide any title insurance for the property, it will provide a contractor with the most recent information available concerning the actual owner.
    c. Check the Local Tax Bill
    While this may be a less reliable way to get information regarding real estate ownership, checking the most recent municipal tax bill records will at least provide a contractor with ownership information as of the end of the most recent tax year. Some communities may even have this information online, making it even easier to check the ownership status of a property prior to signing a contract or filing a construction lien. Often times the tax bill owners’ information is abbreviated, making it less useful.

  2. Monitor Communication from the Owner
    Contractors shouldn’t assume that just because they signed a contract and started a project with a specific owner that the legal owner cannot change during construction. Contractors need to pay close attention to all owner communications to watch for anything related to the change in ownership of a project. If a court needs to decide if a contractor received constructive notice regarding a change in ownership of a project, the court will review all communications between the parties, even text messages and emails.

  3. Pay Attention to Change Orders
    Obviously change orders can vastly change the scope or price of any construction project. However, they may also provide a contractor with constructive notice of a change in ownership or even impact lien rights. To the extent that change orders are issued and a contractor is asked to sign a “Partial Waiver of Construction Lien,” a contractor needs to be aware that signing such a waiver may impact the ability to foreclose on a lien and obtain a monetary judgment for the full amount that is owed, or even provide constructive notice regarding a change in ownership.

By following the above-mentioned best practices, contractors will be in a better position to avoid disputes regarding whether or not their lien documents are defective because of who they have named as the ownership of a projects. The goal is to avoid any claim that the contractor’s lien claim is defective because they used the wrong owner’s name.

1 Appeal No. 2016AP1807
2 Wes Podany Constr. Co. Nowicki, 120 Wis. 2d 319, 324, 354 N.W.2d 755 (Ct. App. 1984).
3 Duitman v. Liebelt, 17 Wis. 2d 543, 548-49, 117 N.W.2d 672 (1962).
4 Bump v. Dahl, 26 Wis. 2d 607, 613, 133 N.W.2d 295 (1965).
5 Wes Podany, 120 Wis.2d at 324.
6 Id at 326.
7 Searches for the exact legal name in Wisconsin can be found online at

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Norfolk County register promotes foreclosure assistance programs

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. ODonnell reminds homeowners who are in the midst of struggling to pay their mortgage or are facing a foreclosure that there are consumer programs available to help them out.

While the eastern Massachusetts economy has been robust, some of our neighbors have faced economic hardship, said ODonnell. To help those having difficulty paying their mortgage, my office has partnered with reputable agencies by promoting their services when it comes to mortgage modification and foreclosure issues. Consumers can contact either the Quincy Community Action Programs at 617-479-8181, ext. 376, or NeighborWorks Southern Mass at 508-587-0950. Another option would be the Massachusetts Attorney Generals HomeCorps program at 617-573-3333. These agencies provide a range of assistance from helping with the mortgage modification process to providing legal services to stave off a foreclosure as well as offering several forms of credit counseling. Additional information can be found on the registrys website,, under the Support tab.

The register also had a cautionary warning for consumers.

Please be careful and utilize the right source for your needs such as a nonprofit or state agency as cited above, said ODonnell. Unfortunately, foreclosure rescues and mortgage modification relief are becoming a growing scam. Some unscrupulous private companies look to charge consumers outrageous prices for services and make unrealistic promises to them.

Generally, during the past several months, a statistical review has shown foreclosure activity has been trending downward, particularly Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, the first step in the process.

With that said, we realize that while Norfolk County is a destination location to both live and work, there are still some of our neighbors facing economic hardships, said ODonnell. During the month of May, there were 22 foreclosures recorded at the registry and 60 Notice to Foreclose mortgage filings initiated against homeowners.

The registry is proud of its commitment to helping those facing a mortgage delinquency or foreclosure by directing them to the appropriate agency that can hopefully put them back on the road to financial recovery, concluded ODonnell. I urge people who feel that they need such services to contact the agencies referenced above.

For information:; 781-461-6101;

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The pros and cons of buying a house in foreclosure | The Seattle …

When a homeowner can’t make mortgage-loan payments and the lender repossesses the property, the home becomes foreclosed and is typically available for sale soon after.

Many benefits can come with buying a foreclosed property, but if you’re not knowledgeable about the process, there are pitfalls you need to consider. Before you purchase a foreclosed home, review the pros and cons to avoid ugly surprises.

Before you buy a foreclosed property, consider hiring a real-estate agent. Having someone who’s looking out for your best interests might save you a big headache.

