June 06, 2012 - Despite the plethora of wild rumors swirling around Oxford, all of the residents of the Lake Villa Manufactured Home Community are not being kicked out, nor did the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid the park's office.
The 851-unit park located along Lakeville Rd. is simply under new court-appointed management as the foreclosure process proceeds against its owner, who owes nearly $30 million.
Day-to-day oversight is now being provided by the Farmington Hills-based Newbury Management Co.
"We are aware of the rumors that the property lender is requiring residents to leave the property and this is completely untrue," said Maria Virga, regional manager for Newbury, who was reading from a prepared statement.
"Newbury Management has been appointed by the court as receiver of Lake Villa. Our duties are obviously outlined in the order filed by the court. We look forward to working with the residents and the community at-large to provide a pleasant place for its residents."
"That would be the last thing you would do is kick your source of revenue out," noted Oxford Township attorney Gary Rentrop, who's handling the municipality's interest in this matter.
Virga indicated that Newbury began managing Lake Villa on June 1.
"Right now, we're just going through the transition process," she said. "We do have the residents' best interests at heart, so we will be making improvements as we see fit."
When asked how many other mobile home parks Newbury currently manages, Virga replied, "There's quite a few. I don't know the exact total, but we manage communities throughout the United States."
When asked for details regarding the current status of the park's ownership, Virga replied, "I don't know the legalities of who owns what . . . All I know is that the court appointed us as receiver and manager."
Rentrop indicated the park's owner Lake Villa Oxford Associates, LLC. is being foreclosed on by KeyBank National Association.
"They're in the process of foreclosing," he said. "It's not theirs just yet."
Lake Villa Oxford Associates is listed in the lawsuit as the borrower and its manager is listed as Kenneth Burnham.
"They owe $29.899 million," Rentrop said. "They (originally) borrowed $30 million. There's a lot of money involved. That's a gigantic loan."
Burnham is the president of KDM Development Corporation, based in Pittsford, New York. Back in September 2007, the Leader published a story about Lake Villa being sold to KDM and Burnham. The address listed for Lake Villa Oxford Associates is the same as KDM's address in Pittsford, New York.
According to the company's website, KDM owns 38 manufactured home communities in 11 states. Lake Villa is not listed as one of them. The only other property KDM apparently still owns in Michigan is Clinton Villa Mobile Home Park in Independence Twp.
Rentrop noted that Newbury Management was appointed as the receiver because KeyBank alleged that Lake Villa Oxford Associates was "absconding with the money" being collected from park residents.
"The receiver gets the money and then disburses it the way it should be disbursed," he explained. "KeyBank has made the allegation that Lake Villa has been getting the money and putting it where it's not supposed to go."
According to Oakland County records, Lake Villa Oxford Associates owes $156,865 in delinquent taxes from 2011. Of that, $11,620 consists of interest and fees.
Oxford Twp. Treasurer Joe Ferrari indicated that of the $145,245 that was never paid by Lake Villa, $71,996 consists of delinquent sewer bills and the rest is property taxes.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.