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Update: Auction rescheduled in Bob Matthews’ mansion foreclosure case


A circuit court judge has rescheduled an online foreclosure auction of Palm Beach developer Robert “Bob” V. Matthews’ oceanfront house at 101 Casa Bendita for 10 a.m. Aug. 21. The Palm Beach County Clerk’s office recorded the order Monday.

Senior Judge Eli Breger’s order was issued Friday in response to a motion made last week by mortgage-holder DB Private Wealth Mortgage LTD after a similar auction July 5 was aborted while in progress because Matthews filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on the same day. His bankruptcy petition was dismissed a few days later after he failed to pay the filing fee.

In a related matter, a hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to consider a request to reinstate Matthews’ bankruptcy case. The “non-evidentiary” hearing was initiated by attorney Robert C. Furr, who as a court-ordered trustee briefly represented creditors’ interests in Matthews’ bankruptcy case.

Furr filed a notice about the hearing with the court Monday. It will take place in Courtroom A at 1515 N. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach.



Beleaguered Palm House developer Robert “Bob” V. Matthews has once again had his oceanfront mansion spared, at least temporarily, from a court-ordered foreclosure auction stemming from an unpaid $24 million mortgage.

A last-minute personal bankruptcy filing by Matthews abruptly — and automatically — halted the July 5 online auction of 101 Casa Bendita while bidding was in progress.

But a federal bankruptcy judge on Monday dismissed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case because Matthews did not pay the $335 filing fee, court records show.

Matthews’ actions regarding the fee didn’t please Boca Raton attorney Robert C. Furr, who for five days served as the court-appointed trustee representing creditors’ interests in the bankruptcy case.

“I am going to make a motion to reinstate the case for bankruptcy,” Furr told the Daily News.” I think it’s in the best interest of the creditors if Mr. Matthews stays in bankruptcy.”

He added: “I am concerned that the filing of a bankruptcy petition in order to stop a foreclosure sale — and then not paying the filing fee so (the petition) is dismissed — qualifies as exploitation of the court system.”

On Wednesday, attorneys for mortgage-holder DB Private Wealth Mortgage LTD filed a motion in Palm Beach County circuit court to reset a date for the auction without a new hearing.

“Plaintiff contends that Mr. Matthews’ bankruptcy filing was done solely to delay the foreclosure sale,” attorneys from Holland Knight wrote in their motion.

In his order Monday, bankruptcy Judge Paul G. Hyman Jr. directed Matthews to pay the filing fee “immediately” and said the bankruptcy dismissal could not be reconsidered until the fee is paid. Matthews also cannot re-file for bankruptcy within 180 days of Hymans’s order.

Matthews declined to comment through his attorney, Cherish A. Thompson of Thompson PLLC. She also declined to discuss the case. Attorney Brian K. Hole of Holland Knight, representing the mortgage holder, also wouldn’t comment.

Bidding reached $1.1 million

Matthews, who owns the house in his name, filed for bankruptcy on the day of the online auction, records show. Bidding began at 9:34 a.m. and had reached $1.1 million by about 10:25 a.m., when the county clerk’s office stopped the auction. At that point, the highest bidder was Martell Swain, representing the plaintiff — an affiliate of Deutsche Bank USA — that filed the debt-collection suit against Matthews, according to auction records.

The foreclosure case had revolved around a mortgage signed by Matthews and his wife, Mia, in 2011. The lender claimed it is owed at least $26.25 million in past-due payments, interest and other fees, according to Palm Beach County circuit-court filings.

The property is estimated to have a “total market value” of about $20.9 million, according to the county property appraiser’s office.

The auction, originally scheduled for April by the judge handling the foreclosure case, was reset for May — and later July — at the request of the parties involved. Attorneys for the lender at that time said they were close to an agreement to resolve the debt.

Unlike other forms of bankruptcy that grant a debtor time to reorganize, a Chapter 7 filing requires the liquidation of assets to satisfy the debt.

House has 185 feet on beach

The court issued its foreclosure judgment late last year. In 2014, a judge had dismissed a similar foreclosure action involving the mortgage with the agreement of both sides. That suit was revived in 2015 and named the Matthews, several other companies and the IRS among the defendants.

Matthews and his singer-actor wife completed their custom house in 2006 on the Casa Bendita cul-de-sac.

The house, with nearly 15,850 square feet of living space inside and out, stands on a direct beachfront lot measuring eight-tenths of an acre, with about 185 feet of shoreline.

