Thursday, November 8, 2007

Belly-Up in Benton County

A wave of foreclosures is sweeping Benton County, and developers say its not their fault. Just because they decided to build huge McMansions in exclusive enclaves instead of affordable housing in established neighborhoods, they are blameless. This time its not the usual bugaboo of impact fees nor planning commission regulations but that old familiar devil -- the media.

Regions Bank and First Security Bank filed the suits in Benton County Circuit Court against Johnny King Construction, foreclosing on 11 lots and three houses in the gated Pinnacle Country Club estates in Rogers to recover almost $2.5 million. “The media has [sic] hurt us bad [sic]. They all say you can buy properties for next to nothing now, but it isn’t true. ... Everyone wants to offer a lot less than what you need for your house,” said Johnny King.

First Federal Bank of Harrison has filed a foreclosure suit against Rogers-based builder Wayne Mumford seeking repayment of nearly $1 million in loans on two properties Mumford built in the Windsor Manor subdivision in Bentonville. Mumford has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

There has been no news coverage of foreclosures against or bankruptcies by developers who are building homes eligible for FHA, HUD, or VA mortgages. Maybe because the hotshot developers in Northwest Arkansas have no interest in building affordable homes for moderate income families?

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