The depression of losing your home and the disruption to the family as a unit leaves a scar of shame thinking how could we have not seen the scheme? Maybe the thought that famous celebrities, who have “handlers”, agents, lawyers, accountants, and money managers also got run over by the foreclosure fraud bus driven by Wall Street banksters with a giant securitization Ponzi scheme will help to ease some of the pain. The fact of the matter is – we’re not alone. There are over 84 million American homeowners that were smashed by the bank foreclosure fraud force majeure, including some of our favorite celebs.
“Everyday Americans aren’t the only ones losing homes. Many a celebrity has fallen into foreclosure lately too. Some have lost homes due to financial woes. Others have chosen to go the “strategic default” route, giving up the keys to a property to limit their losses, not because they can’t afford the mortgage payments,” wrote Forbes‘ Morgan Brennan last year.
As much as we all find the Obama / Bankster remarks offensive, like “responsible/current homeowners” and “bought more than they could afford”, looking at some of these celebrity investments you wonder what these ‘criminal rings typically made up of corrupt lawyers, mortgage brokers, notaries, loan officers, appraisers, and insiders at the mortgage lenders’ (quoting from Neil Barofsky’s Bailout about predatory lending) said to these celebrities as they were making the deal, ‘seeking to increase their fee income’ by lying to potential the borrowers ‘in order to trick them into taking a loan they couldn’t afford.’ Neil is right – “trick” is the precise word.
They’re rich and famous and in foreclosure
“The famous folks losing their homes these days run the gamut from A-list actors and elite socialites to lower-profile reality show stars. Some celebs are losing multiple homes, wrote Brennan. When it comes right down to it – in foreclosure, we all got conned. Don’t you wonder if they had MERS in their mortgage too?
Nicolas Cage, Actor: 363 Copa De Oro Road, Los Angeles, Calif. Purchases from Tom Jones in 1998 for $6.5 million. In October 2006 Cage listed his almost 12,000 sq ft house (7 Beds and 9 baths) for $35 Million. Doesn’t sell.
The home has a history of celebrity ownership having originally been owned by Dean Martin, Tom Jones and Patricia Arquette (Nicolas Cage’s second wife whom he divorced in 2001). Bank repossesses in 2010. After a failed April auction, Citibank resells in November for $10.5 million.
Nic was on the ground floor of the collapse in 2009. Cage has had to surrender much of his extensive real estate portfolio to the bank. Cage lost both his French Quarter and Garden District homes in a New Orleans sheriff’s sale. He later lost his Las Vegas home to the bank. He was able to sell his New York apartment and his Rhode Island home remains on the market.
The “Smokey and the Bandit” star has allegedly not paid his his $1.2 million mortgage in two years. It is listed as a short sale for $5 million — a third of his purchase price. The waterfront estate, boasting 12,538-square feet, a helipad and yacht dockage and known as the Hobe Sound compound, is currently listed as a short sale for $5 million, a $4 million price chop since foreclosure proceedings began a year ago.
Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. filed a lawsuit in Martin County against Reynolds, BankAtlantic and Great Eastern Mortgage, on his waterfront estate in Florida claiming the Emmy Award-winning actor has not paid his $1.2 million mortgage since September 2010.
Merrill Lynch is asking a judge to order the home sold to satisfy debts. The county property appraiser valued the Mediterranean-style home at $2.4 million. The Stuart News reports Reynolds tried to sell the home in 2009 for $8.9 million, but he said then that the economy was making it difficult to sell. Reynolds, 75, had a heart bypass operation last year.
Toni Braxton, Singer: Six-time Grammy-winning singer Toni Braxton is no stranger to financial woe. Despite selling millions of albums and watching her single “Un-Break My Heart” reach the top of the charts, she filed for bankruptcy protection not once but twice, most recently in 2010. In 2011, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles ruled that her Chapter 7 liquidation of the previous year wouldn’t help her to stave off foreclosure proceedings on her Duluth, Georgia home. Her upcoming We TV reality series, apparently is not enough to save her.
U.S. Bank argued that there’s no equity in the property, plus Braxton doesn’t own the property since it’s in the name of a trust, reported the Wall Street Journal. U.S. Bank said Braxton owes the full $1.5 million on her mortgage and that the property itself is appraised at $1.2 million. Braxton took out the mortgage from Wells Fargo Bank in 2004, but the debt was later transferred. This would be the second home she’s loss to foreclosure. A Henderson, Nev., home she and her husband, Keirston “Keri” Lewis bought in 2007 for $2.6 million went into foreclosure and sold in September for $1.060 million.
Mel Gibson didn’t exactly have a good year in 2010. On top of all the legal problems between him and Oksana Grigorieva, Gibson is was facing a double lawsuit.
According to TMZ, a company named Ramage Construction has filed two lawsuits against Gibson, claiming he owes money on three residential properties they built for him. The amount they’re asking is $12,000. In the papers, Ramage asks permission to foreclose on the three properties to settle the debt. In addition, Ramage is suing the A.P. Reilly Foundation, which owns Gibson’s “church” in Malibu, claiming they owe the company $200,000. That suit asks the same—payment or foreclosure. Unclear whether suit is still pending
Cassidy, who ascended to teen stardom in the 1970s TV show “The Partridge Family,” reportedly surrendered a swank rental property to the lender, rather than continue through the foreclosure process. The 1970s heartthrob first received a foreclosure notice two years ago but chose to fight it, claiming “the bank couldn’t prove it owned the mortgage for the 34th-floor apartment” and calling the loan “predatory.” However, it appears Cassidy has decided to cut his losses and move out of the Las Olas condo.
