Orange Family Continues to Fight Eviction, Tooth and Nail

Categories: Occupy OC

Koshak1.jpg
Brandon Ferguson
Trucks hauling furniture and other possessions from the former Koshak property
Five months after being evicted from their home in rural Orange, members of the Koshak family continue to sit outside the property's locked gates daily, keeping a watchful eye on the activity going on inside. Thanks largely to the efforts of 26-year-old Nathan Koshak and his iPhone camera, a massive archive of video images exists on Ustream, which show several tons of family furniture being loaded onto trucks and hauled to an undisclosed location.

It's the kind of story that fits nicely into the Occupy narrative: greedy investors entrap a family with a predatory loan, foreclose on their home, and take everything in the process--even the kitchen sink.

Were it that simple.

Among the claims being bandied about online by one Occupier, who incessantly hashtags the names of local journalists and newspapers on her Facebook page, is that a federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order in favor of the Koshaks--a claim that implies that the folks who foreclosed on the property back in 2011, are now trespassing.

NathanKoshak.JPG
Brandon Ferguson
Nathan Koshak records with his iPhone as items from his former home are hauled away

But Irvine Attorney Phil Green, who represents the home's current owners, recently provided the Weekly with a federal ruling issued on November 12 by Judge Cormac J. Carney denying the Koshaks' request for a temporary restraining order. In an email to the Weekly, Green questions the validity of Koshak claims.

"You have to ask yourself, if the Koshaks have such a great case, how come they keep losing, over and over again," Green asked.

Weekly contributor Gabriel San Roman first broke the story of the Koshak foreclosure back in June, when deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Department evicted the family from a large home on Orange Park Boulevard, where the Koshaks had lived since 1996. The deputies' action stemmed from a 2004 loan agreement between a group of local investors and husband and wife Norman and Helen Koshak.

Records maintained by Orange County Superior Court show the loan saddled the Koshaks with a 12.6 percent interest rate and a $585,000 balloon payment. A year after signing, the couple soon found themselves in default. They refinanced with the same investors, using their house as collateral. On December 21, 2011, after multiple defaults, the investors foreclosed on the home, put it up for auction on the Orange County Courthouse steps, then bid on, and won, the property for $520,000.

In a verified complaint filed in OC Superior Court on February 28, Koshak family attorney Lenore Albert claims that malfeasance on the part of the lenders began with the first loan.

"The loan was predatory containing abusive terms, and the defendants knew or had reason to know that the plaintiff could never repay the loan on these terms," the complaint read.

Albert also alleges that the lenders took Helen Koshak's signature from a note she signed in 2005, and fraudulently affixed it to a new note with higher monthly payments.

"Defendants deceived Mr. Koshak by sending him a note with different terms attached to his signature page," the complaint alleged.

Investor Attorney Phil Green says claims of forgery are hogwash. "There was confusion because there were two versions of the first page of a note. Nothing was forged, they admitted they had signed the second page of the note and they got the money," said Green.

While comments on Ustream and Facebook pages supporting the Koshak family continue to decry the dishonesty of the lenders, others are quick to point out there are two sides to every story. Lena Burlove, who was among the people working to clean out the Koshak property in recent weeks told the the Weekly her mother is one of the investors.

"If we didn't have the right to be here, I wouldn't be on the front lines," she said.

Burlove added that after court costs are added up, the investors likely won't see a return on their money.

The Weekly also received an email from an anonymous source claiming to be one of the investors. Citing a fear of harassment and reprisal by the Koshak's attorney and supporters, the unknown source declined to reveal his or her identity. In the email, the source argued that the Koshaks were given every opportunity to repay their debt and were evicted three years after making their last payment. The source further claimed that the Koshaks were given multiple opportunities to retrieve their furniture, which was left behind after the eviction.

"Numerous attempts were made to get them to remove their belongings," the source elaborated. "They ignored all attempts. We were left with no recourse but to publicly auction the items left on the property. The Koshaks ended up being the winning buyers of their own possessions at the auction, which was an avoidable expense had they responded to requests to remove their belongings when contacted by us over the previous 4 months."

The Koshaks admit that they were eventually allowed on the property to retrieve their belongings, but weren't given enough time to remove the abundance of items contained throughout the property's multiple buildings.

The anonymous source maintains that investors have been harassed and threatened by Occupiers via social media for months, adding that Lena Burlove's personal information has been posted online.

"I am not a bank, and have never before acted as a lender on a trust deed such as this, nor will I ever do it again after this experience," the source concluded.

Regardless of whose side you're on--Team Koshak, or Team Investor--years after foreclosure, the case continues to work its way through the court system. Future hearings are scheduled at the state and federal level.

"The problem with other homeowner lawsuits is they're out of the house, and the courts kill [their case] right away," Albert said in a recent interview. "[The Koshak's] have been able to fight this whole time. They still have their foot in the door. They're still in the game."

