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Home of 'Real Housewives' Company in Bankruptcy May Have Short Sale Pending

February 14, 2011

In December, our Corona foreclosure defense attorneys wrote about a mortgage problems of a Newport Beach couple featured on the television show "The Real Housewives of Orange County." Jim and Alexis Bellino's home is owned by a single-asset company, Global Marine, Inc., which filed for bankruptcy that month. The home had been in foreclosure in the past after the couple missed some payments, although it was not at the time of the bankruptcy filing. Jim Bellino said the bankruptcy was intended to protect the home while he and his wife continued negotiating with the bank. Now, the Orange County Register reported Feb. 9, the home is listed as "pending sale" online, suggesting that it could be short-sold.

Like a lot of California homeowners, the Bellinos are underwater on their home, with a $4.5 million mortgage on a home they have now listed for $3.395 million. They missed some payments and went into foreclosure last August. They reportedly had a loan modification negotiated, but Jim Bellino later said the lender changed its offer and the deal fell through. According to the Register, the home was scheduled for foreclosure auction on Feb. 10 despite the bankruptcy filing. However, real estate website listed the home as "pending sale." The Register noted that a final decision could still be months away because short sales are notoriously slow, and because foreclosure auctions are very often rescheduled. It also noted that four other "Real Housewives" in OC have also had mortgage problems.

That's a good reminder that people of every financial background are struggling in this economy, something we've seen firsthand in our work as Diamond Bar foreclosure defense lawyers. In this case, there's an added layer of complexity because of the bankruptcy filing for the holding company that owns the Bellinos' home. A Chapter 11 business bankruptcy is just like personal bankruptcy in one way: it automatically creates a stay on foreclosures and collection attempts, which means creditors are legally barred from bothering bankruptcy filers. For that reason, we're not sure it was truly, or legally, up for auction Feb. 10. The bankruptcy would typically delay any foreclosure for months, if it didn't stop the foreclosure altogether. This isn't the right choice for everyone, but it could give the Bellinos the time they need to finish any short sale.

If you're struggling to get a loan modification from a loan servicer that doesn't seem to care, you should call Howard Law PC for help. Based in Anaheim, we represent California homeowners of all types in negotiations for a loan modification, and when necessary, foreclosure defense lawsuits. Our clients frequently come to us with stories of lenders giving them contradictory information, breaking rules and promises and denying loan modification applications for no reason. Our San Juan Capistrano foreclosure defense attorneys help clients fight back with lawsuits seeking to hold lenders to their promises.

Howard Law offers free, confidential consultations, so you can talk to us about your case and your rights without any risk. To set up a meeting or learn more, send us a message through our website or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.