Thursday, February 12, 2009

Key West mayor's two houses foreclosed on, debt is more than $1.2 million

You KNOW times are tough when even the Mayor is in foreclosure!!!
I saw this today in

"Key West mayor's two houses foreclosed on, debt is more than $1.2 million
Two homes owned by Key West Mayor Morgan McPherson, one a rental property, the other his residence, are in foreclosure -- and two banks claim to be owed a combined $1,228,566.
The Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) sued McPherson on Jan. 28, claiming it's owed $672,752 for McPherson's home at 3720 Northside Drive.
"Obviously, at this point, my house is upside [down]," McPherson told the Keynoter. He said he has hired an attorney to help him restructure the mortgage and not lose his home.
McPherson entered into the mortgage with his wife Christina, an assistant principal at Key West High School, on March 31, 2005. The mortgage went into default on June 1, 2008, and no subsequent payments were made, according to the lawsuit.
"All you can do is put your best foot forward," McPherson said.
In addition to his mayoral salary of $10,000 per year, McPherson works as a real estate agent, which he said has not been earning him much money.
"All I can do is work hard," McPherson said. "Do I think I'm alone? No. It's all about working hard."
Aside from his home on Northside Drive, another property owned by McPherson at 23 Calle Uno on East Rockland Key is in foreclosure as of Feb. 6.
McPherson has been using that home, purchased in 2000, as a rental property since he and his family moved to Key West in 2005 so he could qualify for the mayoral race.
When the Keynoter asked McPherson about the foreclosure on the Rockland Key home, he said he was unaware the action had been filed.
"You're telling me something I didn't know," he said, adding he hadn't been served yet with the lawsuit.
The Bank of New York Mellon alleges the Rockland Key mortgage went into default on Oct. 1, 2008, and the bank is owed $555,814.
In his tenure as mayor, McPherson has made community housing issues a priority.
Last November, the Key West City Commission passed a McPherson-sponsored resolution creating the Homebuyer's Assistance Program. Basically, the program uses $300,000 from a code compliance settlement to lend, interest free for 30 years, up to $20,000 for qualified Key West workers to make a down payment on a home. But that program doesn't apply to existing homeowners.
And in January, McPherson presented an ordinance to the City Commission asking the city to reduce impact fees, which are levied on developers to offset municipal costs of new roads and utility hookups, by 25 percent over the next 18 months.
That move made the city eligible to receive up to $2 million in state Housing Finance Corp. money to be used for foreclosure prevention or down payment assistance. "

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