ONTD Political

Up To 52 Businesses Face Foreclosure In Reedsburg

10:58 pm - 12/23/2011
REEDSBURG, Wis. -- Dozens of Reedsburg area business and property owners said Monday they are facing foreclosure even though many have never missed a mortgage payment.

The move will force many owners to downsize their operations, but BMO Harris Bank's decision is perfectly legal, mortgage experts said.

Dave Gonzalez's flag-making company in Reedsburg is safe because it's financed at a different bank, but his nonprofit church in Lake Delton is in jeopardy because it didn't make enough money, Gonzalez said.

"We've never been behind on a payment, always had more than enough money," he said. "What business does a church have acting like a business and making a profit? If we get money in, we should take care of the community -- the people that have financial needs -- and preach the gospel."

As many as 52 owners face losing their property, sources in Reedsburg told WISC-TV. One confirmed he was laying off some employees, while another had already moved to a new facility.

Less operating income coupled with falling property values compelled the bank to act, said one business owner, who asked to remain anonymous.

The widespread foreclosure decisions will be a burden on Reedsburg's economy, said Dave Estes, the city's mayor. Estes said he wasn't sure how many businesses had been affected.

The decision comes after BMO Harris, a subsidiary of the Canadian lender Bank of Montreal, took over the assets of The Reedsburg Bank. A bank spokesman declined to answer why the lender was removing from its books businesses that hadn't missed payments.

"The Reedsburg market remains an important one for us," said Patrick O'Herlihy, a spokesman, in a phone message to WISC-TV. "We cannot, however, comment on the accounts of any specific customer due to privacy concerns."

Banks have the ability to opt out of commercial loans because of contractual terms, mortgage experts said.

Gonzalez, whose church has 250 members and reaches people statewide on TV, said the economy won't be the same.

"Anytime a business goes out of business, for whatever reason -- whether it's legitimately they go out of business because they're not doing business, or they run into hard times, or there are other factors involved -- that hurts everybody else," he said.

He said he was shopping for another lender to continue his church property loan.

layweed 24th-Dec-2011 06:51 am (UTC)
Wow. I don't know anything about this town, but if the wiki is accurate, it only has a population of 10,000 and closing/moving 52 businesses is basically going to kill the town.
mariechan 24th-Dec-2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
That's gonna be so crippling, I wonder if it's also going to let some big franchises swoop in and open their stores. Maybe they're hoping to lend the buildings and properties to bigger businesses instead.
maenads_dance 24th-Dec-2011 09:13 am (UTC)
That would just destroy a small town. I can't even imagine.

Honestly, this seems like the kind of thing where the property owners being foreclosed upon should pool their money for a fancy lawyer and take their case to the press in a major way - because while this may or may not be legal, it isn't ethical, and it's certainly not politically acceptable in today's America.
kyra_neko_rei 24th-Dec-2011 09:17 am (UTC)
How in a million blazing hells is this legal?
muppetfromhell 24th-Dec-2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
Is the bank owned by tex richman?
erunamiryene 24th-Dec-2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
BMO Harris Bank's decision is perfectly legal, mortgage experts said.

And this is the main problem in this country, right here. 1, banks can pretty much do whatever they want. If they want to do something illegal, they simply send lobbyists to Congress or get a pathetic slap on the wrist from the SEC, so even if it WAS illegal, it wouldn't matter. And 2, JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING IS TECHNICALLY LEGAL DOES NOT MAKE IT THE RIGHT THING TO DO. These people have never missed payments. I understand if they're underwater and aren't paying the bank, BUT THEY HAVEN'T MISSED PAYMENTS. You're foreclosing on people FOR NO FUCKING REASON. Way to totally fuck an economy, you greedy shits.

his nonprofit church in Lake Delton is in jeopardy because it didn't make enough money

His NONPROFIT CHURCH is in jeopardy because it DIDN'T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY. Jiminy Christmas, does anyone at that bank realize how fucking awful that sounds?
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