Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"URGENCY EXPRESSED BY INGERSOLL IN HIS MOTION IS MORE IMAGINERY THAN REAL": Government Seeks To Block Sale Of Perry House; Ingersoll Could Net Enough To Pay Off Attorney Debt If Sale Allowed To Proceed.

What's the rush?

In its response filed late this afternoon to Steven Ingersoll's motion seeking permission to unload the Perry House, 2230 Center Avenue in Bay City, the government is looking to hit the brakes.

According to its response, the government is concerned that the purchase agreement for the sale of 2230 Center Avenue might not reflect fair market value, but rather be a “fire sale” price that would allow Ingersoll to liquidate the property before foreclosure and enable him to pay his obligation to his defense attorney, but not serve the interests of the public. 

In its response, the government cites the familiarity of Center Avenue area real estate by a staffer who'd previously lived in the neighborhood. 

Benchmarking the sale price with another former neighbor who'd formerly lived in close proximity to the Perry House reinforced the government's contention that the agreed upon sale price ($248,000) is lower than its current market value. The government and counsel for Ingersoll have been in discussions regarding the proposed sale in the aftermath of the filing of Ingersoll’s motion . 

Although Ingersoll's attorney, Jan Geht, has agreed to obtain an appraisal by a state licensed residential real estate appraiser, and apparently retained a firm for that purpose, the appraisal had not been secured as of this afternoon. 

The government also contends in its response that "the urgency expressed by Ingersoll in his motion is more imaginary than real, and largely Ingersoll’s creation to the extent that it is real." 

The Perry House is scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure sale on April 29, 2016. Ingersoll received formal notice of the foreclosure sale on or about March 1, 2016. The government contends Ingersoll had to have known that he was in default on his mortgage obligation long before he received that formal notice. 

However, he did not list the property for sale until March 17, 2017. Ingersoll received an offer on the property only a week after listing it with his real estate agent. Ingersoll made a counter-offer that was accepted by the purported buyer, yet Ingersoll did not make a motion for permission to sell the property until April 4, 2016. 

Well, come one, he did have a heart attack on April Fools' Day! 

The government asserts that Ingersoll could have taken measures to sell the property before the property was scheduled to be sold at a mortgage foreclosure sale. Ingersoll also should have made his motion for permission to sell the property when he knew that he had to either sell 2230 Center Avenue or resolve his mortgage default.

The government asserts that given the substantial equity he had in 2230 Center Avenue, as opposed to other properties sold with the court and the government’s permission, and the substantial advance notice of the likely development of the situation now presented to the court and the parties, Ingersoll could and should have sought permission to sell 2230 Center Avenue before he listed the property and well before the mortgage foreclosure sale was scheduled. 

And finally, counsel for the government contacted the attorney for the current mortgage holder on 2230 Center Avenue. 

Based on discussions with that attorney, it appears that the property can be removed from the foreclosure sale and the sale postponed. 

There is a fee associated with pursuing that course of action, but it is very modest when compared to the value of the property and the equity at issue. 

Given the rather artificial urgency regarding the sale created by Ingersoll’s actions and inactions, the government response states "it is reasonable to require him to incur the cost of postponing the mortgage foreclosure sale until the appraisal has been obtained and made available to the court and the government."

That would allow an "informed decision" to be made regarding the propriety of approving the sale of 2230 Center Avenue negotiated by Ingersoll, and the disposition of the sale proceeds, or to invalidate the sale and put the property back on the market. 

We'll see what happens!


  1. Sopunds like Ingersoll may be prevented from selling anymore assets that do not go to the tax debt owed to the IRS. After delaying sentencing for 14 months after conviction - let the government sell the Webster house for tax obligations.

    1. The government can only seize and sell Ingersoll's properties after he's been sentenced. Good luck on that!

    2. And let's not forget the Ingersoll family home in Traverse City (with its federal tax lien), their personal residence on Center (which is grossly undervalued for tax purposes). The government, banks and lawyers will have a lot more interesting days ahead of them.

    3. And the debt to the IRS was $2.7 MILLION a year ago. With interest accruing, it could be pushing $3 million now. And just think when the feds find more irregularities Ingersoll has done. Those added dollars plus the cost of the federal criminal investigation plus the cost of the criminal trial will equal a lot more money he owes the government/U.S. taxpayers. You just wonder if we'll be stuck to pay for his prison stay, and with him probably not having any assets left at sentencing time (except some hidden off shore someplace?), we'll probably be footing the cost of that too.

  2. Great investigating reporting. We would have our heads in a hole if it were left to the local newspapers. Thank you!