Wednesday, Richard Fuscone, a former top Wall Street executive, declared personal bankruptcy, forestalling a foreclosure auction that had been scheduled this week on his 14-acre Westchester mansion.
Mr. Fuscone, Merrill Lynch’s one-time head of Latin America, put his mansion up for sale in November, asking $13.9 million. But he couldn’t find a buyer.
The court had scheduled a foreclosure auction for Thursday for the 18,471-square-foot mansion—with two swimming pools, two elevators, six fireplaces, 11 bathrooms and a seven-car garage. The personal bankruptcy filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Wednesday temporarily freezes the foreclosure process.
In his bankruptcy filing, Mr. Fuscone provided a list of his debts, including ones to the Greenwich Country Day School, American Express, Mercedes-Benz, a local hardware store, a pet store, and Richards of Greenwich, a fine-clothing store.
“My background is in the financial-services industry and I have been personally devastated by the financial crisis which came to a head in March 2008,” Mr. Fuscone said in his bankruptcy declaration. “I have been sued by Patriot National Bank” as part of a foreclosure action. “I currently have no income for the 30-day period” following his bankruptcy petition.
C.W. Kelsey, owner of Greenwich Hardware, was among the local merchants owed money by Mr. Fuscone, though he wouldn’t say how much.
Traditionally, the majority of Greenwich Harware's credit problems were contractors, Now there are people you’d never expect two or three years ago to have problems, who live in multimillion dollar homes.
The rich and famous of Greenwich and New York now have something in common with hundreds of thousands of middle and lower-class Americans: The bank is about to take their homes.
Houses with loans of $5 million or more will likely see a sharp rise in foreclosures this year according to Greenwich Real Estate proffessionals.
Greenwich banking executives say the super-wealthy are among the last to lose their homes in a mortgage crisis because they usually have high savings, better access to credit and other means for staving off foreclosure.
Many of Greenwich's wealthy work in financial services and other industries hit especially hard by the crisis, and have seen their wealth shrink in the market crash.
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