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33 comments
Egalindo
Egalindo

This article is disappointing and like most media slants leaves a lot of unanswered questions.  The Koshaks who are an elderly couple who have worked all their lives are not "deadbeats" who expected anything for free.  Their lifetime of hard work and achievements should speak for itself, but it doesn't because the propaganda perpetuated by these fraudulent lenders has done it's job.

This couple had owned this two acre property for many years and had filled it with equipment, furniture, clothing, families, memories and fun.  All of which they paid for by working hard and growing and expanding their business.  None of what they had earned came to them 'free'.

The following quote from the above article must give any one who has a business background some pause for thought:  "Records maintained by Orange County Superior Court show the loan saddled the Koshaks with a 12.6 percent interest rate and a $585,000 balloon payment. A year after signing, the couple soon found themselves in default. They refinanced with the same investors, using their house as collateral. On December 21, 2011, after multiple defaults, the investors foreclosed on the home, put it up for auction on the Orange County Courthouse steps, then bid on, and won, the property for $520,000."

For a couple who owned a property now listed as valued close to $2,000,000, and who has ran a successful business for many years, why did it suddenly become such a big deal to refinance for $585,000?  Why was their a predatory interest rate of 12.6%?  There is something here that is very important that is being left out.

The Koshaks had fallen on some serious health issues that might explain them falling behind on their payments, but it doesn't explain the investors unwillingness to work with them given their past history of financial responsibility?

In addition, if they REALLY couldn't afford the loan for $585,000, why wouldn't they just sell their home for $2,000,000 and buy a new home with the profit?  Common sense would tell you that people do not fight for something so vehemently when they are wrong.

It will be interesting to see how much the investors put the home up for sale for.  A cool million and a half profit seems a good motive for defaming the 'former' owners.  Seriously?  Who is really looking for something for 'free' here?  The investors that stand to make a profit of over a million dollars or the Koshaks who are being removed from their home and years of hard work?

The Koshaks had owned the home for years and had put in the work to keep up the upkeep and had been an active part of the community....they had nurtured the orange trees on their property that now sag in neglect.  They had been involved in the 4H club, the scouts, their community,....they were not deadbeats.

What has happened to us as a community and as the human race that we can be so dismissive of the suffering of our neighbors?  I was there when representatives of the family asked Lena Burlove for one more day for the Koshaks to finish moving out a lifetime of things, even as they were loading their things on the truck and she refused as she sat back on her folding chair watching the family loading up the three u-hauls.

There are not over 50 million deadbeats in our country.  People who own homes and work for a living are the backbone of our nation.  Our government even now has more lawsuits on the books regarding the massive fraud.  J.P. Morgan just "settled" again for 13 billion dollars for mortgage fraud.  We have high-profile whistleblowers coming forth and exposing the plot against the middle class....and still we want to blame the homebuyers.  

It is time to wake up America, before they come for you.....

http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/10/03/whistleblower-karen-hudes-how-the-global-elite-rule-the-world/


Chris Alatorre
Chris Alatorre

I'm sure it was a stated loan here they made $20k a month too.

Kimberly Allen
Kimberly Allen

I don't get it. They signed a deal I would've known was dumb by the time I was a teenager, and then didn't pay their bills. The sense of entitlement some people have baffles me. Why the hell do you think you get to keep a house without paying for it? I want a free house too, but it doesn't work that way. In my head, these are the same people that want to be paid $15 an hour to work at McDonalds.

Nicole Cruz Navarro
Nicole Cruz Navarro

Accountability. People should be accountable for the decisions they undertake. You signed a contract; you did not have to commit to it; nobody has the power to force you to do anything unless you give them the power.

pdog2013
pdog2013

Perhaps this is what happens when you've deregulated the industry to the point that a "group of private investors" are providing a loan with what used to be consider a usurious interest rate and irrational terms.  Who needs the mob to act as loansharks when you can do it through "legal" means?  

If the "private investors" lose their collective shirts on the process because of legal fees, I'm shedding no tears for them.  Good luck squeezing blood from a stone, you greedy bastards.

Wendel Burdine
Wendel Burdine

Numbers 12:10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Looks like Nathan had enough money to pay for food.... But not the mortgage.

DaniGirl949
DaniGirl949

If you don't make your payment, youre going to lose your home, car, boat, whatever! All this time camping out in front of their home is a waste of time! Geesh so many people want crap for free!

occupyyourbrain
occupyyourbrain

@Egalindo - Can you tell us how you know so much about the Koshak's and "their past history of financial responsibility?"  Can you provide any proof of the claims you make above about this?

beenbankstered2
beenbankstered2

@Egalindo well said. So many people are quick to judge, because THEY obviously have never owned a home, or had a mortgage.  WAKE up Orange County,  the banksters have plans for all of you too,  you will be tenants and serfs, and never a landowner.. unless you stand and fight now. 

Egalindo
Egalindo

@Kimberly Allen  These are well-to-do people who have their own business with employees.  They have lived in this home for many years and developed it over that time.  Circumstances that led them to this situation had to do with fraud.