For more than two years, a variety of legal problems have halted construction of the Palm House at 160 Royal Palm Way, which also is in foreclosure. The project’s court-appointed receiver, Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein, has told the town he is working to resolve the myriad issues surrounding the property.

Last month, then-Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath named Judge Donald Hafele as “managing judge” to oversee eight pending “companion” lawsuits related to the hotel-condominium project.

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Price for Mountain Harbour Marina continues to climb

The minimum bid for a local marina in foreclosure is at nearly $1.5 million.

Monday saw two bids filed for Mountain Harbour Marina in Nebo. James Belote, whose listed address is for Belote Realty on West Union Street in Morganton, filed a bid of $1,276,281.56 on Monday to upset a previous bid from Nova Capital Partners in Raleigh.

But later on Monday, Nova Capital Partners filed a bid of $1,340,095.64 to upset Belote’s bid.

The last day to upset Nova Capital Partners’ bid is Aug. 3 and the bid has to be a minimum of $1,407,100.42, according to the latest filings with the Burke County Clerk of Court. A deposit of $70,355.02 would be required at the time of the filing.

Monday was the second time bidding on the property for both Belote and Nova Capital.

The marina, located at 9066 N . C . 126, was auctioned to the highest bidder on June 26 at the Burke County Courthouse. The original highest bidder for the 4.45-acre was JNH Properties, whose owners are Debbie and Tim Newton.

Since then, Zach and Kristy Stout of Alamo, California , upset JNH Properties’ bid and James R. Belote of Morganton upset the Stout’s bid.

The marina ended up on the auction block due to a foreclosure on the Deed of Trust for 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 Farr Enterprises 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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Three sentenced in foreclosure rescue scam

Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 6:00 am

Three sentenced in foreclosure rescue scam


FRESNO  — Three defendants were sentenced Monday for running a foreclosure rescue scam in Bakersfield, Visalia and Salinas, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Martin Calzada, 30, of Norwalk, to nine years in prison; Juan Curiel, 38, of Visalia, to three years and five months in prison; and Santiago Palacios-Hernandez, 48, of Salinas, to two years and nine months in prison. On March 10, 2017, Calzada was convicted by a jury of one count of conspiracy and eight counts of mail fraud affecting a financial institution. In December 2014, Curiel and Palacios-Hernandez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

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      Wednesday, July 26, 2017 6:00 am.

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      Mortgage rescue schemers sentenced to prison

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      Ten Eyck Street ‘zombie property’ sold


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      WATERTOWN — An abandoned Ten Eyck Street apartment building that brought the “zombie property” issue to light locally has been sold.

      Local businessman and landlord Myron Kehoe and his wife, Sherri, purchased the long-abandoned six-unit apartment building at 165 Ten Eyck St. from a bank that neighbors said neglected the property.

      The Kehoes acquired the property from Banco Popular of North America, New York City, for $20,000, according Jefferson County Clerk Office records. The property was listed at $75,000.

      The couple could not be reached for comment. Myron and Sherri Kehoe already own several rental properties, both single- and multi-family dwellings, in the city.

      City Planner Geoffrey T. Urda said he surmised the property had been sold.

      “I knew the ‘For Sale’ sign was gone,” he said.

      It’s not clear what the new owners are going to do with it, since the bank withdrew a request for a variance in March that would have allowed the building to be reverted back to an apartment building.

      The building, a source of consternation for neighbors and city officials because of its deteriorating condition, is in a Residential A district, which allows only single-family homes. Multi-family apartment buildings are nonconforming uses for Residential A.

      The Rev. Frederick G. Garry, who lives down the street from the property, has some hope for the property now that it has been sold.

      “I wish them all the luck,” he said. “I hope they can turn it into something nice.”

      Banco Popular put the property on the market last year, but claimed it could not find a buyer if the building remained a single-family dwelling.

      In 2013, Banco Popular took over the property after going through foreclosure proceedings.

      In recent years, the property made headlines and became an impetus for officials to look at ways of dealing with the growing number of vacant and abandoned houses that dot the city.

      Some people erroneously considered the Ten Eyck house a so-called “zombie property” — a term that describes homes abandoned by owners after they stop paying the mortgage and before banks begin foreclosure.

      But city officials said the Ten Eyck Street eyesore technically is not a zombie property because they knew that the bank had owned it.

