Virginia Coverdale, the former Ramtha School of Enlightenment student who last month was ordered to pay JZ Knight’s company $600,000 after a court ruling against her, claims Knight is trying to buy her mortgage in order to foreclose on her.
Lawyers for JZK, Inc. say they are simply trying to find out what kind of equity Coverdale has in the house as part of collecting the judgment.
Coverdale said lawyers for JZK, Inc. have contacted her mortgage company, and that the company has refused to discuss anything with them unless Coverdale signs a release.
JZK, Inc.’s lawyers are taking Coverdale to court to compel her to authorize the company to give information to the lawyers. A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Friday in Thurston County Superior Court.
Breckan Scott, Coverdale’s lawyer, said in an email that she “got confirmation from the modification loan servicer that (JZK, Inc. lawyer) Jeff Grant stated that JZK, Inc. wanted to buy the mortgage.”
Scott said her client has fallen on hard financial times, in part because of the litigation with Knight’s company, and her house was in or about to be in foreclosure, and she was in the process of receiving a loan modification.
In the past couple weeks, JZK, Inc.’s lawyers have been “extremely aggressive” trying to get Coverdale to sign an authorization to talk to her mortgage company, she said.
Scott said she told the lawyers they had a right, as the judgment creditors, to Coverdale’s financial information, including a list of her assets and liabilities, which she said they gave them. That included the loan modification application Coverdale filled out, she said.
Scott said she offered to contact the modification company directly, and that she asked the lawyers why they were seeking to speak to them.
“The fact is, the house is assessed at at least a couple hundred thousand less than what’s owed,” Scott said.
Scott said Coverdale may be protected under the state’s homestead law, which protects $125,000 of a home’s equity from forced sale to pay unsecured creditors.
Scott said that by attempting to buy Coverdale’s mortgage, the company may be purposefully attempting to interfere with exempt property.
“I think their actions are already a violation of the (state) collection statutes,” Scott said.
Scott said the company may also be guilty of interfering with a potential business interest, she added.
Grant said all he’s trying to do at this point is receive information from the loan service company in order to enforce the judgement.
He said Coverdale, as the debtor, has “very little opportunity to block information or access to information.”
She has already authorized information on her income tax return, the release of her financial and credit history and her Social Security number, he said.
He said they’re not exactly sure how the loan servicer is involved in Coverdale’s finances and that’s what they’re trying to find out.
“They’re somehow involved with a piece of real estate Coverdale owns, and that’s about all that we really know,” he said. “We’re interested in seeing if that asset is available to satisfy the judgment. But until we get information, we can’t really determine that.”
Grant said the property in question is a five-acre parcel.
“It has value,” he said. “There’s mortgages involved; it might be more complicated than we really understand. But right now we don’t really know the details of what’s happening.”
Grant said he doesn’t know if the property would be available to help satisfy the judgment against Coverdale.
“It might be that nothing is available and it might be that it’s all available,” Grant said. “Right now, nobody’s saying. … We’re just trying to get information so we can assess what can be done. The answer may be nothing but right now we’re kind of determined to at least get answers. If the answer is nothing, then we’ll move on.”