Don’t confuse a foreclosed home with a real estate owned (REO) property. An REO describes a class of property that a lender — typically a bank, government agency or government loan insurer — owns after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction.

First steps

There are four first steps to take if you’re thinking about buying a foreclosed home, according to Zillow:

• Determine what foreclosure properties are available in the areas you want to live in by reviewing listings in your local newspaper or on bank websites, accessing public records, or conducting an online search.

• Check out the properties you’re considering in person so you can see their condition and neighborhood.

• Verify that the house is still in foreclosure. Contact the trustee who filed the paperwork to initiate the foreclosure or a local foreclosure specialist for this information.

• Order a title search to see if there are any liens on the property. If there are, it could raise the price.

The pros

Aspects of buying a bank-owned property are similar to buying from a homeowner, but there are opportunities to negotiate a better deal on a foreclosed property than you might otherwise get. Pros of buying a foreclosed home include:

• You can use traditional financing like VA and FHA loans.

• A home in the pre-foreclosure stage could lead to a short sale.

• If you have the required funds available to pay the outstanding balance on a foreclosed property’s mortgage to the lender, you’ll likely reduce competition.

• The bank will be motivated to sell the property, which means you might be able to negotiate price, down payment, closing costs and escrow length.

• The home’s title will be clear, so you won’t be taking on any liens, mortgages or back-tax responsibility from the previous owner.

• If repairs are necessary, the owner might take care of them.

The cons

Although buying a foreclosed home might seem like a great deal, it can have drawbacks. Cons of buying a foreclosed home include:

• The occupant might still be in the house and will need to move out. He might be upset about losing the property and damage it.

• If you purchase a house at a foreclosure auction, you buy it as is.

• When a foreclosed property is auctioned off, you have to pay for it in full when you buy it.

If you decide to purchase a foreclosed home, it might end up costing you more in repairs than you planned on, which could be a bad financial move. You might get a foreclosed home at a great price, however, and speed your path to homeownership.

If you’re considering buying a foreclosed home, enlist the help of a qualified real-estate agent and your mortgage lender or broker if you’re using one. That way, you can get their expert insights and opinion on whether you’re getting a good buy.

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Planned RMV site faces foreclosure | Local News |

DANVERS — The proposed site of a Registry of Motor Vehicles office is scheduled to be sold in a foreclosure auction, casting doubt on when, or if, the registry will actually end up there.

Danvers Crossing, a 24-acre shopping plaza on Route 1 south in Danvers, is set to be auctioned off on Thursday morning. The plaza includes a stand-alone former restaurant building that the state had selected as the future site of an RMV office.

It is unclear what the foreclosure means for those plans. Registry officials couldn’t provide more details Wednesday. Danvers state Rep. Ted Speliotis said he and other local officials have asked for a meeting with Registrar Erin Deveney, but at this point he doesn’t know how a sale would affect the state’s plans.

“We deserve an explanation,” Speliotis said.

The North Shore has not had a local RMV site since the state closed the registry at the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers in June 2016. The closing forced vehicle owners and auto dealerships to use registries in Haverhill, Revere and Wilmington.

The state selected Danvers Crossing in March as the preferred new site from among six bidders and was in the middle of lease negotiations when the property was foreclosed upon.

Danvers Crossing is owned by WP Realty, a commercial real estate company in Pennsylvania that owns nine shopping plazas in seven states in the Northeast. According to a legal notice, the company, through its affiliate DanCross Associates Limited Partnership, is in breach of its mortgage. A public auction is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at the shopping plaza, at 8 Newbury St.

WP Realty CEO Bryan Weingarten could not be reached for comment. A woman who answered the phone at the company’s office said the company does not comment on news stories.

Weingarten, the company founder, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2014 for filing false tax returns and paid $2.4 million in restitution to the IRS, according to news stories.

Businesses at Danvers Crossing include Chili’s, Ann Hope Curtain Bath Outlet, Big Lots, Planet Fitness, David’s Bridal, Monkey Joe’s, Dollar Tree, Leslie’s Pool Supplies, and After Hours Formalwear. 

It is uncertain how a foreclosure sale would affect the businesses that call the Crossing home. Employees at several of the businesses contacted by The Salem News said they will remain open; others were unaware of the auction.

The plaza property includes four buildings and 926 parking spaces, according to Paul Saperstein Co., the company that will handle the auction. 

The property is valued at $17.6 million, according to town of Danvers records, and generates about $385,000 in property taxes for the town.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or

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N4T Investigators: American nightmare – KVOA | | Tucson, Arizona

Tucson - The dream has turned to panic for Jan Ngo and her husband, Alan. 

