Woman loses Golden Gate Estates home to foreclosure at auction

Scott McIntyre/Staff 
 Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE // Buy this photo

Scott McIntyre/Staff Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Scott McIntyre/Staff 
 Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE // Buy this photo

Scott McIntyre/Staff Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Video from NBC-2
Video from YouTube

— Cynthia Balterman has a new start but it's not the start she wanted.

On Wednesday, she lost her two-story home in Golden Gate Estates at a foreclosure auction, held at the Collier County courthouse off U.S. 41 East.

The sale came after a last-ditch effort to convince Wells Fargo Bank to modify her mortgage. Her pleas to save her home, made through emails to bank executives, a YouTube video and a 6-by-12-foot sign in her driveway didn't change the lender's mind.

She was turned down for a loan modification for a third time Tuesday after her persistent cries for help got the attention of the media and Wells Fargo.

At the auction, her 2,556-square foot, four-bedroom home off Fifth Avenue Southwest didn't go quickly, with several investors competing for it. They bid up the price until it ultimately sold for $241,900.

Wells Fargo was owed almost $257,000, so the lender got most of its money back. The home's assessed value is nearly $231,000, according to Collier County property records.

At times, the bids rose by as little as $50, dragging out the inevitable sale at the auction. Balterman and her 18-year-old daughter, who have lived in the home for more than a decade, cried through it.

After the sale, one of the losing bidders, Alexander Oppliger with AXOP Industries Inc., tried to comfort them.

"You're free and clear now," he said. "You did what you could. It's a new start."

Balterman, 54, tried to stay calm. "I'm beside myself," she said. "I thought I was going to have a new start with a loan modification."

The winning bidder was Tarp Properties LLC. After making the final bid, Ric Bonasera, a general manager at Frey & Son Homes in Naples, a related company, walked up to Balterman and consoled her. "Sorry about your misfortunes," he said.

He said it was rare to see a homeowner still living in the home at this stage and still fighting to keep it.

Asked if Balterman might be able to get her home back, Bonasera said, "That's always a possibility."

But it seems an unlikely possibility as Balterman would have to find new financing, which will be tough after just going through a foreclosure. She said she doubts the financing will come through, "unless a philanthropist adopts me."

She has offered to pay rent for a few months to stay in the home, which would give her more time to pack and find a new place to stay.

Bonasera said he'd work with Balterman in any way he could to smooth the transition.

"Nobody likes to see this happen to anybody," he said. "It's a business for us and there's a personal side that sheds a different light."

Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 11

Beachglow writes:

It's nice to have a dream, but you have to be intelligent about what you can and can't afford and live within your means.

This was a just another one of those life lessons that come along. Hopefully she will live within her means the next time she purchases. I'd like to have a condo on the beach, but.....

wes writes:

Such words of wisdom from high in your comfortable chair.

what234 writes:

perhaps when she bought it, it was within her means. you ont know what changed in her life that put her here and to just assume she was foolish in her choices is just plain wrong!

Klaatu writes:

Wait till it's YOU !!!!!

SimonSays writes:

Seriously...NDN...do your homework in your own newspaper. This women is not a victim. From what I have read in past year's NDN, she has a habit of making financial messes and then trying to blame others. She is no poster-child for the real people who actually work 2 and 3 jobs to try to save their home. I have sympathy for people who work hard and don't get a break...that is not the case here!

Company144 writes:

it's so easy to be right when you have money. money makes you look good even when you really are a stinking rat. this woman is wrong but she's no different than anyone else whose received a huge blow. stop blowing the horn on your band wagon and give this woman a break, she's got a kid to feed and now without a roof over her head.

cnygolfer writes:

I know Cindy. I listened to her tell me over and over again that her divorce attorney told her not to work. This went on for years. I listened to her tell me over and over again why she couldn't pay her financial obligations but she still had money to put shutters on her home so people couldn't see inside and buy a new car. I sat by and watched as she screwed people I knew out of their hard-earned money. My husband and I worked from dawn to dusk and then some 7 days a week after your actions and we didn't miss one payment on our homes. And at that time, you still did not have a job. I take your story to mean that your handwritten letters with promise of money owed are still worth only the paper they are written on.

TheyPavedParadise2 writes:

in response to cnygolfer:

I know Cindy. I listened to her tell me over and over again that her divorce attorney told her not to work. This went on for years. I listened to her tell me over and over again why she couldn't pay her financial obligations but she still had money to put shutters on her home so people couldn't see inside and buy a new car. I sat by and watched as she screwed people I knew out of their hard-earned money. My husband and I worked from dawn to dusk and then some 7 days a week after your actions and we didn't miss one payment on our homes. And at that time, you still did not have a job. I take your story to mean that your handwritten letters with promise of money owed are still worth only the paper they are written on.

There you go. There is the real story.

Notthesame writes:

Sounds like she wanted the bank to cave and forgive her debt, or at least a big part of it. banks arent in the business to lose money, and they dont with federal backing. Sounds like she got the house in the divorce settlement but couldnt afford it. Good for the ex, he didnt get stuck paying for a house he couldnt live in.

Bigkondorsback (Inactive) writes:

Why are we still reading about this?

Trexler writes:

If you dont make 3 times the monthly housing expense, you cant live there,..renter or buyer...

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