Chris and Jacqueline Laurita Take Their Mansion Off the Market (Updated 3/10/15)
Jacqueline Laurita and her husband Chris has been pulled from the market after it lingered for more than a year without a buyer. Records show the listing expired, and real estate agent Gregory Earnshaw of McBride Realty, who had the listing, would not comment on the matter. They listed the home in January 2014, a few months after reports surfaced that she was not asked to return for the show’s sixth season, and the Lauritas later dropped the price to $2.78 million. Bravo cast three new housewives, but the Lauritas did return about halfway through the sixth season, if only to perform as part of the Greek chorus commenting on the legal woes of the Giudices. [NJ.com]
Jacqueline Laurita’s home in Franklin Lakes, NJ was put on the market on January 5, 2014 for $2,850,000. Before Chris married Jacqueline in 2002, he purchased the home on November 30, 2001 for $1,720,000 – the home is still in his name only. The home was last assessed in 2013 for $2,199,200 with yearly taxes of $34,242.
Perhaps the Lauritas are selling their home due to financial distress, or maybe they are trying to liquidate their assets before the case against them concerning their bankrupt business, Signature Apparel, goes to trial.
1. In 2005, Chris and his brother Joseph formed a clothing company called Signature Apparel. In September 2009, the company’s creditors pushed the company into bankruptcy protection. The company’s creditors accused the Laurita brothers of diverting funds from the company for personal expenses and transferring company funds to family members and other family businesses, draining the company so dry that it was an empty shell and creditors couldn’t be paid. A lawsuit filed against the Lauritas by the company’s creditors is still pending. In the complaint, the trustee appointed to handle the interests of Signature Apparel’s creditors claims that they are entitled to pierce the corporate veil of the other Laurita companies, and to reach the personal assets of Chris and Joseph, to satisfy any judgment obtained in the litigation because:
- Chris and Joseph directed Signature to pay the expenses of and make payments to other companies owned, controlled by, or affiliated with them. Those payments totaled at least and no less than $718,214 and further depleted Signature’s assets.
- Chris and Joseph directed Signature to pay the personal expenses of and make outright payments to themselves and other Laurita family members. These payments totaled at least and no less than $7,086,013 (the “Fraudulent Transfers”). These improper payments have no legitimate business purpose and provided no value to Signature.
2. In January 2014, NorthJersey.com reported that the Internal Revenue Service placed federal tax liens on all the Laurita’s properties for unpaid taxes totaling almost $95,000.
3. In April 2013, tabloids reported that the Lauritas owed $340,000 in back taxes. When Jacqueline addressed the issue, she identified the back taxes as being owed to the IRS rather than the state of New Jersey, which has led to confusion:
“The $340k was from a tax audit in 2006 in which about 1/2 of that was added interest. We have been disputing this because we didn’t think it was fair to pay so much interest on something that we didn’t even know we owed until recently. The IRS is currently working with us to lower the amount owed and once that new amount is decided we will, of course, pay the amount.”
Jacqueline elaborated by stating that she and Chris filed tax returns and paid their taxes every year:
“My husband and I have ALWAYS filed and paid our taxes every year. We have NEVER evaded taxes.”
4. In April 2013, tabloids reported that the Laurita’s home was in pre-foreclosure. According to NorthJersey.com, they faced a foreclosure filing in early 2013 by Hudson City Savings Bank, but the Paramus-based lender withdrew the action in April, after the matter was “amicably adjusted.”
At the time, Jacqueline insisted that her home was not in foreclosure:
“Thank you for all who were concerned, but my house is NOT in foreclosure. We simply modified our mortgage which is a process. Our mortgage modification has been approved and all is good.”
A mortgage modification is done by the bank to help struggling homeowners who can’t pay their mortgage – it is an attempt to avoid foreclosure by lowering the monthly payments; it is NOT a refinance, which a lot of people do when interest rates go down. An assignment of rent is done when a mortgaged property is being rented – it ensures the bank can collect the rent directly from the tenants if the mortgage holder can’t pay the monthly mortgage.
5. The Lauritas and Manzos made it perfectly clear during season 4 episode 12 (a giant infomercial) that they have everything riding on the success of blk. – Chris Laurita had more screen time than Jacqueline in episode 12 and he did confessionals (THs) in season 4 looking rather depressed and saying things like “this has to work,” as if blk. was their last hope. During season 5, the Lauritas and Manzos heavily marketed blk. in conjunction with their promotion of the charity, Autism Speaks [Autism Speaks purposely misstates finances on their website and misleads donors – in 2011, they spent only 32% of funds raised on programs and services but state on their website that they spent 74%]. Also, during season 5, Caroline said that neither Albie or Christopher, who work with their uncle Chris Laurita to market blk., had received a paycheck from the business venture.
The following are details about the listing for the Laurita’s home at 322 Waterview Dr. in Franklin Lakes, NJ.
Originally Received: 1/5/2014
Year Built: 2001
Total Square Feet: 5,674
Lot Size: 1.75 acres
Total Bedrooms: 6
Total Bathrooms: 6
Full Bathrooms: 5
Partial Bathrooms: 1
Fireplace(s): 1 FPL
Attached Garage: Yes
Garage Description: 3+CAR, ATTACHED
Garage Spaces: 3+
Heating Type: BASEBOARD, CENT AIR, GAS, HOT WATER, RADIANT
Basement Desc.: REC RM, BTH, OFFICE, WINE CELLAR, CARD RM, WALK OUT, UTILITIES
Description from Zillow:
First time offered for sale by the original owners as seen on the TV show The Real House Wives of New Jersey. This 6 bedroom 5 1/2 bath Granite and Stucco manor home with 4 car heated garage is located in South Gate Urban Farms on 1.75 acres with Limestone walk ways. This custom built home greets you with a 2 story entry foyer, large dining room with moldings/hand painted murals, library with custom wood work, 2 story great room with custom molding/fireplace/wet bar done by Salerno, Salerno kitchen with commercial range/wine fridge/large walk in pantry, breakfast area, master suite with 2 large walk in custom closets, gym, all bedrooms have custom built closets, finished walk out basement with play room/wine cellar/card room/office/full bath, newer deck with outdoor kitchen, security system with cameras/night vision, whole house wired with stereo system including outside, radiant heat in entry foyer/great room/kitchen/master bath. Pool plans available for buyer.
For more photos, click on the image or link below (14 photos in total).
Hat Tip: Thanks for the tip runtheball!