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      Gucci’s Décor Line; Johnny Depp’s Foreclosure Issue

      Introducing #GucciDécor: a lineup of furniture and decorative pieces designed by #AlessandroMichele to personalize home spaces, featuring the House’s design motifs, patterns and codes. Gucci Décor will be launching in September on and in select Gucci and specialty stores. Illustration by @alexmerryart.

      A post shared by Gucci (@gucci) on Jul 12, 2017 at 6:21am PDT

      All the celebrity design and real estate news you missed this week.

      Introducing Gucci home: Gucci is making the foray into home décor. Creative director Alessandro Michele announced via Instagram this week that the fashion house will be launching Gucci Decor in September, and the pieces will include chairs, candles, pillows and more. via Architectural Digest.

      Event planning: American Express rented the infamous Grey Gardens house for this summer in order to throw events at the East Hampton estate, but they’ve run into a problem already. Village officials sent Amex a cease and desist letter, noting that the home is a residence and cannot be used for commercial purposes. via Page Six.

      Celebrity dormitory: Rebel Wilson is joining Jake Gyllenhaal, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Harry Styles, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Meg Ryan and Jennifer Lawrence in the celebrity-filled Tribeca building 443 Greenwich. The actress paid $2.95 million for a two-bedroom apartment in the New York condo. via WWD.

      Whisper listings: Katy Perry wants to sell her Hollywood Hills compound, and is apparently low-key shopping it around for about $15 million, without listing it on the public market. It makes sense she’d want to sell it now, considering she reportedly bought a Beverly Hills mansion for just under $20 million in April. via Variety.

      More legal woes: Johnny Depp’s legal and financial struggles aren’t over yet. The actor has asked a court to stop proceedings to foreclose on one of his Los Angeles homes—the house was used as collateral for a $5 million loan back in 2012, and the foreclosure proceedings began in 2016. via Bloomberg.

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      Chicago Cab Drivers Protest Rising Foreclosures « CBS Chicago

      CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of cab drivers protested Tuesday morning outside the office of LOMTO Federal Credit Union’s Chicago legal representatives, 661 W. Grand.

      “I say lawsuits, you say no, no! Taxis, taxis, you say yes, yes!” chanted protestors.

      Chicago’s roughly 2,000 taxi cab-driving, medallion owners are affected by what they are calling a foreclosure crisis.

      Dozens of cab drivers protested Tuesday morning against rising foreclosures. (WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

      “We’ve been suffering from a lot of unfair practices,” said Nmamdi Uwazie, Representative, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500.

      “Over 100, 120 have been foreclosed upon and taken to court. We are here to let LOMTO know that this isn’t the making of the drivers. It’s the competition. It’s the ride sharing situation,” he said. “It is making it very, very hard for the drivers to fulfill their own obligations. We are asking for a way it can be restructured so drivers can pay for the medallion and take care of their families.”

      Since October, lenders have filed lawsuits against at least 107 medallion owners who have fallen behind on loan payments, by to the union’s count.

      One sign read, “my medallion is my life: life savings, retirement, family’s future. (WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

      Uwazie said the falling value of medallions has impacted credit markets and more taxi drivers are falling into foreclosure.

      “You have to have a medallion to practice as a taxi driver in Chicago. It’s valued between $360,000 and $400,000 a few years ago. Now it’s only valued at about $44,000,” he said.

      Uwazie said the union has gone to the city to urge less regulations and reduce the burden on small taxi owners.

      “For you to be a cab driver, you have to go to class, take an exam, know the geography of the city, you have to go for a drug test, pay a fee and again, taxis also have to be green, environmentally friendly. The city mandated every medallion owner to have an environmentally friendly automobile,” he said.

      Another sign read, “Taxi Service Matters.” (WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

      In June 2014, the City of Chicago enacted a two-tier regulatory system that opened the taxi market to tens of thousands of for-hire vehicles.

      The Union said the taxi industry is over regulated and its created unfair competition between ride share operators like Uber and Lyft, and cab drivers, many of whom invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in medallions.

      Uwazie said his business has been cut in half since ride sharing came to town.

      “Now, even if you put into 14-16 hours a day, you can’t make even half of what you used to,” he said.

      Nmamdi Uwazie said the falling value of medallions has impacted credit markets and more taxi drivers are falling into foreclosure. (WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

      Unable to keep up with loan payments coupled with high operating costs, hundreds of taxi owner/operators are facing foreclosure on their medallions.

      Uwazie said thousands more are likely to face the same fate unless the city takes substantial action to reduce the burden on small taxi owners.