They and their three children hope to stay in their Midvale Park home for a long time. They bought the house in 2014 for $99,000, and say they’ve spent more than $20,000 on improvements, including a new roof, solar panels and interior renovations.

Referring to the time they moved in, Jan told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, “I was extremely excited. It was part of the American dream that everybody owns their own home, and, you know, you come to a home. So it was wonderful and the kids were so excited. This is our first home.”

The couple’s dream was disrupted in March. That’s when they received a Notice of Intent to Foreclose from Chase Bank. Jan says “I was completely stumped, I was worried, I was upset. I’ve been paying on time every single month and didn’t understand why would we be going through foreclosure if we had paid every single month on time.” 

Alan says he bought the home from a man the News 4 Tucson Investigators have reported on before, David Kinas. In 2015, Mark Brnovich became the second Arizona Attorney General to investigate Kinas. The A.G’s office said Kinas engaged in deceptive rent-to-own practices. We reached out to Kinas at that tine, attempting to interview him outside his office.  He did not stop. We asked, ”Hey, why are you walking away? We want to ask you about the attorney general’s lawsuit.” 

Records from the Arizona Corporation Commission show Kinas is affiliated with companies called  ”881 Home” “Deed and Note Traders” and “Olympic Holdings.”  Alan Nguyen says he paid the monthly mortgage of $887.93 dollars in person at 881′s office, and got receipts.

However,  there was a lien on the home, with Chase Bank. 

Attorney Richard Luff is suing Kinas, his wife Deanne, “Deed and Note Traders” and “881 home” on behalf of Jan and Alan. The  ”Wraparound” mortgage that Alan signed says Deed and Note Traders was supposed to advance his payments to Chase. Luff said “Chase Bank, I just got off the phone with them. They’re indicating to me their last payment was in November 2015.”

We asked Luff what happened to his clients mortgage payments since then. He said, “That is an excellent question, and we don’t have any answer to that at this point.”

Kinas did not return our call. His attorney, Scott Gibson, last week declined an on-camera interview but said on the phone that he’ll “move to dismiss the lawsuit.” He did not elaborate. However, in a court hearing on Monday, Gibson blamed Chase, saying Kinas made all the payments and the bank is wrong. Outside the courthouse, we did not ask Gibson any questions, and he did not want to be recorded. Gibson said, “I don’t want to be on. I told you once.” 

One other thing about the mortgage Alan Nguyen signed: the names “Michael” and “Mary” are listed at the top. Apparently, it was a copy that wasn’t changed when given to Alan.

Pima County Superior Court records show many lawsuits filed against Kinas and his companies over the years. Southern Arizona Legal Aid, which represents low income residents, won a fraud case against Kinas three years ago. The plaintiffs were awarded $5767.60 and Legal Aid was awarded $30,000 in attorneys’ fees. Legal Aid Managing Attorney Beverly Parker says Kinas has not paid both parties. 

Parker said she has seen a trend in cases involving Kinas. “We have clients who come in who believe they’ve bought homes, or are in the process of buying homes, and all of a sudden they received a notice of trustee sale on their door,” Parker said. 

There’s more: the Arizona Department of Real Estate recently filed a “Cease and Desist order” against Kinas and three companies he’s with. The agency says Kinas and the firms are not licensed. The order says “881 advertised real estate for sale and lease that were not owned by 881. The properties were owned by other entities or individuals.”  Kinas’ lawyer told us on the phone: “That’s a true statement and we have ceased and desisted.” 

Jan Ngo said, “I’m very, very disappointed in the attorney general’s office because this has been going on for so long.”

In 2006, Kinas agreed to a settlement with the attorney general that involved his foreclosure-assistance business. Kinas was ordered to pay restitution to former clients, and pay $200,000 to the attorney general’s office for the cost of the investigation. “It hasn’t stopped him,” says attorney Beverly Parker of Legal Aid. “I wish it did. But it hasn’t stopped him.”

Jan Ngo said, “Somebody needs to put a stop to it.”

Deed and Note Traders” filed for bankruptcy in 2010.  The case is still ongoing.

Alan Nguyen and his wife obtained a temporary restraining order last week that puts a hold on the foreclosure proceedings. Attorney General Brnovich declined an interview through a spokesperson. We don’t know if he’s investigating David Kinas again. We do know the A.G. does not comment on investigations until they are completed.

If you have any story you would like us to investigate, email us at, or call our tip line at 520-955-4444. 

