Rep. Richardson's Financial Report Could Shed Light on Foreclosure Woes
We may learn more about Rep. Laura Richardson's (D-Calif.) home foreclosure debacle on Monday, when House members' annual financial reports are due to be released publicly.
Surprisingly, Richardson filed her report on time rather than seeking an extension, her spokesman, William Marshall, tells us. But Marshall says he can "neither confirm nor deny" whether the disclosure report will reflect the full extent of the beleaguered congresswoman's financial woes, which include foreclosure on one home and defaulting on two others.
Marshall declined to answer questions about how Richardson, who was elected to Congress in a special election last August, wound up in such dire straights. She lost her Sacramento home to foreclosure after failing to make payments, while she reportedly owed Sacramento County some $9,000 in property taxes and defaulted six times on two other homes in California along her year-long crusade from Long Beach councilwoman to state assemblywoman to U.S. congresswoman. (The foreclosure and defaults occurred around the same time Richardson loaned her campaigns for state assembly and Congress more than $177,000.)
Richardson, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, also failed to pay hundreds of dollars worth of car repairs to one mechanic, then ultimately abandoned the car at another auto body shop.
Now, the story has taken a new twist. The Los Angeles Times reports that the home Richardson lost in foreclosure could be returned to her, because the lender, Washington Mutual, filed a letter of rescission of the foreclosure sale and asked the new owner for the keys back.
"They took the property back, and they didn't even send back the money," the buyer, real estate investor James York told the Times. "It's clear what's happening is Ms. Richardson is abusing her political power and using it for her own political needs," he said. "You don't have to be smart to understand what's happening."
Richardson isn't commenting. Referring to the congresswoman's lender, her spokesman told us, "This is about Washington Mutual." He urged us to call Washington Mutual for comment but -- guess what? In a classic Catch 22, a Washington Mutual spokeswoman told us the company can't discuss the foreclosure sale because Richardson "has not provided us with authorization to publicly discuss her loan."
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