Yost owes $242K

Owner of Cold Creek housing development facing tax foreclosure.
Tom Jackson
Feb 8, 2014
Erie County’s new treasurer, Pamela Ferrell, has filed a tax foreclosure lawsuit against Joe Yost, the owner of the failed Cold Creek housing development in Sandusky and the now-defunct Hoppers Mobile Home Park.
 
It’s the beginning of an effort to collect more than $1 million in taxes owed for the west Sandusky housing development. Erie County and Sandusky also are trying to collect more than $300,000 in taxes and water bills from Hoppers.

The lawsuit Ferrell filed on Jan. 30 targets a parcel of about 7.3 acres in Cold Creek in west Sandusky, attempting to collect at least some of the $242,159 of taxes owed on the property.

Ultimately, the property will likely be sold in a sheriff’s sale, said Jason Hinners, the assistant prosecutor who filed the lawsuit on Ferrell’s behalf.

The lawsuit names as defendants Cold Creek Development Co., Joe F. Yost III and Mary J. Yost, of Huron, and First Merit Bank and Home Savings and Loan Co., of Youngstown. The suit says the county auditor has set the fair market value of the parcel at $73,370.

To date, the total amount of taxes owed by Cold Creek is $1,275,491.14, Hinners said. The first lawsuit was filed on the Cold Creek parcel that owes the most in taxes, Hinners said.

Hinners said the lawsuit is the first of what will likely be many other lawsuits. About 55 parcels in the Cold Creek development are delinquent on taxes, Hinners said.

The standard approach is to file a lawsuit for each parcel, but it’s possible a suit will be filed that names more than one parcel, Hinners said.

Jonathan Blakely, Yost’s attorney, said he had not seen the lawsuit yet but said a tax foreclosure lawsuit probably is the best way to handle the situation at this point. The taxes on the property at Cold Creek are very high, Blakely said.

He said Yost put a second mortgage on Cold Creek because he was attempting to pay off a debt from another project rather than simply walking away from it.

Hinners, who handles civil law cases for Prosecutor Kevin Baxter’s office, also is trying to piggyback on a foreclosure lawsuit against Hoppers mobile home park. Currently, Yost owes a $303,266 assessment on that property for Sandusky’s water and sewer bill and for unpaid county taxes. The bulk of that is money owed to Sandusky, Hinners said.

The foreclosure case filed against the Hoppers property is Margie L. Hoffman Trust vs. Westgate Development Co., doing business as Joseph W. Yost III, and several other defendants. The lawsuit was filed in 2008.

The lien for the money owed to Sandusky and Erie County takes precedence over other debts, Hinners said.

“I’m kind of working on seeing what we need to do,” he said. “I’ve been in talks with their attorney on that, on how we can move forward”

Yost also faces a fifth degree felony theft charge, filed in Erie County Common Pleas Court, alleging he stole money his Hoppers tenants paid to him that was supposed to go toward paying Sandusky’s water bill. The case is pending before Judge Roger Binette.

No trial date has been set yet, Blakely said.

Blakely said he cannot comment on the criminal charges, but added, “I would like to say that the lot rents and the water bills, the majority of it had not been paid for a lot of years” If those rents had been paid, none of the problems at Hoppers would have happened, he said.

Ferrell said she intends to follow the law as treasurer and collect on tax delinquencies, although she said she doesn’t want to hurt anyone who is in financial difficulties.

“I don’t want to take someone’s house away from them” Ferrell said.

She said by law, tax foreclosure lawsuits only are filed when taxes are more than two years overdue.

Before she files any lawsuit, Ferrell said she will send a letter to the property owner inviting that person to work out a monthly payment schedule. As long as that payment schedule is being met and the property owner is keeping up with current taxes, Ferrell said she will not file a tax foreclosure lawsuit.

Comments

Darwin's choice

Scumbag! Take his cigarette boat too......

mikesee

How long has it been since he paid his taxes? A $1,000,000+!

tk

You know he isn't going to pay this. Take him to court, fine him this amount, when he doesn't pay, put him in jail and give him credit at $50 a day.

pntbutterandjelly

This only the monetary damages. What about the damages he may have caused other's who had no fault in his various schemes? Correct me if I'm wrong but...he sounds like the Bernie Madoff (sp.?) of Sandusky.

Darkhorse

Prime example of development gone wrong and the city is has to pay for it along with everyone else.

lugnut2511

Shame shame on the elected officials of the city of Sandusky. If you were a resident in Sandusky and your water bill would be two months late, they would come and turn your water off. If your behind a year in taxes, they start garnishing procedures. The entire officials that have their name on this need to be held accountable for their actions as well. They sure treat this person alot better than any other that has been brought out into the publics eyes. Just wondering how many more are out there like this. ** krunchie pickle is another one ** Ever get that money back or seize property?

holysee

PLEASE STOP PICKING ON RICH FOLKS. IT REMINDS ME OF GENOCIDE.

kURTje

Is not his 1rst real name Richard?

SamAdams

I'm not questioning the idea of going after delinquent taxes. What I want to know is why these taxes (and other bills, like the water) were permitted to get so far behind! Lugnut2511 is right: If any of us "little people" were a couple of MONTHS behind on our water bills, we'd be in trouble. And yet Hoppers was what, five YEARS?

