NJ.com reported on June 17, 2015, that the Lauritas’ mansion is in foreclosure:
Hudson City Savings Bank has filed papers in Bergen County Courthouse to foreclose on the Franklin Lakes home of Jacqueline and Chris Laurita. Another home owned by Chris Laurita, located in Wayne, is also being foreclosed upon.
The couple had placed the Franklin Lakes home on the market in January 2014 for $2.85 million, then dropped the price later that year to $2.78 million. The custom-built six-bedroom home on nearly two acres features ornate millwork, hand-painted murals in the dining room, a custom kitchen with a wine fridge, and a walk-out basement with playroom, wine cellar and an office.
According to the filing, Chris Laurita took out a $1.6 million mortgage in October 2007, with monthly payments of $10,846, but has not made made a payment since October 2014.
Court records also show that Nationwide is foreclosing on another home owned by Laurita — a four-bedroom Colonial in Wayne that he purchased in 2007 for $725,000, taking out a $525,000 mortgage.
The home was put on the market in 2012 for $699,000, and the price dropped to $599,000 by the time the listing was pulled in January. Nationwide claims Laurita has been in default since January 2012.
It is in foreclosure but they are still living in it. Records show the listing expired for the Laurtias’ mansion at 322 Waterview Dr. in Franklin Lakes, NJ. Real estate agent Gregory Earnshaw of McBride Realty, who had the listing, would not comment on the matter.
They listed the home on January 5, 2014, a few months after reports surfaced that Jacqueline was not asked to return for the show’s sixth season, and the Lauritas later dropped the price to $2.78 million. It lingered on the market for more than a year with no buyer. Bravo cast three new housewives for season 6, but the Lauritas did return about halfway through the 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.
The Laurita’s business bankruptcy case (Signature Apparel) has yet to go 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!
Jacqueline Laurita Says Her Home is Not in Foreclosure; Jacqueline’s Business ‘JL Beauty Enterprises’ Could Have Huge Tax Debt (Updated 6/17/2013)
UPDATE 6/17/2013: TMZ reported that the Lauritas struck a deal with their bank and saved their mansion from foreclosure. “The Lauritas were sued by Hudson City Savings earlier this year. The bank claimed they missed a mortgage payment on her 5,600-square-foot crib — a cool $10,175. Here’s the kicker … under the housewife’s contract, one missed payment meant the bank could demand the entire balance owed, which it did. When the Lauritas couldn’t cough it up … HCS asked to foreclose. But good news … Jacqueline managed to strike a deal with the bank outside of court, and in return Hudson City Savings dropped the suit. The case was dismissed on April 17. Now if only that little tax problem could go away …”
On the morning of April 25, 2013, at 7:32 AM (15 minutes after this blog was published), Jacqueline Laurita tweeted that she is not rich nor is she broke, and implied that Autism treatments and therapies for her son Nicholas are causing financial distress for her family:
“Some say we are rich. Some say we are broke. We are not rich & we are not broke. We are doing ok. Autism treatments & therapies are very expensive ya know?”
According to TMZ on March 2, 2013, Jacqueline has a massive tax debt and owes the State of New Jersey $340,000. The tax debt of $340,000 is owed to the State of New Jersey, not the Federal government (IRS):
“The Garden State is picking a cat-fight with ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star Jacqueline Laurita — claiming she needs to pay off a $340,000 tax bill … OR ELSE. The NJ Division of Taxation filed the tax lien against Jacqueline — who has been a regular on the show since season 1 — earlier this year for exactly $338,337.05. The docs don’t specify which year(s) Jacqueline allegedly racked up the debt, but if she doesn’t pay up soon, they could go after her assets. Jacqueline is not the only NJ housewife to botch her finances — her two nemesis on the show, Danielle Staub and Teresa Giudice, are both in the middle of a bankruptcy right now. Hey Bravo, maybe an episode called ‘The Girls Pay Their Bills’” is in order.”
A source close to Jacqueline says she owns her own business named JL Beauty Enterprises, which could be the cause of the Laurita’s huge tax debt owed to the State of New Jersey:
“Jacqueline should have never made comments about Teresa’s finances when she has issues. As for the tax lien, I wonder if this has to do with her business…JL Beauty Enterprises. I’m surprised she hasn’t commented about this twitter. Also, the years weren’t specified in docs as per TMZ. At any rate, she needs to pay her taxes like the rest of us. Jac started the company last year. She did tell someone on twitter she was making a million dollars. Tamara Tattles blogged about it. Not making excuses for her. This huge tax debt means the income was high. Can’t have it all.”
On September 2, 2012, Tamara Tattles published a Twitter direct message (DM) from Jacqueline to TeeCee66, where she claimed to be making over a million per year for endorsing products:
“I make over a million a year. I just love the [Acne] product. Besides the show, I have successful products out there that I don’t make known to the show to cheapen the brands. :0 I work too. I enjoy it.”
Perhaps one of the deals Jacqueline is referring to is her affiliation with Altruistic Beauty Medspa, which opens this fall in Oakland, NJ. According to Jacqueline’s biography on BravoTV’s website, Jacqueline is the owner of the spa, but the spa’s website suggests she is, at best, a celebrity partner:
“Aside from spending time with her family, Jacqueline continues her passion and career in the beauty industry as an owner of a beauty Medspa in Oakland, N.J. called, “Altruistic Beauty Medspa” that should be opening late summer/early fall 2013. The spa is dedicated to those who are unselfishly devoted to the welfare of others. This sanctuary is all about giving back [excerpt from Jacqueline’s biography on BravoTV’s website].”
