Developer avoids foreclosure on city property in Woodlake

Community Holdings, LLC. makes their first payment on a $1.36 million industrial development property after the city of Woodlake proposes foreclosure

WOODLAKE – After Community Holdings, LLC failed to make a payment to the city of Woodlake for a million-dollar property, they quickly met their obligations after the city considered foreclosure.

The decision to send Community Holdings to collections and possibly foreclose the property was addressed at Woodlake’s Jan. 23 city council meeting. The next day, however, the city was able to make contact with Community Holdings after multiple failed attempts, and the company finally made their first payment, which was originally due at the start of January. This comes after the council had already passed an amendment allowing for an extension on Community Holdings payment. 

“We are in a good position since we bought the property for a certain price, and we sold it for way above that price. Their initial down [payment] already covered the price [we purchased the property for],” city manager Ramon Lara said at the Jan. 23 city council meeting. “We’re free and clear, but due to the situation we are going to have to recover the property.”

Community Holdings had made a down payment on the property last year, and were supposed to make their first monthly payment in the first week of January. Although Community Holdings was not able to make that deadline, the city council still approved the extensions of their payments at their Jan. 9 council meeting to be made later in the month. The amendment required Community Holdings to appear in person, pay the initial payment and submit a note to the city. However, they initially failed to show up to their meeting with the city, and Lara said that despite their attempts to contact the real estate company, there was no response. Luckily, they appeared after the proposed foreclosure was presented to council.

“I think at this point the council and the city have gone above and beyond to try to work with them. But it’s not a big deal, we are going to get the property back,” Lara said.

If Community Holdings did not have sufficient funds to pay their debt, then the city would be out that money, according to the city attorney Mario Zamora. However, the city could have turned around and sold the property again in order to turn a profit. 

In either scenario, the city would have needed to regain title of the property through foreclosure, which can happen an easy way or a hard way, according to Zamora. The easy way would be to receive a deed in lieu of foreclosure from Community Holdings, if they were willing, which would only take a week or two for the city to get their hands back on the property. If Community Holdings had refused and made the city go through foreclosure, then it would have been roughly four to five months before Woodlake would have possession of the property again. 

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