Attorney Les Goldman returns to the bidding after making a phone call.
Sonabank attorney Norman Hammer acquires Glen Love for $2,137,379.31.
PHOTO BY LISA PROVENCE
Just two days after the Trump Organization revealed that her job is secure, Patricia Kluge found out that her home is not. The financially challenged vintner lost her residence Wednesday at the Albemarle Courthouse.
Nine people gathered for the 10am May 18 sale of "Glen Love," the luxury spec house that Kluge and husband Bill Moses built as part of what was to become a high-end, wine-growing subdivision called Vineyard Estates.
Before the bidding began on the property listed as 2621 Coopers Lane, auctioneer Emmanuel Voces took a call from his office to make sure the former billionaire's wife– whose heavily-mortgaged assets have been sold off over the past few months at the stately brick courthouse– had not filed for bankruptcy. At 10:10am, the bidding began.
Two bidders–- Donald Trump representative Les Goldman and a Charlottesville bargain-shopper named Rob Iten–- volleyed back and forth for about 15 minutes, with Goldman stopping the auction three times to make phone calls.
Iten opened at $500,000, and Goldman immediately had to make a call. The two bid in $5,000 and $10,000 increments up to $605,000, when Goldman stepped away for another call.
At Iten's bid of $655,000, the Trump rep dialed in a third time, and bidding continued until Iten offered $705K.
"That's it," said Goldman.
And that's when Sonabank stepped in with a considerably higher value: $2,137,379.31. (The bank isn't putting any more money into its non-performing loan. This is just the value they assign when taking over the property.)
Kluge and Moses' Clover Acquisitions LLC owed $3,675,000 on the 2.9-acre, 6,600-square-foot manse, which is assessed at $2,496,500. They'd rescued it out of foreclosure more than a year ago when their development partner filed for bankruptcy, and moved into the house in late spring.
Since then, Farm Credit called a $35 million credit line on Kluge Estate Winery, which Trump acquired in April. Sonabank foreclosed on Vineyard Estates. And Bank of America took Albemarle House, and has it on the market for $16 million.
On May 17, Kluge and Moses filed suit against Farm Credit in U.S. District Court, claiming the bank wrongfully foreclosed and foiled their attempts last fall to enlist third-party assistance, presumably from Trump, who, according to the suit, was willing to put up $10 million for the winery last fall before scooping it up at a substantially lower $6.21 million April 7.
Included in the court filing is a three-page list of jewelry valued at $4 million that Kluge turned over to Farm Credit in May 2009 as collateral for restructuring their loan.
The couple seek a jury trial, and a hearing is scheduled for June 17.
Norman Hammer, the man handling things for Sonabank, says he believes Kluge and Moses are still living in Glen Love. Moses did not return a phone call from the Hook.
Hammer says Sonabank, which owns the rest of Vineyard Estates, plans to put the property on the market.
"We thought we had a deal with Trump," says Hammer, "and he backed out at the last minute."
–Thursday, May 19 at 3:18pm: story updated with parenthetical clarifier about the bank's valuation.
–Updated Tuesday, May 24, at 2:55pm with the Kluge/Moses lawsuit against Farm Credit.