The first half of my annual property taxes is due next week. It would save me a nice chunk of change if I didn't pay them! How long can somebody like ME not bother to pay property taxes and not get in trouble for it? (I'm betting not long, and CERTAINLY not years...)

The hole Yost dug for himself is a deep one, and I seriously doubt anybody is going to get the money they're owed (at least not much of it). But in fairness even to a guy like him, he had a lot of help getting the hole that deep. And those in the City and the County who didn't slam on the brakes on overdue bills a long, LONG time ago are the ones who helped the most.

Gardenman

What a bum !!! He has been just fine with seniors, folks with little income, etc in paying his bills for water and services. Tell you what next time he has some emergency and fire department needs to respond with a trucks/personnel or EMS or local police or sheriff I say we just slow that baby down. Let the old boy know very well no payee....one gets no services from taxes.

This guy is no better than the bum who had Maui Sands out on 250. Neither paid taxes let alone employees.

candleburner

I thought the new owner that ended up buying Maui Sands had to pay off the old bill before he could even finish off the renovations and reopen it back up? I could be way off on that one because quite frankly I wasn't all that interested in what was happening with another water park in town.

What I am kind of curious about is the people that are living in the Cold Creek development - I live not far from there and I know there aren't many houses back there, maybe or 4, but I would hate to see them have to give up their homes just like the people from Hoppers did because of this joker! I can understand what happened with the folks from Hoppers, they were in a bad situation mostly because their homes were unable to be moved into other trailer parks based on their physical condition or other park lot rental restrictions. However the homes at Cold Creek are not that old and while I've never been down to see them to know the condition of the home and surrounding land, I would think they would be more fit to live on than the trailer park property.

T. A. Schwanger

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@candleburner

It appears at least the vast majority of the foreclosures against Yost at Cold Creek Crossings are vacant lots.

A big big concern now becomes how is the city of Sandusky going to pay off the taxpayer funded bill they footed for infrastructure associated with this project. As the lots were sold, the City was to recoup money to pay off infrastructure debt.

Certainly the lots will go into the City's Land Bank Program with a resale of lots for pennies on the dollar.

deertracker

The people who own homes in that development will not be foreclosed on as long as their taxes are paid. There are vacant lots back there that have an owner but the property is not developed. Their taxes probably are not paid. Any way you look at it the homeowners back there are getting a raw deal. Some of the homes are very expensive and well maintained. What is going to happen to their property values when the vacant land is auctioned off at a very low price. Plus, the property taxes are VERY high back there. I mean like Huron and Perkins high. Why? The city should not be able to recoup their losses by making the property taxes outrageously high when Yost and others will actually end up paying nothing!

Julie R.

Ferrell says she intends to follow the law as treasurer and collect on tax delinquencies ......

So why didn't Jo Dee Fantozz follow the law and collect on tax delinquencies? Too busy with other personal agendas, maybe, like forgiving $200K in back taxes owed by the prosecutor?

Contango

Probably just the 'tip of the iceberg' in the number of Erie Co. property tax delinquencies.

deertracker

Exactly. All of these delinquent property owners/landlords will need to pay up also. Enjoy your big homes in Huron and Perkins and elsewhere but things may be changing soon!

Babo

How does a man who misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in water and other payments from his tenants and then not pay the bills only face one criminal count of the fifth degree? IMO, He should be charged for each victim (tenant) and a pattern of corrupt activity.

starryeyes83

The SR should have been dogging this story like they have a couple of others, maybe they would uncover some schemes and plots and corruption within their OWN county.

Hmmm..

Babo

For starters they could ask the AG to go after the housing fraud that occurred on Icsman's watch. Why were those contractors allowed to get away with the thefts of federal funds and failure to provide services to Sandusky residents?

LookingDown

He lives in Erie co. Bay shore is in Sandusky, what else you want? Sorry he owed other property in Sandusky Co. Glad I don't live there BTW.....police there will f you're world!

starryeyes83

As I said... It was just a thought.... SR could have been uncovering much ... right? You Erie County people would know more about who owns what. I don't live there, nor do I live in Sandusky County.

LookingDown

No what you wrote was nothing like that what you wrote was this.....The SR should have been dogging (assuming you meant doing) this story like they have a couple of others, maybe they would uncover some schemes and plots and corruption within their OWN county.

Hmmm..

So we don't read between the lines and think you MEANT "ask the ppl" ...when you don't state it at all! No mind readers here! If ya don't live in the counties why you care so much? Or just nosey? Or a busy body?

deertracker

All of the above with star!!!

starryeyes83

You're one to talk, deer, You're constantly replying to me and a few others. As if you're laying in wait. Why are you on here so much? I sure don't post as many comments on EVERY story like YOU do!!

Pot meet kettle.

LookingDown

On reply was to you BTW!

starryeyes83

I can read whatever paper site I wish. and comment -same as you.

starryeyes83

double post

LookingDown

What about Lyman harbor and Dr. Kumar? Everyone knows he hasn't paid his in YEARS!!!!!! But than again you have to keep that smartass kid out of the federal pen for false calls to the coast guard!

deertracker

Great point.

starryeyes83

nosey much?

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