Sussex County councilman hoping for resolution prior to sheriff’s sale

GEORGETOWN – Elected officials are not immune to the pitfalls of mortgage crisis.

Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett knows that first-hand.

His Frankford-area home is facing sheriff’s sale. It’s among the dozens of properties slated for sheriff’s sale public auction Nov. 15.

“The fact of the matter is we like many thousands of Sussex Countians and tens of thousands of Delawareans have gotten caught up in this bubble,” Mr. Arlett said. “It is disappointing that we have not gotten it resolved as of yet though we had thought we had. The truth be told is that we are not immune from life as an elected official. So many good people have been affected by this market and this bubble.”

According to sheriff sale information on the Sussex County website, the property is located at 36883 Jahnigen Drive, Frankford.

The listed plaintiff is Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee.

Mr. Arlett and his wife, Betta Lorna Arlett, are listed as defendants.

post-sign-arlett

Rob Arlett makes a point at a Sussex County Council meeting.

The estimated payoff listed is $551,852.57.

Earlier this year, State Auditor Thomas Wagner faced sheriff’s sale of his Dover-area home but avoided the auction block.

Mr. Arlett, a licensed realtor who operates Beach Bound Realty with his wife, hopes for similar resolution.

“We’re confident we can get it resolved prior to (sheriff’s sale),” said Mr. Arlett. “In the event it is not we are OK. We’re still who we are. A home in itself does not define who we are. We’re still Rob and Lorna. It doesn’t change who we are as people. What it does I think is it humanizes us, just like many other families that have had struggles through this market and the bubble, for sure.”

Family ties factored in their financial challenge. Mr. Arlett said they committed themselves to caring for his mother and father, both of whom are now deceased.

“Having to care for aging parents, that was always a very difficult challenge for us. In the end, I placed a priority on the family,” said Mr. Arlett. “I don’t have any regrets at all with caring for my parents, which created a challenge of time and commitments. And if I would have to do it all again, I would.”

On the financial front, Mr. Arlett said he and his wife have been “battling this quite honestly for several years with the bank. The reality is when you buy a home for $595,000 and as a realtor I sell the exact same home in my same community for $395,000 it’s a challenge; the market.”

Mr. Arlett said the original loan on their property was a Countrywide loan, which “was the company that got bought out by Bank of America. And Bank of America was sued by many states and lost.”

Among the winners: Delaware.

“The problem with that is those darn elected officials. What do they do with money that they receive from lawsuits? Well they spend it on balancing their budget versus helping the families that were directly affected,” said Mr. Arlett.

“On the real estate side, I have helped hundreds of families through the process. So we’ve lived it on a professional level and we’ve lived it personally. The truth of the matter is in the end so many very good people that did the right things and got affected and lost everything. We are not in that (lost everything) scenario; I can tell you that right now,” said Mr. Arlett. “We all are humans. We got caught up in the bubble, loss of income, the market and having to be responsible and caring for parents. Those are some pretty big challenges.”

Avoiding sheriff’s sale is another challenge.

“Right now, we are still optimistic to have it resolved,” said Mr. Arlett. “I will say that in the event it is not – we’re OK.”

A Republican, Mr. Arlett is in his first four-year term on council following his victory in the District 5 race in the November 2014 election.

Mr. Arlett is serving as Delaware state chairman for the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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