Egalindo
Egalindo

@Nicole Cruz Navarro Accountability should be on both sides.  This current economic crisis is a result of massive fraud.  Read the papers and the list of massive settlements due to the fraud.  Here is one site outlining the settlements:  http://www.elainegalindo.com/1973.html

The rule of law has been so perverted by deregulation that we have created a massive land grab and people like the Koshaks get caught in the onslaught.

Egalindo
Egalindo

@DaniGirl949People wanting things for free would Include the investors who stole the Koshaks belongings and purchased a 2 million dollar home for less than the Koshaks owed (approx $500000)  The Koshaks current lenders were charging them 12.6% interest?  That is predatory!  The property still had value...they could have refinanced, they could have sold it....there are a lot of unanswered questions here that do not have to do with getting a home for free.  They could have sold their home if necessary, they were not underwater.  Something is not right here....

909Jeff
909Jeff

The good Ol' USofA... The only country in the world where the poor are obese... And own 2.5 televisions (On average)

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

@brandonf76 OccuBrandon:  What would you do if it was YOUR MONEY?  Let them live there forever for free?

occupyyourbrain
occupyyourbrain

@Egalindo Good questions - maybe you can tell us why they didn't refinance this 2 million dollar home or sell it if that was an option. Since the family didn't make a mortgage payment on the property since 2008, it would seem 5 years allowed them ample time to make other arrangements. It appears to me that the "investors" were left with little alternative if this family refused to pay their mortgage and refused to leave the home they were no longer willing to pay for.

Egalindo
Egalindo

@20ftjesus @brandonf76 I would not purchase a property that I knew had the legal problems that this one deed.  However, giving the investors the benefit of the doubt and assuming they did not know ahead of time...then I would have had compassion and given the family the extra time they needed to remove their property.  I would not have broken into their safe and allowed their jewelry to be stolen.  I would not have destroyed the furniture that had been left behind, but would have placed it outside for a period to allow them to pick it up.  

There are numerous things that could have been done to express some kind of humane compassion for a family that truly believes and may later prove that they have been wronged.  But what the investors did instead is set aside all semblance of human compassion and moved ahead heartlessly and with malice.

Egalindo
Egalindo

@20ftjesus @brandonf76 If it was my money I would not invest in a property that I knew had all those problems.   On the off chance I did invest, not knowing of the problems, I would allow the family time to remove their belongings, out of compassion.  I would not steal their jewelry, nor allow it to be stolen by breaking in their safe and leaving it open and unattended.

I would not destroy their furniture, but remove it from the property and offer them additional time to come and get it.

You have to question people who find it reasonable to profit from someone else's misery without conscience.  By now we are all aware of the mortgage meltdown and the massive fraud involved.  When are we going to find people who are willing to be 'community, neighbors and friends, rather than predators?


brandonf76
brandonf76

@20ftjesus @brandonf76  I'm not in the lending business, nor do I plan on making that career move, so I can't answer your question jeezuz. My comments on this blog are simply taking issue with people lobbing cheap shots at a guy because of his weight and insensitively suggesting he's lazy.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Did you miss this part of the story...

"You have to ask yourself, if the Koshaks have such a great case, how come they keep losing, over and over again," Green asked.

And i understand perfectly fine... That of the 5 million americans in default of thier contract 4.9 million of them took out loans which they had no business signing for. And who do we thank for that? Bawney Frank and the libtards who forced lenders to make an annual quota of subprime mortgages... You know... to people with a FICO score of less than 680? And how does someone have a FICO of 680???  THEY DONT PAY THEIR GOD DAMNED BILLS! Oh but since the liberals want to believe that we all live in the land of equal results even the poor deserve to own vs rent?  Well buddy how did that experiment work out? But you have it all figured out right? just blame the greedy wall street suits and that dastardly Bush.  For someone who claims to be in the know... you dont know SHIT!

beenbankstered2
beenbankstered2

@occupyyourbrain @Egalindo  I see there are a lot of completely uninformed and inexperienced commenters here...

so let me address a few things  #1 when you have a loan on a property, the new lender looks at that, and whether you can refinance that 'loan' and the 'property' is the issue.   -

#2 Green makes light of the fact that page was one altered and there were at least 2 variations. Page one is where the terms are spelled out. You cant just change  it anymore than you can alter the amount on a check to you after someone signs it. duh. 

#3 They WERE making payments, hundreds of thousands of dollars of payments then the terms changed and the investors wanted the balance all at once.... a 'balloon '. Miss smarty pants Kimberly Allen would obviously have caught that in the 8 point type on page 13 out of 75!  

#4 There are laws against predatory loans and fraud in the inducement which is what is the issue here.  Please educate yourselves about mortgages, fraud, MERS, REMICS, HELOCs and more if you want to understand what is going on with 5 million Americans in foreclosure! 

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@brandonf76

I have a job. I also have a sense of humor about my rotundness, ok? I choose my battles. I personally meant no offense to anyone. Sorry you think I'm a "troll". :-(

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