Florida homeowners Maurenn Nyergers and her husband paid for their home in cash, and never took out a mortgage, so when Bank of America filed foreclosure papers on the house, they took the bank to court, and won. And when Bank of America wouldn't pay their legal fees — as it was ordered to by the court — their attorney, Todd Allen, decided to seize its assets, in person, with movers and sheriff's deputies in tow.
• The Greenwich Village townhouse that belonged to late party planner Robert Isabell is up for sale again. Four months after an unidentified buyer picked up the home for $2.1 million, the 2,813-square-foot building at 16 Minetta Lane is now back on the market with a $3.5 million price tag. Then again, not every townhouse in NYC has a "basement hand-chipped by Tibetan-born sherpas" or a "rainforest atrium." [Curbed, PDE, NYT]
• BlackRock has reached a deal to buy Barclays Global Investors for $13.5 billion, making BlackRock the world's largest money management firm. [WSJ]
• Lawmakers grilled Bank of America chief Ken Lewis in Capitol Hill yesterday, although he defended his decision to go ahead with the acquisition of Merrill Lynch and placed blame on Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson. [NYT, WSJ]
• John Paulson's hedge fund, which made $3+ billion betting the housing market would collapse, is now scooping up lots of distressed debt. [BN]
• Goldman was an investment bank before becoming a commercial bank. Now that it's free from the bailout, it may go back to being an I-bank. [Reuters]
• US households lost $1.33 trillion of wealth in the first 3 months of '09. [DB]
• Foreclosures fell during May, not that things have improved much. [CNN]
You didn't really expect Victoria Gotti to let JPMorgan Chase take her marble palace away from her without a fight, did you? That's not how the Gotti family rolls, as history has shown us on more than one occasion. Gotti appeared in federal court in Brooklyn yesterday and blamed the non-payment of her mortgage on her ex-husband, Carmine Agnello, vowing that the bank would never get its hands on the property. "I'm never going to lose the home," she explained. If you're a JPMorgan shareholder, consider this a good indication that the bank may be forced to shell out more than the $348,000 it spent last year providing Jamie Dimon with a security detail. [Newsday, previously]
Congrats to JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon: He's now in possession of what may very well be the tackiest home in New York. A Brooklyn judge has given JPMorgan the go-ahead to foreclose on the Old Westbury home of Victoria Gotti, the gaudy home that the Mob princess has been trying to sell for many months now. It turns out Gotti hasn't paid her mortgage since September 2006, and she's in debt to JPMorgan to the tune of $650,000. Now that the bank has prevailed in court, it will be able to displace Gotti and her boys and sell off the estate at auction. And what an estate it is! In addition to a five-bedroom house with giant white columns in front, the property comes with a pool with waterfall, tennis court, and gazebo with pond, and copious amounts of gold plating that we're sure will eventually make its way to Dimon's Park Avenue apartment. After the jump, the judge's order as well as a pic of the new pink-and-gold bathroom that is now firmly in Jamie's manicured, lotioned hands. Oh, and in case you're wondering if it's wise for Dimon to be going up against a family with such a notorious past, you can relax. He's done battle with worse.
Harry Macklowe's crumbling real estate empire is getting even smaller. The ex-billionaire purchased the Financial Times building at 1330 Avenue of the Americas in 2006 for $498 million. He's since failed to keep up with his mortgage payments, though, and now it's gone into foreclosure. Unfortunately for Harry and son Billy Macklowe, it's a process they're intimately familiar with: It's the eighth office building in town to slip from their fingers. [Reuters]
• JPMorgan Chase reported a $2.1 billion profit in the first quarter, exceeding estimates. Unlike Goldman, though, Jamie Dimon says the bank hasn't decided whether to return the $25 billion it's received in bailout money. [DB, WSJ, BN]
• General Growth Properties, the second-largest mall operator, filed Chapter 11 today, making it one of the largest real estate failures in history. [AP, WSJ]
• AIG is close to a deal to sell its auto insurance business for $2 billion. [FT]
• Investors remain concerned about the situation at GE and whether the company will be forced to go out and raise additional capital. [WSJ]
• Foreclosure filings jumped 24 percent in the first quarter. [CNN]
• Blackstone boss Steve Schwarzman says he's really worried about the "decline of capitalism." But he's got $25 billion sitting on the sidelines, and he's ready to pounce at any second assuming the world isn't ending. [Fortune]
It looks like Wyclef Jean and Damon Dash will have lots to chat about the next time they get together. The former Fugees star's mansion in Miami Beach has gone into foreclosure and is set to be auctioned off in three weeks. (Dash's own apartment troubles were revealed in August.) Palm Beach Post gossip columnist Jose Lambiet reports that Wyclef and several partners took out a $2 million mortgage in 2004 to purchase a canal-front estate next door to Anthony Shriver, the brother of Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger. He later embarked on a massive renovation of the property, but never ended up paying off more than $177,000 in construction costs, leading to the first in a series of liens and fines and leaving the home unfinished for more than two years. (Perhaps Wyclef should have been counting his pennies and not investing in his porn collection?) Court documents now show that Wyclef and his partners owe the bank $2.4 million, and the home is scheduled to be auctioned off on December 12th. A photo of the half-finished manse after the jump!
Damon Dash and Rachel Roy may be darlings on the hip hop and fashion scenes, but keeping up appearances doesn't come cheap. And it looks like the couple overextended themselves a wee bit in 2006 when they took out a $7.3 million mortgage to cover two Tribeca properties—a two-floor loft in the Atalanta building at 25 North Moore Street and a spread in the Sugar Warehouse at 79 Laight Street. They reportedly stopped paying their $78,504-a-month mortgage payments in January. Now Eastern Savings Bank has filed suit against the couple to recoup the money (along with $10,000 in late fees), which means they could be facing a possible foreclosure if they can't come up with the cash. After the jump, you can look over the mortgage that got Dash and Roy into this mess.