Lakewood, NJ - Senior Citizens Sue Lakewood Developer Involved In Foreclosure Action
Lakewood, NJ - New Jersey developer Glen A. Fishman, 57, has found himself at the center of a lawsuit after failing to pay a $275,000 tax debt on Horizons at Woodlake Greens, a 209-home community for people aged 55 and over based in Lakewood, New Jersey.
Residents of that community are now facing the possibility of losing their heated outdoor swimming pool and 5,500 square foot clubhouse unless they agree to pay Fishman’s outstanding tax lien, according to a report by Asbury Park Press (http://on.app.com/1FtwXpU ).
Horizons trustees first learned about the lien when they received an email from tax lien investor Pro Capital Fund LLC, stating, “It is Pro Capital’s position that a foreclosure judgment will extinguish the Woodlake Greens’ residents’ right to use the Clubhouse facilities.” Pro Capital has given Horizons residents the option of preventing the foreclosure provided each household pays approximately $1,400 to cover the outstanding debt. The news outraged many in the Horizons community.
“Glen Fishman didn’t pay his taxes. He knew about this. He received those tax bills. He was served with the foreclosure notice,” said Horizons’ Board President Lynn Foxen.
“So here we are, retired people, many living on a fixed income, looking for that peace and quiet. We’re the only ones who did nothing wrong, and we’re the ones who have to pay the freight.”
Usually, the value of these amenities is factored into each homeowner’s assessment. However, former Lakewood Township assessor Linda Solakian determined the clubhouse property was worth over one million dollars back in 2007 when Horizons was still under construction. By 2014, the foreclosure action had commenced.
Solakian defended her actions saying it was standard procedure to assess clubhouses in Lakewood’s adult communities as commercial properties so long as the developer held the title to the land.
Once the homeowners association took title from the developer, the assessments were supposed to be cut back to zero. “I didn’t make a mistake. If anybody made a mistake, it was the developer,” Solakian said.
Initially, Fishman’s taxes on the clubhouse were about $29,000 a year, which went unpaid. This resulted in a tax lien of $91,874.36 which was later bought at a public tax lien sale by Pro Capital in 2011.
As part of the sale, Pro Capital was permitted to foreclose on the property within two years if Fishman didn’t repay his debt, plus four percent interest. The debt now stands at more than $275,000.
Adding insult to injury, Fishman’s mother lives in the Horizons community. “He came to visit her last week in a black stretch limousine,” said trustee and resident, Ginny DeMeo, 65. “It’s so galling. Not only is he doing this to us, he’s doing it to his own mother,” she said. Fishman could not be reached for comment.
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