Miss Fortune has discovered that Jan Geht, a member of Steven Ingersoll's legal defense team, provided his client with access to a $250,000 line of credit secured by seven of Ingersoll's most desirable Bay City properties just days before the start of Ingersoll's federal fraud trial—with Geht's representative officially registering the "future advance mortgage" with the Bay County Register of Deeds on February 10 as Ingersoll's jury was being selected.
The Perry House, located at 2230 Center Avenue in Bay City, is among the seven residential and commercial properties securing the collateral interest of Geht and his Traverse City-based law firm, Bowerman, Bowden, Ford, Clulo & Luyt, which funded the $250,000 mortgage.
In addition to the Perry House, Ingersoll's personal residence at 1514 Center Avenue in Bay City's Center Avenue Historic District (shown at left and known as the Turner House) and the Webster House Bed & Breakfast are two of the more stellar properties included.
Ingersoll and his wife, Deborah, own and run the Webster House,
located at 900 5th Street in Bay City. Shortly after it opened, Steven Ingersoll was featured in the Bay City Times, touting his now seduced-and-abandoned "Front Porch Renaissance" during a December 2009 "Holiday Parlor Tour". Shown in the photo at right in front of an elaborate side porch at the Webster House, Ingersoll's three-story Queen Ann-style Victorian was to be the jewel in the crown of his now-defunct neighborhood revival program.
PIMP MY SCHOOLHOUSE: BAY CITY ACADEMY'S FARRAGUT CAMPUS ON LIST OF PROPERTIES
Miss Fortune spoke on background with a Michigan attorney, not involved in this case, about Geht's use of the "future advance mortgage". Although the attorney admitted it was "unusual", he said the transaction was completely legal and provided Geht with the legally enforceable right to foreclose on the properties should Ingersoll default on his debt.
Unlike a fraudulent conveyance, where a property is transferred in an attempt to avoid a debt, Geht's future advance mortgage agreement provides Ingersoll with cash in return for the interest in his properties.
While it's a win-win for Geht and Ingersoll, it may be a win-win-lose for the feds.
It's likely that Geht did an exhaustive title search to determine the existence of any outstanding mortgages, liens and judgments recorded against the properties, while cherry-picking some of the best of Ingersoll's real estate holdings and keeping them from the grasp of federal asset seizure should Ingersoll be convicted.
After all, you didn't see 616 N. Grant, a remnant of Ingersoll's abortive "arts district", on Geht's list, did you?
But here's one twist you can see: the name of the Notary Public who witnessed Steven Ingersoll's February 6 signature on the Perry House document. It's Roy and Tammy Bradley's daughter, Kristy.