      LOMTO is one of the leading lenders in the taxi industry. Drivers are calling on LOMTO to stop the foreclosures while the union works with the city to enact relief measures that will allow drivers to survive and compete.

      “We are asking this law firm to stop the foreclosures. It’s hurting families. Let us see where we can restructure these loans,” he said.

      “I say lawsuits, you say no, no! Taxis, taxis, you say yes, yes!” chanted protestors outside the office of LOMTO (WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

      According to union statistics, 39 percent, or about 2,700 of Chicago’s medallions are owned by individuals who own four or fewer taxis.

      Nine-hundred medallions are currently in foreclosure with more than 700 are surrendered to the city.
      While the median net income per medallion was $19,000 in 2013, as of 2016 it stands at -$4,000.

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      Homeless, 84-year-old war veteran twins say ‘it’s hell’ after home …

      Clifford and Gary Koekoek, 84-year-old twins who’ve survived living under Nazi occupation and fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, are now in “hell” and sleeping in their car after a bank foreclosed on their California home in October.

      Born in the Netherlands, Clifford and Gary grew up under Nazi rule before coming to the U.S., where the brothers worked in Hollywood and then served their new country at war. But the brothers told FOX 40 Sacramento nothing they’ve lived through compares to their current predicament.

      “It’s a lot of stress,” Clifford said, holding back tears. “I’d rather go back to the war and get shot at, than this crap.”

      The Koekoek’s recent housing plight started in 2007, when the brothers wanted to fix the roof on a Fair Oaks home they bought from their mother, and which had been in their family since 1984.

      “We took a loan thinking that we had a conventional loan,” Gary said.

      The loan, however, turned out to be an adjustable rate loan, with payments getting higher over time — until the two couldn’t afford it. After their home was foreclosed, the two were kicked out and began sleeping in one shared car.


      “Right now, I’m broke,” Clifford told FOX 40. “Sometimes, we don’t eat.”

      The two now spend most of their time just walking the streets and sitting at the Sacramento Public Library in neighboring Orangevale. Gary said he spends most of his time looking over deed records to figure out how the twins can win their home back.

      “I would almost say it’s hell,” Gary said.

      A friend of the family is now trying to help, launching a social media push and a GoFundMe account to help find the two men permanent housing.

      Aaron Hoerner told FOX 40 the experience has given him a new perspective on homelessness.

      “It’s easy to walk by and not look at their situation. But if you stop and talk to somebody, everybody has a story,” he said.

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      ‘I’d rather go back to the war’: 84-year-old twins homeless after foreclosure

      ORANGEVALE, Calif. – For 84 years, twin brothers Clifford and Gary Koekoek have done everything together.

      They survived the Nazi occupation in their native Netherlands, together. They moved to the U.S. and briefly worked in Hollywood, together. They both served in the military. But now, they’ve become homeless, yet again – together.

      “Right now, I’m broke,” Clifford told KTXL-TV. “Sometimes we don’t eat.”

      In 2007, they wanted to fix the roof on their Orangevale, California home, which they say they bought from their mother. The house has been in their family since 1984.

      “We took a loan thinking that we had a conventional loan,” said Gary.

      But it wasn’t a conventional loan. It was an adjustable rate loan, meaning their payments got higher and higher over time.  Eventually, they couldn’t afford it, and the bank foreclosed on their house.

      In October of last year, the twins were kicked out. The men had nowhere to turn and began sleeping together in a car they share.

      When asked if they ever feel overwhelmed, Clifford responded, “I do … all the time,” as he fought back tears.

      “I would almost say it’s hell,” said Gary.

      The two say they spend most of their time now just walking. Both log plenty of hours at the Sacramento Public Library in Orangevale. Gary mostly pores over deed records, trying to find a way to get their house back.

      But the odds aren’t good.

      “They were just living in their car in front of Raley’s when I found out,” said Aaron Hoerner, a friend of the family for about ten years. He’s been making a social media push to find them permanent housing. The whole experience, he says, gives him a new perspective on homelessness.

      “It’s easy to walk by and not look at their situation but if you stop and talk to somebody, everybody has a story,” said Hoerner.

      Their story has certainly had its dramatic ups and downs. And at age 84, they seem to have hit their most difficult chapter.

      “It’s a lot of stress. I’d rather go back to the war and get shot at, than this crap,” said Clifford.

      A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the brothers out. You can donate here.

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