• Founder of Failed New Century Bank Faces Foreclosure on Personal Condo

    Faye T. Pantazelos, founder of New Century Bank, has failed to make payments on her condominium loan since December 2010. There is no mention of her seeking foreclosure help or a short sale. Her bank failed last year as a result of heavy investment in the failing real estate market.

    U.S. Bank filed a complaint in Cook County Circuit Court on May 17, 2011 stating that Pantazelos has failed to make payments on a $744,000 loan. According to the complaint, the principal balance of the loan is $712,199.66.

    Ms. Pantazelos purchased the condominium located in the Gold Coast for $930,000 in August 2007. Before founding New Century Bank in 1999, she worked at First Chicago NBD Corp. and Bank of Ravenswood. New Century Bank primarily issued loans for commercial real estate projects. Regulators closed the bank in April 2010 and sold it to MB Financial Bank after the real estate crash affected many of New Century’s developer clients. The bank’s assets totaled $486 million at the end of 2009.

    New Century lent to the construction and development market even when it became apparent that it was going to fail.

    Michael Iannaccone, president at MDI Investments Inc. said, “It was like a game of musical chairs; people knew the music was going to stop. We went from one chair being removed at a time to two, three, four chairs being removed, but they kept on lending. You knew that someone was going to be left holding the bag.”

    If you are in a possible foreclosure situation, and would prefer to explore your options for short sale or other choices, contact a Chicago short sale attorney for more information.

  • Spiderman Sued by Bankruptcy Trustee for Poker Winnings

    Bankruptcy trustee Howard Ehrenberg is suing Tobey Maguire, star of “Spiderman,” in a claw back effort to reclaim more than $300,000.

    Ehrenberg is the trustee in the bankruptcy case of Bradley Ruderman. Ruderman is currently in prison for stealing $25 million from investors in his Ponzi scheme, fronted by a hedge fund that he managed.

    Ruderman played high stakes games of Texas Hold ‘Em poker with Maguire and lost big. The games were played in Southern California hotels between 2006 and 2009.

    Checks written to Maguire for covering poker losses total $311,200.

    Funds invested in Ruderman’s Capital were transferred to Maguire for payment. Maguire was unaware that investors victimized by Ruderman funded his winnings. The trustee said that the money still needs to be repaid.

    “It is a technical legal argument – if you are involved in an illegal activity, you don’t get that defense of ignorance,” Ehrenberg said. “The game he played in itself was illegal. That’s the linkage, the money was paid directly from Ruderman Capital.”

    Games played in private homes for stakes are not illegal in California. However, the suit alleges that the games that Ruderman and Maguire played were against the law because a paid event planner organized everything.

    If you are looking into the possibility of filing in bankruptcy court , contact a Chicago bankruptcy attorney for more information about the process.