Jacqueline is denying reports that her New Jersey home is in foreclosure. She told Tom Murro of FoxCT:
“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. My husband and I have ALWAYS filed and paid our taxes every year. We have NEVER evaded taxes. 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.”
However, according to TMZ on April 16, 2013, Jacqueline is being sued by Hudson City Savings Bank, and the bank is asking a judge for permission to foreclose on their home:
“A ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star could be downgraded from ‘housewife’ to just plain old ‘wife’ … because a bank is trying to FORECLOSE on her mansion. Jacqueline Laurita is being sued by Hudson City Savings Bank. The bank claims Jacqueline took out a $1.6 million mortgage back in 2007 on a 5,600-square-foot pad, but in February 2012 failed to cough up the $10,175 monthly mortgage payment. Big mistake … according to the deal … if Jacqueline misses ONE payment the bank can demand the entire balance — which it did. The bank is now asking a judge for permission to foreclose on the home. It’s not Jacqueline’s only financial woe — the State of NJ says she still owes over $340,000 in unpaid taxes. If only she had a sex tape to hock.”
According to Zillow, a notice of lis pendends has been filed against the Laurita’s Franklin Lakes home — if a lis pendens is filed with the county recorder against a piece of property, this indicates that the house is already in some stage of the foreclosure process. The homeowners are no longer in the preforeclosure stage, or merely behind in payments.
One of the legal terms that homeowners in foreclosure often come across is lis pendens. They may initially find out about the term when attempting to refinance their house and the mortgage broker turns them down because of this type of document filed against the property. If a lis pendens has been filed, it will show up with the county recorder as a document affecting the title.
A lis pendens does not stop or prevent foreclosure at all, as it is merely a document serving notice upon any other party that is researching the particular property affected by the document. In most cases of a homeowner behind on the mortgage payments, the lender’s attorneys will file the initial foreclosure lawsuit with the court and a lis pendens will be sent to the county clerk or recorder’s office to indicate that a particular property is in the process of a pending litigation.
The term lis pendens is Latin for “lawsuit pending,” and the lawsuit that it is referring to is the legal process of foreclosure. If the lender was not suing for the property to be sold for payment of the defaulted mortgage loan, this document would never be filed in the first place, as no lawsuit would be pending.
In fact, a lis pendens specifically indicates that the property is facing foreclosure, and the document will show anyone, such as a title company or prospective foreclosure refinance lender, researching the real estate that it is involved in a lawsuit. So the lis pendens is meant to signify the foreclosure; it does nothing to prevent the foreclosure, but it does not itself affect the homeowners’ ability to save their home.
The most commonly used legal mechanism that would stop foreclosure is filing bankruptcy with the court, and even this only puts the process on hold while the creditor and debtor are coming to an agreement to negotiate a settlement of the debt.
Homeowners may also wish to consider getting rid of the lis pendens affecting their home by mounting a defense against the lawsuit that has led to the foreclosure process. This is a direct defense of the litigation, though, not an extra legal process like bankruptcy that may be used to put the suit on hold.
If a lis pendens is filed with the county recorder against a piece of property, this indicates that the house is already in some stage of the foreclosure process. The homeowners are no longer in the preforeclosure stage, or merely behind in payments. At this point, foreclosure can not prevented, as it is already being pursued by the lender and its attorneys — it must be stopped, and homeowners need to begin putting together a realistic plan and researching various ways to stop foreclosure, such as a mortgage modification, repayment plan, selling the house, or a foreclosure bailout loan.
The Lauritas were having financial issues at the same time as the Giudices. While RHONJ season 2 was taping:
- In September 2009, creditors of Chris and Joseph Laurita’s company, Signature Apparel, pushed the company into bankruptcy protection (the company had only been in operation since 2005).
- A month later, on October 29, 2009, the Giudices filed for bankruptcy protection.
It looks like Chris has formed several different LLCs to spread the money around for blk., just like he did with Signature Apparel and the Laurita Pyramid Companies (Pyramid Trading, Inc., Pyramid Trading Corp., Retail Solutions, Four Brothers Retail and Cool Five LLC). With the blk. venture, Chris already has more than one company name associated with it: including Blk Brands LLC and blk.beverages, LLC (there are probably others).
The Lauritas didn’t file bankruptcy protection – creditors of Signature Apparel filed an involuntary petition against Signature Apparel in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, seeking relief under chapter 7 of title 1 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The creditors forced the bankruptcy in hopes of getting restitution – basically going after the Laurita’s personally, and the other companies that they siphoned funds to (including Pyramid Trading, Inc., Pyramid Trading Corp., Retail Solutions, Four Brothers Retail and Cool Five LLC – collectively referred to as the “Laurita Pyramid Companies”).
The creditors of Signature Apparel are suing the Lauritas for “treating the assets of Signature Apparel as if those assets were Chris and his brother Joseph’s own personal assets – they wrongfully utilized and depleted the corporate assets of Signature to further their own individual financial interests.”
Chris and his brother Joseph each 50% owner/member of Signature Apparel LLC (which was formed in 2005 and went bankrupt in 2010), diverted funds from the company for personal expenses and transferred 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. Jacqueline is also named as a defendant in the case because she and other family members “accepted funds they knew belonged to Signature and for which they each knew they had performed no services and/or provided no value.”
From the original lawsuit filed on behalf of the creditors of Signature Apparel LLC against the Laurita brothers: