In these days of shady foreclosures, robo-bank calls for mortgage payments before your mortgage is due and other assorted example of Mitt Romney's pals trying to royally fuck with us just trying to make ends meet comes a bit of happy news. About 150 families in San Juan Capistrano banded together to save their homes from being sold out from under them. And all it cost them was $8.25 million.
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After the owners of Capistrano Terrace Mobilehome Park filed for bankruptcy and tried several times to close the park and force residents out, homeowners hired Resident Owned Parks Inc., a Sacramento firm that helped them form the nonprofit ROP Capistrano Terrace, Inc.
On Thursday, escrow closed on ROP Capistrano Terrace's $8.25 million purchase of the park through the bankruptcy court, signaling, according to the nonprofit, “the successful conclusion of resident efforts to gain control and ownership of the park spanning more than two decades.”
It helped that the city of San Juan Capistrano was rooting for the homeowners, because preservation of Capistrano Terrace at least maintains the scarce number of affordable dwellings in the upscale town. The state and federal government often uses sticks and carrots on cities to get them to approve a certain percentage of affordable homes.
Well, when it comes to California, inflated California's idea of affordable, anyway.
Maurice A. Priest, the Sacramento attorney and president of the purchasing nonprofit, plans to have ROP Capistrano Terrace own the park for three years, time enough for the established homeowners association there to get tax-exempt approval from the IRS and permanent financing. At that point, the ROP will transfer ownership to the homeowners, Priest says.
In the meantime, Priest adds, the nonprofit will be working with the residents to do something Bain Capital, I mean, the previous asswipe ownership failed to do: improve the damn park.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.