(Source: By Paul Owers, Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) – Residents of the Tidewater Estates mobile home park in Deerfield Beach are scheduled to meet with their lender Wednesday, hoping to work out a deal to avoid foreclosure.
A representative from U.S. Bank is expected to attend the mediation in Fort Lauderdale, said Scott Wortman, an attorney for the 55-and-over park. It’s the first time a bank official has participated in discussions during the 2-year-old case, Wortman said.
Tidewater board members will be on hand as well and will be allowed to speak briefly without taking part in the negotiations, said Bob Wiest, Tidewater’s property manager.
The park will propose a loan modification that would allow residents to stay. “We can stop the bleeding on both sides, and everybody’s happy,” Wiest said.
Many of the residents say they don’t know where they’d go if the park is repossessed.
An attorney for the bank could not be reached Tuesday.
Broward Circuit Judge Michele Towbin Singer ordered the mediation in April. The substance of the talks is confidential.
A state program that required mediation in residential foreclosure cases ended last year because of low success rates. Still, judges often encourage banks and homeowners to meet and discuss possible resolutions with a neutral third party before the cases end in foreclosure.
In 2005, Tidewater residents formed a co-op and took out mortgages to buy the park for $11.3 million.
By 2009, the co-op struggled to keep up with the $60,000 monthly payments amid the housing downturn and defaulted on the loan. U.S. Bank, as representative for the trust that says it owns the loan, filed for foreclosure in 2010.
©2012 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
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