Victoria Gotti, Reality star: JP Morgan is foreclosing on the Long Island mansion owned by Mafia daughter Victoria Gotti.
One of the foreclosures that did not really surprise people is that of Victoria Gotti.
The 46-year-old reality star owes JPMorgan Chase a whopping $650,000 on the property, according to the New York Post. The daughter of the late Gambino crime boss, John “Dapper Don” Gotti, hasn’t made a mortgage payment since September 2006.
She declared outside the Federal court, Brooklyn that she would by no means lose her long island mansion. She further stated that the only way she would leave the place, would by selling it. The house is at present on market for around $3.2 million.The latest court ruling reversed a decision in 2007, when the court determined it was too early to move forward with foreclosure proceedings against the former star of Growing Up Gotti.
The New York Post quoted her mother saying, “She’s not in the mood to talk to anybody.” [Ed note: We all know that feeling, yeah?] In reference to her ex-husband, Carmine Agnello, whom Gotti divorced in 2003, her mom said, “The creep that he is, he took out a mortgage behind her back. She can’t afford to pay.” Gotti tried selling it for $4.8 million, then lowered it to $3.2 million in January.
The football receiver has faced foreclosure on a handful of properties since last year. Two condos he owned in Dallas,Texas were sold in short sales earlier this year after lenders started the foreclosure process, and two more repossessed by lenders.
His Trump International condo sold via short sale in July, following news that he had failed to make both mortgage and maintenance payments on the Fla. apartment.
Despite raking in over $80 million during his tumultuous career, Owens has lost most of his money to ill-advised investments, which included the $2 million stake he bought in an entertainment complex in Alabama. Its electronic gambling operation was judged illegal.
Patricia Kluge, the 1980s society queen and ex-wife of billionaire media mogul John Kluge, has fallen on some hard times. Kluge was famously awarded the largest divorce settlement in history (a reported $1.6 million a week) but she seems to have figured out a way to spend it – and then some.
She’s allegedly in default of nearly $23 million on her gilded mansion in Virginia, which made headlines for its outlandish $100 million price tag when it first hit the market in October 2009. She got her foreclosure notification in January 2011. Sotheby’s didn’t get that asking price, nor the drastically reduced $24 million it was eventually priced at in February 2011. Instead, on Feb. 16, the 23,538-square-foot home will be auctioned on the Albemarle County courthouse steps.
Kluge’s house isn’t the only possession she’s losing: Her antiques and jewelry have already been auctioned through Sotheby’s. Her winery was foreclosed on and its inventory also sold off at auction. On top of that, several lots in the Vineyard Estates subdivision she devised for her property were also auctioned.
The Hook reported that according to court records, Kluge borrowed a whopping $66 million for the house, winery and subdivision. Reduced to $24 million until Bank of America buys in February auction for $15.3 million.
CELEBRITY FORECLOSURE LIST
Enlightened people realize that there is a lot more to every foreclosure story given the fact that the Wall Street banks have collapsed our entire economy. Most individuals are not to blame and are joined by the majority of homeowners from 2003-2008 that were defrauded during a manic phase of real estate investment frenzy. Had anyone known that it was securitized, used as bait to lure investors and gambled on Wall Street like Enron – it may have turned out a lot differently. No one, but the banks, knew that the economy was about to entirely collapse.
- Michael Jackson
- Aretha Franklin
- Doug E. Fresh
- Tionne Watkins-Rolison (T-Boz)
- Fantasia Barrino (see comment below re: “auction notice”)
- Jermaine Jackson
- Scott Storch
- Damon Dash
- Whitney Houston
- Courtney Love
- La Toya Jackson
- Todd Rundgren
- Toni Braxton
- Rapper Chamillionaire
- David Cassidy
- Scott Storch
- Wyclef Jean
- Rick Derringer
- R. Kelly
- Timbaland (Timothy Mosley)
- Ed McMahon
- Michael Madsen
- Nicolas Cage
- Burt Reynolds
- Mel Gibson
- Timothy Busfield
- Erin Moran Fleishmann (Joanie on “Happy Days”)
- Michael Fuchs
- Evander Holyfield
- Jose Canseco
- Latrell Sprewell
- Michael Vick
- Edgerton Hartwell
- Sergei Fedorov
- Terrell Owens
- Julius “Dr. J.” Erving
- Antoine Walker
- Lenny Dykstra
- JaMarcus Russell
- O.J. Simpson
- Allen Iverson
- Plaxico Burress
- “OctoMom” Nadya Suleman
- Sam Lufti (ex manager for Britney Spears)
- Victoria Gotti
- Dr. Conrad Murray
- Lisa Wu-Hartwell
- Veronica Hearst
- Alexis Bellino
- Kristin Cavallari
- Jeana Keough
For more information click on each name listed above if applicable.
Do you feel better now? It happens to the Rich & Famous too.
Maybe we should start a club.