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Marina sold in auction

NEBO — Mountain Harbour Marina could soon have a new owner.

The marina, located at 9066 N . C . 126 in Nebo, was auctioned to the highest bidder on Monday at the Burke County Courthouse. The highest bid for the 4.45-acre “As Is” marina was for $1.05 million from JH Properties, according to Burke County Clerk of Courts officials. There doesn’t appear to be a filing for the company on the North Carolina Department of Secretary of State’s website.

The bid will remain open for 10 consecutive days in case there is an upset bid, said Burke County Clerk Mabel Lowman. If there is an upset bid within the 10 days, it will remain open for another 10 days, she said.

It ended up on the auction block due to a foreclosure on the Deed of Trust of Farr Enterprises, according to the notice of foreclosure sale.

According to filings with the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, Laura Aulgur is the president and registered agent of the corporation and John Aulgur is its secretary. The last filing from the corporation with the state was for 2015.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents say Farr Enterprises filed Chapter 11 in February 2010 but the filing was closed in October 2010 after a plan for payments over a five-year period was made. Farr Enterprises made all regular monthly payments until it came time to make a balloon payment, when foreclosure proceedings were initiated. A foreclosure sale date was set for July 5, 2016. A balloon payment of $295,842.31 was due to Reid and Patsy Scott, who held a promissory note and deed of trust, which was subordinate to a deed of trust to Morganton Federal Savings and Loan for $790,000, according to court documents.

Farr Enterprises, however, filed the current case of Chapter 11 on July 1, 2016 , to stop the sale and renegotiate the balloon payment, according to court documents.

The creditors are Morganton Federal Savings and Loan, Reid and Patsy Scott and the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to court records.

On May 11, Farr Enterprises filed its Chapter 11 plan, which included changing the terms of the balloon payment to Morganton Federal Savings and Loan for an additional 13 years at 6 percent interest; to adjust the balloon payment due to the Scotts for an additional 13 years at 5 percent interest; and to maintain monthly payments to the U.S. Small Business Administration on contract terms, according to court documents. The Scotts and Morganton Federal Savings rejected the plan.

The court prohibited Farr Enterprises from altering the plan of the first Chapter 11 with the second Chapter 11 filing, according to court documents. The court also dismissed Farr Enterprises’ case.

Sharon McBrayer is a staff writer and can be reached at or at 828-432-8946.

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Auburn Media file

We start things out this morning on a sad note. War Eagle VII, or Nova as most know him, will retire from major events. Nova was born in Montgomery Zoo in 1999 and was named War Eagle VII on November 11, 2006 as he sailed over the field for the first time against Georgia. According to, Nova has been diagnosed with an abnormal heartbeat. 

Nova’s physicians say he would be at extreme risk with prolonged exposure to high heart rate activities. Chiefly among those are Auburn’s pregame rituals, culminating in the famous “War Eagle” tradition of the circling of Jordan-Hare stadium by one of the majestic symbols of Auburn. This tradition has been long celebrated as one of the best traditions in sports, regularly making top-ten, even top-five rankings. It is truly the most unique of traditions.

A long comment on the article by a reader who goes by Derkong said: “War Eagle!  But I have to say if I was an eagle I would rather go out flying than stuck in a cage for several more years…”

While fans may be split on whether this would be the right approach, it would certainly fit with the generally accepted War Eagle Legend, as found on

Former Auburn softball players have been involved in some prestigious events recently. Kasey Cooper, Auburn’s most recognized and possibly greatest player in program history, played in international competition in Tokyo where the USA National Softball team dropped the championship game to Japan. USA has been dominant for many, many seasons but entered the All-Star series in Tokyo ranked No. 2, just behind the hosts. Many believe this was a precursor to the 2020 Olympic Championship. Japan needed a walk-off grand slam to shut the door on Team USA. Cooper played in two games and recorded only a walk while striking out twice in her four at bats. 

In National Pro Fastpitch , the USSSA Pride took the championship. Angel Bunner, Auburn’s six-year pro, added two innings of relief to beat the winless Beijing Eagles for the USSSA Pride in the series finale. Haley Fagan pinch ran for her sister, Sami, in a win for the Racers against the aforementioned Eagles although she was hitless as the designated hitter in the early victory against the Pride.

Emily Carosone was left hitless in a split series against the Texas Charge. Auburn’s Jade Rhodes has been unable to crack the starting lineup for the ScrapYard Dawgs. More info on Auburn’s past players can be found at

Football and basketball news after the jump:

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Warren County tries new outreach for defaulting property owners – Glens Falls Post

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